Tasting a wine is a multisensory activity, with the final perception being influenced by what we see, feel or hear, as well as by what we smell or taste. The place in which we are and the emotions we feel also contribute to the experience generated in that moment.
Author: Alina Iancu
© Rafi Photografy
Author: Alina Iancu© Rafi Photografy
© Alina Iancu
Visiting a winery includes the presentation of the technological process, followed by a guided wine tasting and a stroll in the vineyard. Pairings with food or or vertical tastings of selection or reserve wines could also be offered, whenever the wineries have such products in their portfolio. For an unforgettable experience with focus on social interaction and on discovering the wine’s secrets, a group of 10-20 people is ideal. The number of tasted wines can vary as well, though usually, it is opted for 5 – 6 labels from a winery.
In the past years, Romanian wineries aligned with international trends. As a result, they offer a series of additional reasons to travel directly to where wine is produced. At each winery, one can find a story and wines that are worth exploring and tasting, and the neighboring scenery often makes the difference. The image of the vineyard that leaves the cities and climbs the surrounding hills delights guests, who fall in love forever with these places and return every time they get the chance.
Over 80 wineries from all wine-growing regions practice wine tourism but just a small number offer accommodation. Therefore, frequently the housing suggestions are oriented towards nearby hotels and guest houses.
Wine-growing regions such as Dealu Mare or Drăgășani are closest to Bucharest, being also the most compact areas and best prepared to receive tourists. Near Timișoara, Cluj-Napoca, Târgu-Mureș, Alba Iulia, Iași, Focșani, Constanța as well as other cities, the experiences offered by the wineries can be similarly welcoming.
In developed countries, wine routes are more easily accessed due to the infrastructure, the already accumulated experience, the accommodation, as well as the common promotion of the wine associations or at national level. From one area to another, locally and internationally, depending on the history of wine cellars and their membership in various associations, wine tourism can represent different experiences. A visit to the wine cellar can include an entire tour of the area, even visiting other nearby sights of interest. In addition, places with a tradition of generations can offer premium tastings, with vintage (collection) wines and vertical tastings presented by their owners or their enologists.
In spite of Romania having a long history in wine, local tourism represents a rather recent phenomenon, that took off in the past 10 years. Be it undertaken by Romanians or foreigners, it has the purpose to inform and educate and it can significantly contribute to increasing the consumption of locally produced wines, both on the local and international market. It’s also a factor that might spur the number of foreign tourists visiting our country. Another extremely important element to put us in the spotlight is given by the presence of our local varieties. Small and medium producers that receive tourists sell between 10% and 30% of total production directly at the winery, a factor which reduces other promotion related expenses and helps secure customer loyalty.
Guest Author: ALINA IANCU