It’s time to admit – we like good wine very much. However, we are not experts. We know what we like, but until our trip to Romania (check out our posts: Bucharest travel guide and Transylvania – 3 brilliant locations), we did not know much about grape varieties or the process of wine production. It was in Romania that we went on a trip to the area of vineyards, and more specifically to the Lacerta vineyard, to try local wines and learn a lot more about them. You can easily go to a restaurant for wine tasting, so why visit the winery?
Grape fields are an extremely picturesque view. Often the grapes are planted on slightly mountainous terrain, so with a bit of luck and good weather you can see the terraces of grapes surrounded by the blue sky with fluffy clouds or bathed in the golden, setting sun.
Did you know why roses are planted near the rows of vineyards? Or why does the origin of oak for barrel matter? We didn’t, however, our guide from the Lacerta winery answered these questions and told many other fascinating facts.
During such a walk, you learn everything from the stage of planting and caring for the vines, through the gathering and selection of grapes, to the production, storage and evaluation of wine. Thanks to this we can tell you that the roses are planted next to the grapes because they are the first to show symptoms of diseases. It gives the vineyard’s employees a signal and time to react.
We learned that the grapes are picked and selected by hand to maintain the highest standard of the final product. We saw the hall in which the selection takes place and from which later the grapes reach the separating machine. Interestingly they use gravity to transport the grapes to the tanks placed in the basement. What else was very interesting, white wine can also be made of red grapes – then the skin of red grapes is completely removed.
At a later stage of production, the wine matures in steel and later in wooden barrels. Wood is very important and gives the wine a distinctive taste. Each barrel differently affects them – they can all be made of oak, but the country of the oak’s origin and the age of the barrel matters significantly.
We also saw the process of bottling and labelling, as well as a storage place where wine is waiting for its journey to different countries.
Trying a wine from a wooden barrel? Priceless! Tasting wine in cellars, from metal or wooden barrels, gives a lot of satisfaction. You can then compare the tastes of wine from the same grape variety, but stored differently. You walk around the entire complex with glass and try various wines. In the end, you can enjoy selected wines on the first floor of the complex, from which you see the magical views of the grape fields. You drink wine while chewing on a local cheese or ham and you want to stay in a vineyard for a minimum of a week!
After tasting, you already know which wine tastes the best and you can buy it straight from the producer! We love to bring local products from our travels, such as wine, cheese or sweets. The price is attractive, so you are happy to return home and then recall your trip accompanied by a glass of good wine.
In Romania, you can find vineyards practically everywhere, so there are many that you can visit. Lacerta Vineyard is located in the area of Muntenia. Many Muntenia vineyards are located on the south-eastern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains in the northern part of the region. Muntenia is warmer than Moldova and Transylvania and has a good microclimate for dry red wines from the
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