Wine trails in Romania

Wine Trails in Romania

“Wine is bottled poetry” so said the Victorian poet and novelist Robert Louis Stevenson. Wine is many things to many people. It’s a placeholder or a simply hedonistic pleasure.

For the love of wine

We love wine. We love wine culture, and we always love wine in the best company. From tasting evenings dedicated to wines from various renowned wine-growing areas in Romania, to day trips for visiting famous wineries or newly discovered vineyards, there is nothing about wine that you should try at least once.

Romania has one of the oldest wine making traditions in the world, its viticulture dating back more than 6000 years. Due to the hot dry summers, the location proved to be successful and the grape vineyards thrived.

From pages of history

According to a legend, Dionysus, the Thracian god of wine, was born in what is now Romania, and Plato declared its vineyards to be the best in the world. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus, among others, clearly mentioned that the wine was made in the area north of the Danube. Its wines became so famous that in the first century B.C., king Burebista ordered that all the vineyards be destroyed to discourage possible invaders. Of course, his own people were not so easily deterred and soon new vineyards flourished. Wine trading was also flourishing, with large quantities of Greek amphorae discovered around the Carpathians. In the 1st century A.C., the Romans brought better vine cultivation techniques and new grape varieties.


Wine Trails

Romania, with a classic continental climate, epitomized by hot summers and very cold winters, has a very diverse territory. The North-East regions are famous for the aromatic white varieties because of cool misty conditions. The Black Sea coast influences winemaking in the Murfatlar region with varieties such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Southern regions of Dealu Mare leading down to Oltenia are better for the red varieties with warmer soil conditions, all aspects helping the ripening of the grapes; meanwhile, Transylvania has a very Germanic influence seen in the Rhine varieties.

In the past years, many vineries Romania followed the model of other important vineyards from Europe, and not only, to open up the winery to tourists and to take them deep into de heart of wine-growing regions to introduce them to the local wines, the wine-growers, and the vineyards, but also to the local cuisine cause you cannot have wine without good food, the cultural heritage, and other regional tourist attractions. A visit to a vineyard remains a unique experience that allows guests to combine the discovery of new wines with the exploration of a region!

Photo by Lefteris kallergis on Unsplash
Photo by Lefteris kallergis on Unsplash

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Best wineries in Romania and Moldova that you can visit right now

Thousands of years ago, in the historic regions that make up today’s Romania, grapevines were growing wild. The Vitis Silvestrii species, for example, was autochthonous in the oak forests, and it was the foundation of the famous Dacian grapevine. Romania is today the 13th largest wine producer worldwide and the 6th largest in Europe. The country is home to more than 250 wine cellars, but only 140 of them produce and sell bottled wine. Wine tasting sessions can be organized at most of the Wineries, with the most important departure cities being Bucharest, Iasi, and Cluj-Napoca.

Serve Winery

Ceptura 125 C, Prahova
About the vineyeard
An abbreviation for 'Societatea Euro Romana de Vinuri de Excepție,' SERVE Winery is situated in the southern part of Romania. Being one of the eminent wine producers in Dealu Mare, renowned for its climatic conditions for grape cultivation, the history of Serve Winery dates back to the 1900s. In the 90s, not many international wine enthusiasts or businesses were aware of the potential of the winemaking business in Romania until 1993. In 1993, a Corsican Count was spellbound by a book written by Hugh Johnson, which had detailed material about the viticulture in Romania, especially the prospective that Dealu Mare held for future winemaking businesses. He also learned a great deal about the traditional local variety of wine, the Fetească Neagră, and decided to capitalize on a winery situated in Romania after the descent of communism.

Catleya Wineries

Corcova, Mehedinti
About the vineyeard
The province of Corcova has an abundance of flush history like most places in Romania. Antoine Bibesco, born in Paris, 1878, was a Romanian Prince, a landlord, a diplomat, and a writer who spent a great deal of his early life moving between France and Romania. Bibesco had an inheritance of vineyards, forests, farmland, and orchards, worth way over 2000 acres in this region and he enjoyed spending quite some time in Corcova with his family and friends. He even extended his vineyard amassing plots over the finest areas to about 100 hectares during the early 20th century. The vineyards, the property, the modern winery were all looked after by his agronomist, Aristoteles Sauget.


Vadu Sapat, Prahova
About the vineyeard
Founded in the year 2008 by Marchesi Antinori, Fiorenzo Rista, and Halewood Romania, the Metamorfosis Winery falls among the list of the certified vineyards located in Southern Romania, renowned for growing their grapes organically. If you don’t already know, the Antinori family has been well-known for its wineries in Tuscany, a booming wine business legacy that has flourished for over 600 years. The first-class wines made by Metamorfosis Winery has often been considered as the ‘Romanian’ version of the finer quality wines made in Tuscany. While it may sound like an overstatement, it is a matter of fact that both of these regions have some of the best terroirs that are very suitable for grape cultivation.

Liliac Wineries

Batos Village, Mures County
About the vineyeard
With an abundance of rich antiquity, delectable food, and remarkable wines, Transylvania is a historical region situated at the heart of Romania. Liliac Winery is a collaborative creation of the advanced winemaking processes of Austria and the deep cultural roots of grape farming in Transylvania. The hand-picked grapes and the innovative vinification technique adopted by the oenologists of Lilac Winery is what makes their wine so unique. With 52 hectares of two separate vineyards – Lechința and Batoș, the wine is made under optimum conditions which will best extract the flavor and fragrance from the grapes.

Bauer Winery

Dragasani, Valcea
About the vineyeard
Sited in the hills of Drăgășani vineyard, the Bauer Winery has some of the rarest varieties of wine to offer, which are grown in old plots of land. The vineyard of Bauer Winery is only a short walk away from Oliver’s personal abode and there’s no doubt in the fact that you will be met with amazing food and hospitality, including a taste of their best wines. The tour not only includes serving you with a proper glass of wine but to also fill in the wine enthusiasts with details about the quality and processing of the wine. Being a fairly small winery, the quality of the wines produced by Bauer Winery is top-notch. Instead of looking into what’s selling in the market, the winery opts for the ones which grow well in their vineyards, therefore producing the very best quality of grapes.
About the vineyeard
The story of the Basilescu Winery is a fascinating one that dates back to the 1900s. Aristide Basilescu (1892-1969) was a leading member of the Political Economy Department of the University of Bucharest, where his father, Nicolae Basilescu once used to be a dean of the Faculty of Law. About 100 years ago, somewhere between the years 1910-1921, Aristide Basilescu renovated an old Beer distillery and adapted it into a successful champagne business. The Basilescu Winery started being sponsored by the renowned champagne producer, Maison de Champaigne St. Marceau & Co. in the year 1928. This not only gave rise to its sales but also helped the winery to gain a good amount of fame due to its fine quality and taste of wine.

Davidescu Domains

Cahul, Slobozia Mare
About the vineyeard
Sited in the Southern region of Moldova, in the UNESCO protected natural heritage known as the Lower Prut Natural Reserve, stands the Davidescu Winery in Chioselia Mare which has been in business for over 20 years now. Owned by the Davidescu family, Illie Davidescu was very passionate about producing wine on his 18 hectares of land. His magical art of winemaking served the family for many years and there is no single one in that province who wasn’t a fan of his organically produced wines. His son, Vladimir Davidescu took over the family business afterward, keeping the legacy intact for several years to come.

Château Purcari

Purcari, Stefan-Voda
About the vineyeard
Famous for its deep ruby color in its dry red wines which are quite similar to the ones of Bordeaux, the history of Chateau Purcari Winery goes as back as the 12th century when Moldova had been gaining quite the fame for its delectable wines. After having seen the similarities in the soil of Purcari to the Bordeaux area, the French colonists began to grow exceptional qualities of grapes perfect for vintage wine bottles in the vineyards during the 18th century. The winery had gained quite a reputation because of the intense and complex flavors its wines had to offer, particularly the reds. Throughout the 18th century, the Purcari wines were relished by both Nicholas I & II, who were the Emperors of Russia during that time, as well as Queen Victoria of Great Britain. The wines also received gold medals two eras later at the Agricultural Bessarabian Fair.

Budureasca Winery

Gura Vadului, Prahova
About the vineyeard
Written about in prehistoric books of Ancient Greek poets or authors like Homer, Budureasca Winery is situated in the Southern Subcarpathians, in a portion of the Dealu Mare wine region of Muntenia. The centuries-old vineyard ranges out wide into 275 hectares of the estate, where around 250 hectares of it were replanted but the remaining 25 hectares of old climbers were kept untouched. Located at a primeval place, the wine culture of Budureasca Winery can be traced back to 2000 BC, during the Dacian times, when many great works of literature had mentioned the Budureasca Vineyards producing some of the great bottles of wine, far more superior than others manufactured locally.

Stirbey Winery

Dragasani, Valcea
About the vineyeard
Designed by an actual prince, Prince Barbu Alexandro Stirbey in the early 20th century, the wine cellar of the Stirbey Winery stands in the Stirbey Estate, where grapes cultivated from over 20 hectares of vineyards are fermented to make exquisite bottles of wine. The optimum conditions met in the Stirbey Estate is perfect for producing fine wines like Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, apart from other varieties of both red and white wines. The Stirbey Winery is over 300 years old, which has been well-maintained generation after generation to keep its winemaking legacy intact. The character of each bottle of wine is strongly built up from selecting the right variety of grape to the equal efforts of long hours put in by the workers of the Stirbey Winery.

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Romanian Currency – A Brief Cost Guide

The only currency used is the Romanian leu. Despite being a European country, euros are not accepted anywhere in Romania.

  • Set aside approximately 10 – 30 RON per day for attractions.
  • On average 50 – 60 RON for a dorm bed, or 120 RON for a room in a modest hotel.
  • Between 40 – 80 RON a day for food, depending on your appetite.

If you’re into luxury accommodation and expensive meals, these costs will be higher!

Tipping in Romania

Tipping is expected as Romanian waiters are paid a very low wage, so be sure to also factor this in when drawing up your budget.

Travel to Romania: A First-timers Guide

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