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Description to Romania

The Republic of Romania (România in Romanian, derived from the Latin Romanus) in south-east Europe with its capital Bucharest covers 238,397 km². The country lies on the Black Sea and stretches westwards across the Carpathian Arc to the Pannonian Plain. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Serbia and Hungary to the west and Ukraine and Moldova to the north and east. The state is divided into 41 counties (Județe) and the capital Bucharest.

Rumänien - Landkarte, Flagge und Wappen

History

With 6,000 years of wine history, Romania is one of the oldest and most traditional wine-growing countries in Europe. The Greek poet Homer already mentioned Thracian wines in his Iliad in the 8th century BC and the historian Herodotus (482-425 BC) tells of the wine trade of the Greek colonists on the Black Sea coast. German settlers from the Rhine-Moselle region followed the call of the Hungarian King Géza II (1130-1162), the ruler of this region at the time, and revitalised viticulture in Transylvania in the 12th century. In the 18th century, it was the Swabians who were brought into the country by the Habsburg ruler Maria Theresa (1717-1780). The historical landscape of Bessarabia, which today belongs to Moldavia, was mainly inhabited by Romanians at the beginning of the 19th century and belonged to Romania from 1917 to 1940.

Wine-growing regions

Romania belongs to the temperate climate zone and lies on the same latitude as France. Balanced rainfall, warm summers and long, dry autumns are ideal conditions for viticulture. However, the individual parts of the country differ climatically due to the natural barrier of the Carpathian Mountains. Transylvania west of the Carpathians is still characterised by the maritime climate of the Atlantic winds. However, the Carpathians prevent these from reaching the east and south of the country. Moldova (east of the Carpathians) is characterised by a continental climate with cold air currents from Ukraine. In Wallachia (south of the Carpathians) and Dobruja there are Mediterranean influences. The three most important regions are Moldova, Muntenia and Oltenia, where around 80% of Romanian wines are produced.

During the communist era, production was in the hands of the state. As a result of the political upheaval, a wave of privatisation set in from 1990 with many micro-owners. The leading production companies merged to form a private export distribution company. 487 wineries are registered as producers of authentic wines. A certification system for the origin and authenticity of wines enables traceability by means of a QR code (see centre image). There are 33 DOC/DOCC areas for quality wines or Prädikat wines(PDO = protected designation of origin) with 20,000 hectares and 12 IG areas for country wines(PGI = protected geographical indication) with around 6,500 hectares. The map shows the regions with their typical wine types. What Tokay is to Hungary, Cotnari is to Romania. This traditional wine was somewhat forgotten and has now been revitalised.

Rumänien - Karte, Flasche, QR-Code-Siegel und Grasa de Cotnari

Banat

The region lies in the south-west of the country on the border with Serbia and Hungary. The wine-growing areas are Buzias-Silagiu, Dealul-Tirolului, Minis (known for its red wines from Cadarca and Cabernet Sauvignon), Moldova-Noua, Recas, Severinului and Teremia-Mare (known for its white wines from Riesling Italian = Welschriesling).

Crisana and Maramures

These two regions are located in the north-west on the borders with Hungary and Ukraine. The wine-growing areas are Diosig, Simleul-Silvaniei and Valea lui Mihai. Red and white wines.

Dobrogea (Dobrogea)

The region lies in the extreme south-east on the Black Sea and is bordered to the west by the Danube (Dunarea). The wine-growing areas are Istria-Babadag, Murfatlar, Ostrov and Sarica-Niculitel. In the sunniest climate in Romania with low rainfall, gentle red and rosé wines grow here.

Moldova (Moldavia)

The largest region with one third of the vineyard area is located east of the Carpathians in the east of the country on the border with Moldova and Ukraine. The wine-growing areas are Bujor, Cotesti, Cotnari, Covurlui, Dealul Bujorului, Husi, Iasi, Ivesti, Nicoresti, Odobesti, Panciu (known for its sparkling wines), Tutova and Zeletin.

Muntenia (Great Wallachia)

The region with the capital Bucharest is located in the south in the Southern Carpathians. The wine-growing areas are Dealurile Buzaului, Dealul Mare, Pietroasele, Samburesti and Stefanesti. The highest average temperatures in Romania can be found here. Today, the hilly region is best known for its red and rosé wines made from international varieties. In USSR times, these were preferably sweet.

Oltenia (Little Wallachia)

The region is located in the south-west of the country. The wine-growing areas are Corcova, Crusetu, Dealurile-Craiovei, Drăgășani, Drincea, Plaiurile-Drincei, Sadova-Corabia, Segarcea and Targu-Jiu. Excellent red wines are made here from the indigenous Fetească Neagră variety and Cabernet Sauvignon. The German winery Reh Kendermann acquired 350 hectares of vineyards here in 2001 and founded the "Carl Reh Winery".

Transilvania (Transylvania)

The region in the centre is particularly known for its white wines. German immigrants brought many of their own grape varieties with them. The wine-growing areas are Alba Iulia, Bistrita-Nasaud, Lechinta, Sebes-Apold and Tarnave.

Grape variety index

In 2022, the vineyards covered 187,934 hectares of vines and the wine production volume was 3.79 million hectolitres. Around 75% are white wines and 25% are red wines. A total of 163 grape varieties with almost 40,000 hectares are classified as "Noble Winegrape Varietes". Romania also has a significant production of table grapes; the most important are Afus Ali, Chasselas, Muscat d'Hamburg, Italia and Victoria. The grape variety index (ONVPV Romania):

Grape variety

Colour

Synonyms or Romanian name

Hectare

Fetească Regală white Danasana 12.213
Fetească Albă white Dievcie Hrozno 12.032
Merlot red - 11.109
Welschriesling white Riesling Italian, Graševina 6.964
Sauvignon Blanc white - 5.677
Cabernet Sauvignon red - 5.384
Aligoté white - 5.141
Muscat Ottonel white Tămâioasă Ottonel 5.124
Fetească Neagră red Coada Răndunicii 3.176
Pamid red Roșioară 2.652
Băbească Neagră red Rara Neagră 2.536
Pinot Noir red - 2.030
Chardonnay white - 2.002
Muscat Blanc / Muscat white Tămâioasă Româneascâ, Tămâioasă Alba 1.742
Pinot Gris white - 1.467
Blaufränkisch red Burgundy Mare 691
Busuioacă de Bohotin white Busuioacă Neagra, Tămâioasă de Bohotin 688
Syrah red - 638
Gewürztraminer / Traminer white Traminer Roz, Rusa 603
Grasă de Cotnari white Grasă, Grasă Mare 546
Riesling white Riesling de Rhin 453
Galbenă de Odobești white - 372
Crâmpoșie white - 366
Rkatsiteli white - 348
Șarbă white - 307
Iordan white Zemoasa 299
Băbească Gris white - 296
Mustoasă de Măderat white - 288
Frâncușă white Frâncușe, Frîncușă 277
Blue Portugieser red Oporto 229
Cabernet Franc red - 146
Plavay white Plâvaie 141
Crâmpoșie Selecționată white - 134
Kadarka red Cadarcâ, Cadarcâ Neagră 79
Neuburger white - 78
Zweigelt red - 76
Novac red - 73
Sangiovese red - 73
Aromat de Iași white - 62
Negru de Drăgășani red - 58
Zghihară de Husi white Sghigardă Galbenă, Zghihară Galbenă 57
Alicante Henri Bouschet red Alicante Bouschet 37
Tempranillo red - 31
Select white - 28
Viognier white - 28
Ezerfürtű white - 27
Furmint white - 26
Alb Aromat white - 25
Codană red - 25
Bătută Neagră red Frâncușă Niagră ?
Bagrina white Braghinâ, Braghină de Drăgășani ?
Chasselas white - ?
Coarnă Neagră red - ?
Hárslevelű white - ?
Creaca white - ?
Slankamenka white Majarca Alba ?

Wine law & wine categories

In August 2009, the EU wine market regulation came into force with fundamental changes to wine designations and quality levels. There are the following new designations and quality levels (see Quality System):

IG =Indicație Geografică or Vin de Regiune

The actual alcohol content must be at least 9.5% (for wine-growing zone B) or 10.0% vol (wine-growing zones CI and CII). The total alcohol content must not exceed 15% vol. There are around 50 rural wine regions, whose names are usually identical to the political district or region.

DOC = Denumire de Origine Controlată

Quality wines from specific growing regions with controlled origin. Prescribed quality wine grape varieties. The potential alcohol content must be at least 11.5%, the actual alcohol content at least 10% vol.

DOCC = Denumire de Origine Controlată si trepte de Calitate

This corresponds to a Prädikat wine. Minimum must weights are prescribed for each type. The codes refer to the degree of ripeness or proportion of noble rotten grapes; the second "C" refers to "Cules"(grape harvest):

  • CMD (Cules la Maturitate Deplină) = Kabinett (73 Oe or 196 g/l sugar)
  • CT (Cules Târziu) = late harvest (82 Oe or 220 g/l sugar)
  • CS (Cules Selectionat) = Auslese
  • CIB (Cules la Înnobilarea Boabelor) = Beerenauslese (125 Oe or 240 g/l sugar)
  • CSB (Cules la Stafidirea Boabelor) = dry berry selection (noble rotten berries, Stafidirea = sultanas)

Special wine designations/types

  • Vin Spumante cu Denumire de Origine Controlată = Sparkling wine with a designation of origin.
  • Rezervă = Reserve (ageing for 6 months in oak barrels and 6 in bottle)
  • Vin de Vinotecă (aged for 1 year in oak barrels and 4 months in bottle)
  • Vin Tănăr = young wine (marketed until the end of the vintage year)

Map: © Goruma
Flag: by AdiJapan - Own work, Public domain, Link
Coat of arms: Public domain, Link
Cotnari: by Ulrich prokop - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Wine-growing regions: Agroinform
Source 1st paragraph: WIKIPEDIA Romania

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