We’re on a roll of bringing you new and exciting additions to our portfolio and we’ve no intention of stopping. This time we’re heading to Eastern Europe for some stand-out plonk from Romania!
In a competitive marketplace, every wine business is constantly looking for a point of difference. New varieties, unexpected places of origin, ballsy label design – do what you must to make an impact and separate yourself from the crowd.
Well, last month we brought you Japanese Wine, and now we’re introducing wine from Dracula’s own backyard: Romania.
Of course, the con with ‘new exciting regions’ narrative, is that often wine has been produced in these places for centuries, it’s just that nobody seemed to pay attention before… But here we are now, paying attention, and this is what we’ve got for you:
It’s not new… at all!
You might not think of Romania as a titan of winemaking, but they’ve been doing it for nearly 1000 years, and in pretty big volumes too! Romania is actually Europe’s 5th, 6th or 7th biggest producer of wine, depending on who you ask. Either way, it’s pretty significant. So why isn’t there more of it on the market?
It’s only fairly recently that the export market has opened up for Romanian wine, helped hugely by the country’s admittance to the EU in 2007, and the fact that many of Romania’s wineries are underdeveloped and not sufficiently equipped. These things take time to catch on, but we’re getting there. The other stumbling block is the age-old problem that it’s difficult to sell something customers can’t pronounce… With all the accents and unfamiliar back label copy, it’s not an easy one to fix. But American’s can’t pronounce ‘basil’ or ‘tomato’, and they still buy them so there’s hope for us all yet!
Ok, that’s enough from me. Here’s our Product Manager for Eastern Europe, Matt with the bit you actually want to read. What can you get your hands on?
Unusual grape varieties? Check! Organic? Check! Natural? Check! Nice packaging? Checkety-check-check! More important than ticking boxes however, the wines are great. Looking back at my notes from when I first tasted these, the word ‘compelling’ keeps appearing – these are unique and interesting wines that develop in the glass and hold your attention. Nachbil is located in Beltiug in the North-Western Transylvania region of Romania where they organically farm 23 ha of vineyard in excellent climatic conditions. The 300-year-old wine cellar sits next to a new winemaking facility, where all grapes are processed.
Since 2010, the vines have been tended without herbicide, pesticide and mineral fertilizers, and this minimal intervention approach is continued in the winery where they avoid additives such as cultured yeast and enzymes or other technical interventions. The only ingredient used in wine production at Nachbil is grapes. As everywhere, the soil and climate represent the foundation of viticulture. In Beltiug, there are different types of clays and a moderate warm climate ideal for grape vines, and with a wide range of plots, Nachbil has an assortment of microclimates to suit different varieties.