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Bethlen Haller CastleTransylvania is one of Romania’s important winegrowing regions, highly appreciated on the European market. The fame of the region is not only given by the vast plantation areas, but also by the exceptional quality of the wines. Inside the Carpathian arch, grape vine crops are usually not very wide, but they are very well limited and the harvests are generous and quite diverse. In the vineyards of Transylvania, they usually grow white wine grape varieties out of which superior, flavored and refined wines are produced, all in original nuances. The region’s most appreciated liquors are Rhine Riesling, Furmint and Pink Traminer. Furthermore, the region ensures favorable conditions for obtaining champagne, sparkling wine and Romanian brandy (vin ars).

Transylvania maintains the vestiges of the old Dacian vineyards. You can learn the fascinating story of this tradition deeply rooted in the culture of the Romanian people if you visit the wine cellars around the vineyards. The seductive perfumes, the peaceful places and picturesque sceneries create the perfect frame for savoring liquors.

The Alba Iulia Vineyard

Alba Iulia VineyardsSituated at the heart of Ancient Dacia, Alba Iulia is one of the oldest vineyards in Romania, known since the 1st century B.C. Grape vine growing used to be so popular on Muresului Valley and the wine was so present in the lives of the Dacians that the great priest Deceneu decided to cut the grape vines. Later on however, the Romans revived the practice of wine-growing, introducing new varieties and superior means of production. The vine and grape-clusters were often used as ornaments to praise god Silvanus, protector of wine-growing. In the 12th century, German colonists extended grape vine crops and were in exchange pardoned from paying the tithe or the customs duty. In time, the Alba Iulia Vineyard received the name of ‘The Wine Country’, thanks to the superior liquors it produced, some of which were served at the wedding of king Matthias Corvinus himself.

At the two centers – Alba Iulia and Ighiu, golden, flavored and tonic wines are produced, wines of a balanced bouquet, like Riesling, Sauvignon, Traminer, Pinot Gris, Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Regala, Muscat Ottonel, Furmint, Grasa de Cotnari. The wine cellars in this area, used to process the grapes and deposit the wine, are definitely attractions you don’t have to miss on your trip in Transylvania.

The Târnave Vineyard

Bethlen Haller CastleBordered by the two rivers from which its name derives, Târnave is the biggest vineyard in the center of the country. Documentary attested in the 13th century, it encompasses the following viticultural centers: Blaj, Jidvei, MediaÈ™, Târnăveni, Valea Nirajului and Zagăr. Bălcaciu, Jidvei and Blaj were among the first wine production centers in Romania. Feteasca Regala, the most appreciated autochthonous variety was introduced in this region, close to Sighisoara, during the inter-war period. Initially named DÓ‘neÅŸana or the Ardeal Yellow, ‘the golden grape’ spread rapidly in the plantations, gaining worldwide recognition. Out of the wines produced at Târnave, the following stand out: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Muscat Ottonel, Feteasca Alba, Traminer roz, Furmint, all - liquors awarded at prestigious competitions.

Bethlen Haller CastleThe Jidvei Domain is the emblem of the Târnave Vineyard, as one of the biggest wine producers in the country activates here. The alternating temperatures specific for the intra-Carpathian  knobs favor the gradual accumulation of flavors and the obtaining of an exceptional balance. Keeping the Transylvanian tradition, at Jidvei they grow Rhine Riesling, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Neuburger, or Iordana. In the future, they want to grow red wine grape varieties, for limited editions. Wine tastings take place at Bethlen Haller Castle in Cetatea de Balta, a former nobiliary residence, with a history of over 400 years. In the baroque building surrounded by a monumental wall the champagne section functioned for a while. At the castle, in an atmosphere evoking the charm of long lost times you can savor intensely perfumed wines of unique flavors. Furthermore, the view opening over the vineyard invites you to go for a walk around the grape vines and to learn its stories.

* For details on the Jidvei Domain go to:

The Aiud Vineyard

Logos-Takács The Aiud Logos-Takács Vineyard holds an important place on the Transylvanian wine map. The vicinity of the Mures River and the crests of the Metaliferi Mountains protect the plantations from powerful winds, favoring the ripening of the grapes at leisure. In the Aiud and Ciumbrud vinicultural centers, liquors with a stricter character and with a higher dosage of acidity are obtained. In the Logos and Takács cellars one can taste white and corpulent wines, fresh and full of persistent aromas. If you visit the wineries in autumn, in the time of harvest, you can delight yourself with the flavored grains of Muscat Hamburg, Chasselas Doré and Perla de Csaba.

* For further details on Takács Winery:

The Transylvanian vineyards remain true to the old tradition of winemaking, reminiscent of the beginnings of this practice on the territory of our country. Sheltered by the Carpathian Mountains, the sweet and flavored grapes give birth to liquors of the highest quality, intense and balanced. Sebeș-Apold and Lechința are some other wine centers where noble wines are produced.

[An article written by Andreea Bertea]