Romania is located at the intersection of Central and Southern Europe and bordering the Black Sea. It has one of the oldest wine making traditions in the world, its viticulture dating back more than 6,000 years. Today, with a wine production of about 4.5 million hectolitres per year, it is the thirteenth largest wine producing country in the world. Since joining the European Union in 2007, Romania has re-launched its wine industry thanks to local and foreign investors, replanting hectares of vineyards and modernizing winery technology in order to increase the quality and diversity of wines produced.
ReVino—Wine regions of Romania
Location & Regions
Romania lies between the northern latitudes of 41 and 47 degrees, about the same latitudes as France. Its climate is continental with harsh winters and hot and dry summers although the Black sea and the Carpathian Mountains—which occupy almost half of the country and peak at about 8,000ft—offer some moderating inluences.
What makes Romania different from its Eastern European neighbors is its large domestic wine market and its strong wine drinking culture. Export markets are growing but still represent a small part of Romania’s wine sales.
There are 7 main wine regions: the Transylvania plateau (center of the country), Crisana along the Hungarian border, Moldova on the eastern side of the Carpathians, Muntenia and Oltenia in the Southern Carpathians, Banat at the border with Serbia, Dobrogea between the Danube abd the Black Sea, and the flat Danube Terraces along the Danube river.
Transylvania: almost exclusively a white wines producing region. Târnave is the oldest wine appellation in Transylvania with a cool climate due to its altitude and high humidity, producing cool, fruity white wines with good acidity.
Crisana: Located on Romania's western border with Hungary, Crisana has a temperate-continental climate and a significant Hungarian influence. Many of the red wines are made from Hungary's Kadarka (spelt Cadarka) and Pinot Noir. The best come from the historic Minis wine district.
Moldova: the oldest and most famous wine region of Romania is Cotnari in the Romanian Moldova. In the 19th century, its sweet wines were as famous as the wines from Tokaj. In Paris, Cotnari was known as the "Perle de la Moldavie". The region is currently undergoing a revival. Grasā de Cotnari is the most notable grape variety, capable of producing outstanding sweet wines.
Muntenia and Oltenia: located under the Southern Carpathians, Dealu Mare (“Big Hill”) is the historic wine region of the area. It enjoys a Mediterranean climate and produces mostly reds from Fetească Neagră, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir.
Banat: At the border with Serbia, it produces mainly basic table wines, mostly used for local consumption.
Dobrogea: the most important wine region in Dobrogea is Murfatlar, located just off the Black Sea. The region enjoys an average of 300 days of sunshine a year. It produces dry wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and the local Feteasca Negra for reds and Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling Italico, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat Ottinel for whites. It is also famous for its late harvest sweet wines.
Danube Terraces: located on the terraces of the Danube, the region mostly relies on the production of table grapes.
The most widely planted varietals are local varieties like the indigenous Fetească Albă, a twentieth-century crossing Fetească Regală and the red Fetească Neagră. They yield aromatic wines which can vary in sweetness level and quality.
Romania's most cultivated white grape varieties are Fetească Albă, Fetească Regală, Riesling, Aligoté, Sauvignon, Muscat, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Tămâioasă Românească, Grasă de Cotnari, and Galbenă de Odobești. Red grape varieties include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Băbească Neagră, Fetească Neagră, and Pinot Noir.