1. Please tell us about who you are and what you do.
My name is Andreea Micu and I am a lawyer, a children’s book writer and one of the owners of the AVINCIS winery in Drăgășani.
AVINCIS Winery is a unique concept by its architectural design, its family concept and by the identity of the local grape varieties that it grows, based on a strong tradition of Dragasani – one of the famous wine regions of Romania.
VILA DOBRUSA ESTATE – the home of the AVINCIS winery, opened its doors to the wine lovers in the summer of 2011 and is composed by the family old manor, a modern wine cellar, 43 hectares of vineyard, several hectares of forest and a landscape design.
The estate offers unique wine experiences, where you can book a tourist stay, with meals included and wine tastings, a tour of the wine cellar and vineyard walks.
2. Share your backstory with us. How did your business or organisation come about and what was it that switched you on to this area in the first place?
AVINCIS is the continuation of a family story, with passion for wines that started in 1927, when Maria and Iancu Râmniceanu, my mother Cristiana’s great -grandparents, bought in Dragașani a mansion in pure neo-Romanian style, inspired by the architecture of the Brâncoveni foundations, surrounded by vineyards.
In 2007, my parents Cristiana and Valeriu Stoica, returned to the family estate and decided to restore the family mansion and restore the charm of the old vineyards. The year 2007 is practically the year of the establishment of the company AVINCIS VINURI SRL.
The passion for wine has been passed down from generation to generation from my great-grandparents who made wine, then continued with my parents who initiated and developed the AVINCIS project in which I joined and completed it with the part of wine tourism.
3. What do you think or hope the future has in store for you and your business? Where do you see yourself or your organisation five years from now?
For the next years to come, AVINCIS plans include the brand consolidation on the local market by the increase in quality of the existing wines with emphasis on the very promising local varieties, as well as the launching of new products, responding to the preferences and orientation of the new generation of wine consumers. The wine tourism and local gastronomy for its visitors is something to which AVINCIS is looking forward to have them offered at high standards. Not last, AVINCIS is working to develop the export market and the sales to EU countries, from its current destinations, like Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Japan, to new ones (USA, Canada, Nordic countries). And, of course, the continuation of its cultural projects, remain a continuous target, since wine represents for Romanians, not only a drink, but also a cultural asset.
4. How has lockdown been for you and for your business and what have you done that has helped you personally and professionally?
For me personally it was a very challenging period since I had to stay busy and connected with work but at the same time I had to respond actively to the daily requirements of my family.
The positive part of this lockdown was that I had more free time for individual activities like cultural activities, reading, music, writing and sport.
As regards the business, the consequences of the lockdown were the interruption of the wine tourism activities and the decrease of sales and cash flow.
During the lockdown our main target was to focus and increase the sales in the retail and online sectors of the market.
I personally remained in permanent contact with the team from the winery as we tried to draft some new projects for the wine tourism but also for the increase of sales.
I also have good news after this difficult period as I am proud to announce that two of our premium wines were awarded with gold medals at the IWCB International Wine Contest held in Bucharest: Cuveé Alexis – Rosé 2019 and Cuveé Andrei – Cabernet Sauvignon 2016!
5. What’s your take on Bucharest and Romania. What are the highs and the lows in your opinion?
Both Bucharest and Romania have a lot to offer from the cultural and human point of view.
There are permanent business opportunities and uncovered areas.
As regards the lows, I would like to mention the heavy traffic, the permanent disorder and the inconsistent authorities permanently changing the laws and regulations.
6. What is your must do/must visit/favorite thing to do or show off to visitors here in Bucharest and Romania at large?
As we all know Bucharest was nicknamed “Little Paris” and for good reason. Tourists visiting Bucharest should not miss the Village Museum, the Romanian Athenaeum, the Peasant Museum, the Palace of Parliament, the second-largest building in the world (after the Pentagon) and also the Old Center.
For Romania at large, visitors should not miss the Danube Delta – the only natural area from Romania included in Unesco World Heritage in 1991. It is the place where the Danube River ends it’s journey through Europe and flows into the Black Sea. It is a true paradise for those who love nature, wildlife, birdwatching, remote villages and simplicity of life.
Uncovering the Romanian Carpathian mountains is also a unique experience due to their diversity, wilderness and breathtaking landscapes.
7. What is your number 1 recommendation now for a book/film/series/app/ or gadget?
The best novel I read in the last few years is “Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” a novel written in 2015 by the Russian author Guzel Yakhina. It describes the lives of various people, including the titular protagonist, struggling to survive in exile in Siberia from 1930 to 1946.
The books written by Andre Aciman, “Call Me By Your Name” and “Find Me”, are always a good choice.
Watching a series takes a lot of time so not for me !
8. If you could eat in any restaurant in all of Romania and have dinner with anyone in the world (not a husband/wife/relative) which restaurant would that be and with which person?
Even if it is not a restaurant in the true sense of the word, I would very much like to have dinner with HM Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom at the AVINCIS winery!
She is the symbol of resistance, nobleness and respect for the duty she has towards her country.
9. Sum up your business in one sentence, what it is and why should people engage with it.
AVINCIS is the symbol of rebirth for the Romanian wine, under the sign of tradition and modernity. One of the meanings of AVINCIS comes from the association of the AVINCIS brand with the latin verb „vinco, vincere” — to win. In other words, the person tasting our wines will overcome all difficulties and will enjoy only victories.
10. Describe your Romania in one word.