Touring vineyards and tasting from the barrel is any wine lover’s dream getaway. But why not try a winery off the beaten track?
Romania isn’t a country that tops many oenophile’s bucket lists. While it may be better known for its brutalist architecture and gothic horror, this little-visited eastern European escape is hiding a corker of a secret.
It’s a nation with a surprisingly rich heritage in wine, food and culture. So it’s high time you made like the country’s most famous Count, and sunk your teeth into the luxury Romania has to offer.
Does Romania really do wine?
Summer in Romania is far from the dark, stormy nightmare painted by Bram Stoker. On the same latitude as Bordeaux, and with a mineral-rich soil, it’s an ideal location to grow many varieties of vines. The nation also enjoys long and languid autumns, which allows grapes to develop rich flavours as they ripen slowly.
And grow grapes they do. Vineyards have dated back even to before the Soviet Era, and today the founder of specialist wine importer Wanderlust Wine, Richard Ellison, has decided that Romania presents a perfect business opportunity.
With 191,000 hectares under vine — the most in Eastern Europe — there is more wine coming out of this country than you’d expect. They’re actually the thirteenth-largest wine producer in the world, and produced almost half a billion bottles last year alone.
Ellison has found what he believes to be the finest vineyard in Romania to source wine from, Dagon Clan, and is now importing them back to Britain for us to enjoy. He invited Gentleman’s Journal out to Eastern Europe to see just how good the wine is.