history of wine

History of Romanian wine

Romania has one of the oldest wine making traditions in the world, it's viticulture dating back more than 6000 years. Between European countries, perhaps only Greece has an older tradition in wine making than Romania. Legends of these places say that the country was so rich in vineyards that it is believed that Dionysos, the god of wine, was born in Thracia, on what is nowadays the territory Dobrogea (South-East of Romania).

We invite you to learn about the past in order to be able to grasp the future of Romanian on the world's wine market.

The beginnings of viticulture in this part of the world go back at least 6,000 years. Legends of these places say that the country was so rich in vineyards that it is believed that Dionysos, the god of wine, was born in Thracia, on what is nowadays the territory Dobrogea (South-East of Romania).

Romania or Dacia as the Romans knew it, had a well-established wine culture. The
abundance of food and fame of the Dacian wines were so well-known and tempting that, to
put an end to the migratory peoples’ repeated invasions, the Dacian king Burebista (1st
century BC), ordered the destruction of all vineyards, as his high Priest Deceneu suggested.

The coins issued by Romans after having conquered Dacia (106 AD) or Dacia Felix (Happy
Dacia or Wealthy Dacia) as the new Roman province was called, presented a woman with 2 children, one of them holding grapes, a proof of the abundance of vineyards in Dacia.

In more recent times, the Romanian viticulture knew several distinct stages, each with its
specific impact upon the country's wine industry. Thus, the 19th century, right up to the outbreak of the First World War, was characterized by ample and close links with France. In the viticulture sector these links culminated with the French wine growers’ advice and practical help extended after the last two decades of the 19th century, when phylloxera hit Romania. The result was that much of the post phylloxera replanting was carried out using French vine varieties: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonay, Sauvignon Blanc and others.
The inter-war period was characterized by closer links to Germany and Austria, when the
"spritzer": wine mixed with sparkling mineral water (another local wealth) was introduced
in Romania.

During the communist rule (1948-1989), three distinct types of wine-producing organizations developed: research institutes, wine estates, and co-operative vineyards linked to state wineries. The emphasis was put on quantity rather than on quality. Nevertheless, the Romanian wines used to get many important awards in the international contests.

The liberalization of the economy after 1989 has led to a series of profound changes in the Romanian wine industry. The "co-operative" vineyards have been returned to their private owners and the research institutes currently strive to redefine their core role in the vine and wine sector.

 

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