Romania, a country of myriad facets, harbors an equally rich and diverse wine industry.


Despite being relatively unknown on the global stage, Romania boasts a vineyard with promising potential that deserves exploration. In this article, we will delve into the centuries-old history and enchanting landscapes of Romania’s vineyards, while highlighting the exciting opportunities that oenotourism presents in this captivating nation.

A Remarkable Viticultural History

The Romanian tradition of winemaking dates back millennia. The earliest traces of viticulture can be traced to antiquity when the Greeks colonized the shores of the Black Sea over 2,700 years ago. Since then, Romanian viticulture has experienced both highs and lows, yet has consistently flourished despite challenges.

During the Middle Ages and modern era, the presence of German settlers in southern Transylvania greatly influenced Romanian winemaking. These settlers introduced Germanic grape varieties such as welschriesling and traminer, along with their penchant for off-dry white wines. However, it was after the phylloxera crisis in the late 19th century that the Romanian wine industry took a decisive turn. The introduction of new French grape varieties, such as sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, and pinot noir, enabled Romanian vintners to produce higher quality wines.

Exceptional Viticultural Regions

Romania is divided into eight wine regions, each offering its own unique characteristics. Among the most renowned regions are:


Nestled in the heart of Romania, Transylvania, famous for its picturesque landscapes and medieval castles, also stands out as a burgeoning wine region. Transylvania’s vineyards cultivate grape varieties like cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, merlot, and Italian riesling. Transylvanian wines are prized for their freshness and elegance.

Walachia (Valachia)

Situated in southern Romania, Walachia is renowned for its powerful red wines, crafted from grape varieties such as pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon. This region is also celebrated for its off-dry white wines, crafted from grape varieties like fetească albă and Italian riesling.


Moldova, Romania’s largest wine region, covers a vast portion of the country’s eastern territory. This region is characterized by its diverse soils and climatic conditions, facilitating the production of a wide variety of wines. Notable vineyards in Moldova include Cotnari, renowned for its dessert wines made from the grasa grape, and Panciu, acclaimed for its refreshing white wines.


The Richness of Romanian Grape Varieties

Romania boasts an abundance of native and international grape varieties that contribute to the diversity and complexity of its wines. Here are some of the most prized grape varieties:

White Grape Varieties
– Chardonnay: Widely cultivated in Romania, this international grape variety yields dry and aromatic white wines.
– Riesling: While different from traditional riesling, Italian riesling is used to produce moderately high-quality white wines in Romania.
– Sauvignon Blanc: A popular white grape variety producing fresh and fruity wines.
– Muscat Ottonel: An aromatic grape variety used to create sweet white wines with floral aromas.
– Fetească Albă: A native grape variety yielding dry white wines with lively acidity and delicate aromas.

Red Grape Varieties
– Fetească Neagră: A native grape variety producing robust and age-worthy red wines.
– Babeasca: A black grape variety imparting red wines with a distinctive herbal flavor.

Thriving Wine Tourism

Wine tourism is on the rise in Romania, offering visitors the opportunity to explore the picturesque vineyards of the country and savor its unique wines. Many wineries and vineyards welcome visitors, offering wine tastings, guided vineyard tours, and experiences of sampling local cuisine.

Romania also boasts breathtaking landscapes and tourist attractions near its wine regions. Visitors can explore the medieval castles of Transylvania, the monasteries of Bucovina, or the Carpathian Mountains.

Romania remains an undiscovered gem in the wine industry. With its diverse vineyards and unique grape varieties, it offers a rewarding oenotourism experience for wine enthusiasts worldwide. Whether captivated by the fresh white wines of Transylvania, the powerful reds of Walachia, or the dessert wines of Cotnari, Romania promises an unforgettable sensory journey. So, embark on this fascinating adventure and let yourself be enchanted by the splendor of its vineyards and the generosity of its wines.

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