Vol. 2 No.10  

Ancestral secrets from Romania’s vineyards

     I have to say from the very beginning that I was reluctant when I heard about the organisation of a wine salon, having ‘Romanianity’ as a subject matter.
     Even after the show, which was a success, ended last November, I continue to believe that the personality of a good wine is more connected to a universal quality than the regional are.
     Nevertheless, I have to admit that the individual cannot be integrated into the general if it does not continue to exist on its own merits.
     And wines that obviously underline the particularities of a certain country or region have become international stars. In the end, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or any wine country finds its way into the tasting memory of any wine lover through a particular ‘brand’ developed predominantly in that country.
     It is generally accepted that Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay (the order is intended) have their definitive varieties in the southern hemisphere. But, owing to the course of history, other wine producing countries have their ‘je ne sais quoi’ which cannot be shared with others.
     This includes Hungary’s Furmint, the Mavroud in Bulgaria, Cinsault and Cabernet Franc in France, Alvarinho in Portugal, Refosk in Slovenia, Silvaner in Germany, Lambrusco or Primitivo in Italy or Kratosija in Macedonia.
     In this context, no one must be afraid to present 100 per cent Romanian varieties (that come from before the aphid infestation of the Phyloxerra). On the contrary, this looks to me like a shortcut to Romania’s soul.
     Even if you’re not a wine drinker, you can appreciate the efforts made by wine-makers to take care of ancestral patterns and of the original matrix of the Romanian people.
     As an enthusiast.
     Or to make the list complete: Babeasca Gri, Babeasca Neagra and Babeasca Rose. Busuioaca de Bohotin, Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Neagra and Feteasca Regala. Francusa. Galbena de Odobesti. Grasa de Cotnari. Negru de Dragasani, Sarba and Tamaioasa Romaneasca. Theoretically, these should be the wines tourists pack in their bags to go back home as proof of our history.
     But there is still a long way to go to reach this point. Wine makers, wine houses and especially  retailers have much to do to separate the value from the non-value.
     Then, us as consumers and wine lovers will have no reason to discriminate between foreign and Romanian wines.
     After all, in the end all we are looking for is good wines.

Catalin Paduraru