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According to the wine expert Tom Stevenson, "Of all the wine growing regions of Romania, Transilvania is perhaps the most exciting".
Transilvania's vineyards produce high-quality white-wines, combining perfectly the local-traditional methods with new technology, mostly German. The wines produced here are noble and also original, with nuances of taste and smell you can't find anywhere else in the world.
The importance of the Transylvanian wine-growing region is not given by the actual extent of the vineyards, which barely reach 14,000 hectares, but by the quality of the wines produced here, with particular noble and unique features, as well as by the enormous potential of the area for viticulture expansion. Vine growing is favored in these regions by a relief that seems to be specially destined for such purpose, consisting of endless hill slopes waiting to be covered with vineyards.
Not long before, each Transylvanian settlement had its own vineyards, perched even on steep slopes, with beautifully aligned rows flowing from top to bottom. From the yard of his parents’ house in Lancram, the eyes of the child Lucian Blaga (romanian poet) have been drawn by the “vine slope” on the eastern edge of the village. Most of these plantations disappeared due to the collectivization, because – as they were located and planted – only the vineyards’ owners could harvest them. Will such garden-vines ever reappear around villages? Will they ever reanimate the Transylvanian landscape? Let us hope so!
The Transylvanian vines are by no means widespread, yet the wines obtained here – well known and highly appreciated – have turned into products largely required for export and on the domestic market. Is there anyone who hasn’t experienced the Blaj and Jidvei wines or the Alba-Iulia and Apold sparkling wines? Is there anyone left who hasn’t been thrilled by their outstanding qualities?
Transylvania is situated in center of northern half of Romania (see the map), most of the territory being represented by a wide plateau surrounded from all sides by the Carpathian mountains.
History of the Region
Before loosing the Second World War, the Transilvanian villages were practically covered with small vine plantations, almost every inhabitant having his own small vineyard. However, after the war when the communists confiscated and nationalized the lands, growing private vineyards became almost impossible therefore the Transilvanian wine making entered in a decline phase which lasted until 1989, the fall of communism in Romania.
The vineyards of Transilvania are Târnave, Alba, Sebeş-Apold, Aiud, Lechinţa.
Grapes of Transylvania region
The grapes growing here are both old native grapes and new imported grapes. The most important are: Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Regala, Muscat Ottonel, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon, Pink Traminer, Italian Riesling, Neuburger, Riesling de Rin.