By Dan Teodorescu
When people think of regions around the world that are famous for their winemaking, the usual suspects that pop into everyone’s mind are classic European wine countries, such as France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, as well as more faraway lands like South Africa or Argentina.
However, those living in and around Bucharest don’t need to travel for thousands of miles to experience the pleasure of visiting wineries and tasting the fruits of their labor. Romania is one of the top wine-producing countries in the world and taking a day trip to any of these excellent wineries will definitely excite your taste buds and lift your spirit. Just make sure at least one of your companions is not as fond of wine and has a valid driver’s license.
The Dealu Mare wine region is located at the exact same latitude as the Bordeaux region in France and Italy’s Tuscany region, so it’s no wonder that it produces a wide variety of excellent wines. Located near Ploiesti and only an hour’s drive away from Bucharest, S.E.R.V.E. winery takes full advantage of its ideal soil and climate, with the result being some of the best wine in Romania and pretty much anywhere else.
The vineyard’s name is a Romanian acronym for “European-Romanian Society for Exceptional Wines” and their collection has a little something for everyone. With prices starting from as little as 6 euros, you’ll definitely be grabbing a few bottles of your favorites after the tasting, to enjoy at home.
Also located in the Dealu Mare wine region, LacertA Winery is a wonderful blend of classic and modern. Even the manor at the center of the vineyard, Conacul Dorobantu, is a symbol of that, having been built in 1901 and renovated in 2005 based on the original architectural plans. The wine itself is a product of old traditions and state of the art technology, while also being kept in special oak barrels for extra flavor.
LacertA is located about 100 km from Bucharest, making it suitable for day trips, team buildings, parties, and other business or social events. Visitors can taste from 20 different types of wine and explore the winery, while the experts at the wine shop can help you discover your new favorite wine.
You’ll find Domeniile Blaga vineyard just down the road from LacertA, so if you’re a fan of Dealu Mare wines you might as well spend a few days in the region and enjoy everything it can offer. Unlike some other names on our list, this one is relatively new, with the main wine cellar being built only a decade ago.
Nowadays it stretches over 50 hectares and produces up to 200 tons of wine per year. Over the past few years, they received numerous awards for their red and white wine varieties and they’re all available, both for tasting and for taking home.
Avincis Winery and Vineyard
Dragasani has been a famous wine region since ancient times and a taste of any of the Avincis wines will tell you exactly why. Visiting their winery and vineyard can take up to three hours from Bucharest, but it will definitely be worth your time. Visitors can not only experience a wide variety of locally-made red, white, and rosé wine but also enjoy the fascinating Vila Dobrușa estate.
Wine tastings include a pick of three or five wines, along with a snack and a tour of the estate. Although a visit to Avincis makes for a fine day trip, you should book a stay in the area and enjoy a few days of exploring the entire Dragasani area.
If you visited the Romanian seaside this summer by car, you may have noticed a futuristic-looking building on the right side of the road, right after passing the Cernavoda Bridge over the Danube. You’ll be happy to hear that it’s not some eccentric millionaire’s mansion, but the home of some of the finest wines in the region. You can get there in about an hour and a half, and you can be sure that the wines and the location will make it worth your time.
The wine tasting tour is carefully planned to properly introduce visitors to the winemaking process, taking them through the entire journey. After seeing how the wine is made, you will be treated to up to six wine varieties, along with carefully chosen cheeses and fruit. The breathtaking views alone are worth the trip.