Kat’s Blog on Romanian Wines

We’ve recently added a new European country to our portfolio of wines – Romania! I was slightly sceptical at first – it’s been a while since I tasted anything Romanian (actually I don’t remember much about Romania from the wine-studying days over 10 years ago and from what I do remember, the wines were never very great – however this is apparently no longer the case!). The wines we have are actually a very good quality and severely quaffable!

Here are two facts I didn’t know about Romanian wine (but now do!):

  1. Romania is the fifth largest wine producing country after Italy, France, Spain and Germany.
  2. It is similar in size to wine-producing countries such as Chile and Portugal.
It transpires that recently, the affordable prices of vineyards (land) and wines have attracted European business people to invest in the country’s wine-making industry – thus vastly improving quality and reputation of the wines. It’s also got a good climate for growing wines and good soils (quite important when it comes to making wines!).

The wines that we now stock come from the Cramele Recas Estate from the wine region called ‘Banat’ in Western Romania – which borders Hungary. The vineyards are in the shadows of the Carpathian Mountains (in fact the wines are called ‘Umbrele’, which is the Romanian word for ‘shadow’). The Estate was taken over in 1998 by Philip (an Englishman) and Elvira Cox. They replanted all 700 hectares of vines and have completely modernised the winery and, with the help of flying wine-makers, now produce modern fruit-driven wines.

Our Umbrele range are all priced at £8.95 per bottle. There is a text-book Syrah: – red fruits, ‘chamois-leather’-soft tannins with some spice; a Pinot Noir – elegant, fresh and amazing quality; a zingy and gooseberry-filled Sauvignon Blanc (think a cross between French and New Zealand) and last but not least a punchy, full-bodied Chardonnay with toasty oak and rich mango flavours.

‘Noroc!’ (which is Romanian for Cheers!).
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