Wines of Balkans blog

Europe's New World: Romania

Written on 13-03-2012 by Daniel Alexandru Beres,

A Romanian vineyard covered with snow

In the 90’s it seemed to me that it will take a long time until Romania can even dream of taking its rightful place in the world of wine. Better said, I am not even sure that wine makers at that time cared too much about Romania’s place on the international wine market.

The dark-times of the communist era, when Romania was producing only quantity for mother Russia, without any concern whatsoever for quality, were still influencing the mindset of the producers. It seems that is still influencing the big players in this industry, but I am not going to write today about the big players who unfortunately engaged on a path that can go only down. I am going to talk about the new players, about the small and medium sized winemakers who developed amazingly in the last 10 years. They simply went form horse and carriage to Ferrari in an impossibly short time.

If you visited Romania 10 years ago you would have said 'there is still work to be done', but you would not have been very enthusiastic about it. If you go today you will see that work has been done, and it has been done at an amazing scale. Of course, you might and you should still say 'there is still work to be done' but this time you will be no doubt very enthusiastic about it.

A whole new generation of winemakers who choose to go back to the Romanian art of winemaking as it was before the Second World War, and to combine the good things of the past with the newest technology there is.

If in Western Europe countries the most of the winemakers use technology from the 80s, the 90s or even the beginning of the 2000s, the new Romanian wine maker generation uses 2010 - 2011 technology, brand new and as high tech as it gets. The new generation of Romanian winemakers not only do they know their own business in Romania but they study in France, Italy, and Spain or New World countries such as Australia or Chile.

I believe this is the first generation in many many years, who can and who will produce wine at the highest standards we ever had in Romania. The last 10 years were quite exciting but my heart goes wild when I think about the next 10 years to come. The newly planted grape will get older; the new generation of winemakers will get more experienced and the wine…well, I can’t wait for it!

Experiencing the world of Romanian wine 10 years ago was like riding a horse drawn carriage. It was somewhat romantic and with an oldie flavor but it was still slow and sometimes it just smelled bad. Experiencing it now is like riding a Ferrari; it is high tech, fast and sexy. Can’t wait to ride the limo!