The Wine Land Romania

The Wine Land Romania

Immerse yourself in the local wine culture, taste Romania`s most renowned producers, eat memorable meals and enjoy the extremely special accommodation sites – old manors or boutique hotels – in an exquisite wine tour.

Winegrowing is a traditional activity in Romania, favored by the country’s position in Southeastern Europe, its proximity to the Black Sea, by its soils and climate. Romania can be considered a European winehouse, along with France, Italy, Spain and Germany.

Throughout the following centuries, winegrowing continued to be a basic activity for the indigenous population. Winegrowers and vineyard owners perfected their art and gained international fame.World-renown vineyards include nowadays: Drăgășani, Dealu Mare, Odobești, Cotești, Cotnari, Târnavele; famous Romanian wines: Grasa, Tămâioasa, Babeasca, Busuioaca, Feteasca Alba, etc.

By the end of 1998, vineyards covered about 250,000 hectares of land, making Romania the 12th biggest wine producer in the world.

Be a local in Romania!

  1. Spend a couple of hours with the locals in a vineyard – in spring, during vine cutting or in the fall, during grape picking and wine mash preparation!
  2. Visit a pottery shop in Horezu and make your own jug and mug to serve your wine!
  3. Take a walk through the narrow, cobblestreets in medieval Sighișoara, all the way to the Church Up the Hill!

Day 1: Bucharest – Ştefănești vineyards – Curtea de Argeș – Măldărești (270 km)

Departure by bus from Bucharest to Măldărești. We first stop at Ştefanesti vineyards, just 10 km away from the city Pitești, where you`ll experience your first wine tasting. The main types of grapes produce high quality white wines like Italian Riesling, Feteasca Regală, Feteasca Albă, Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, Tămâioasa Românească, Muscat Ottonel, but also richly colore red wines – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot; Feteasca Neagră, Burgund Mare.

In the 13th century Curtea de Argeș was the court of voivode Seneslau; his son, Basarab, created Wallachia and declared Curtea de Argeș its capital. We make here a panoramic tour, passing by The Royal Court (Curtea Domnească), Curtea de Argeș Monastery and the Princely Church, which, together with the Royal Court formed the biggest medieval building complex in Romania 650 years ago. It is also the oldest standing metropolitan cathedral in Romania.

Lunch on your own at a local restaurant.

Just 80 km away from Curtea de Argeș is Horezu – acknowledged as a special pottery site. Romania features on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage thanks to the Călușari Ritual , the Doina (a traditional musical tune) and the Horezu pottery.

The day will end in Măldărești village. Dinner and accommodation at Conacul lui Maldăr  http://conaculmaldar.ro or at similar location.

Day 2: Măldărești –– Sibiu – Sibiel – Alba Iulia (250 km)

The day starts with a visit at Măldăresti Museum Complex. Displaying boyar manors called “culas” the museum offers an example of 16th to 18th century typical architecture for the north of Oltenia region.

We continue our tour  to Sibiu  – the 2007 European Cultural Capital. The fortress of Sibiu or Hermannstadt, as it is remembered in European culture, has always been the most important German center in Transylvania.

A walk through Sibiu starts from Piața Mare (the Great Market) and passes by many historical edifices–the Bruckenthal National Museum, the History Museum, the Huet Plaza with the Evangelical Cathedral, the Staircase Tower, Sfatului Tower  and many others.

Lunch on your own at a local restaurant.

On our way to Alba-Iulia, short break in Sibiel – a charming village, famous for its glass painted icons, hosting the biggest collection of its kind in Transylvania.

Dinner and accommodation at Medieval Hotel www.hotel-medieval.ro in Alba Iulia or at similar locations.

Day 3: Alba Iulia – Blaj –Jidvei- Sighișoara (135 km)

Start the day exploring Alba Iulia – the city displaying one of the greatest European Habsburg fortresses and the first capital of the three Romanian provinces - where we visit the White Caroline Citadel and The Orthodox Unification Cathedral which was built to honor Transylvania’s unification with Romania.

Lunch on your own at a local restaurant.

Departure from Alba Iulia to Cetatea de Baltă where you will become more familiar with Jidvei wines. They originate from the Târnave Vineyard, located between Târnava Mică and Târnava Mare rivers. Types of wine produced here include: Fetească Regală, Italian Riesling, Pinot Gris and Muscat Ottonel.

To find out more about these wines, we will visit Jidvei Castle or the fortress Cetatea de Balta, located in the village Cetatea de Balta on Târnava Mare river. It was built in the 12th century and was extended in the 14th century; it was documented as a royal fortress used by Transylvanian vice-vaivodes. After our tour we will experience a tasting of Jidvei wines.

Our next stop is Sighișoara . With its still standing protection walls, it is the best preserved medieval city in Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In its times of glory it displayed 14 towers (only 9 remain today) and 3 rows of protective walls. We will pass by The Clock Tower, The Venetian House , The house of Vlad Tepes, The wooden Şcolarilor Staircase.

Dinner and accommodation at Hotel Cavaler 4* http://hotelcavaler.ro in Sighișoara or at similar locations.

Day 4: Sighișoara – Viscri – Brașov – Bran – Azuga - Sinaia (213 km)

We depart early in the morning from Sighișoara. Our first stop is Viscri – one  of Romania’s most famous destinations, promoted by Prince Charles himself as a fairy tale land. The village is dominated by a magnificent fortified church, dating back to 1100 AD, one of the oldest in Transylvania, among the six of its kind included on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Our next stop is  Brașov – one of the greatest German cities in Transylvania. The city’s central point is Piața Sfatului, from where you can visit the urban highlights: The city’s central point is Piața Sfatului, from where you can go to: the Black Church (the White Tower – part of the city fortifications, The Black Tower, Schei Gate – one of the two gates (the other one – Catherine’s Gate) – separated the German city from the Romanian population in Schei village; Catherine’s Gate, The Street of the Cord (Strada Sforii) – one of the city’s curiosities, it is considered the narrowest street in Eastern Europe, the old walls beneath Tampa; the first Romanian school which became a cultural centre and home of the first chronicles in Romanian, the first book of Romanian grammar, Republicii Street – a walking street with bakeries and restaurants opened in gorgeous 18th and 19th century buildings.

Lunch on your own at a local restaurant in Brașov.

This day also includes a visit Bran castle and  a wine tasting at Rhein wine cellars. Bran Castle  became famous after the Irish writer, Bram Stoker, called it Dracula’s Castle; it was first documented in 1377. Today, it hosts the Bran Museum, displaying ceramics, furniture, weapons and armors. In the evening we visit  the Rhein wine cellars in Azuga where we enjoy a wine tasting and a traditional dinner after this long, but pleasant day. Built in 1892, Rhein and CIE Azuga wine cellars, a name inspired by the Roman vineyards by the Rhein river, have been, until 1945, official wine providers of the Romanian Royal Family. The main attraction is the actual production process which brings you into the cellar, at quite a low air temperature. The procedure itself is expensive, given that most of the work is manual. Pay attention to the various phases the wine must go through to finally become the Prahova Valley champagne. Aside from this, discover the small museum displaying installations, photographs and labels from the beginnings of the Rhein family business.

Not far from Azuga is located a well known mountain resort, Sinaia.  Accommodation at Hotel International 4* www.international-sinaia.ro in Sinaia or in a similar location.

Day 5: Sinaia - Valea Călugărească - Urlați (87 km)

Sinaia emerged especially after King Charles the First built his summer palace here – Peleș Castle – after he was enthroned in 1866. Afterwards, the Pelișor, the Guardians’s, the Economat, the Foișor Hounting House, the Stables, the Electrical Factory and Şipot Mansion were built in the surroundings. Peleș was the first palace completely electrified in Europe, due to the electricity plant on Peleș Creek, amazed international audiences with its interior elevator, vacuum cleaners and central heating. Today, Peleș Castle is a museum and 35% of its total surface of 3200 sq meters, 170 rooms and 30 bathrooms are opened to visitors. We will pass by the Pelisor Castle, Sinaia Monastery and Nicolae Iorga`s mansion.

Sinaia got its name from Sinaia Monastery, a 17th century worship place built by Wallachian ruler Mihai Cantacuzino, in the aftermath of his pilgrimage to St. Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai Mountain. Nicolae Iorga’s mansion is also here. Important people lived their last days here: king Charles the First, Ferdinand the First, Queen Mary of Romania.

Lunch on your own at a local restaurant in Sinaia.

We continue our journey by visiting Dealul Mare vineyard, one of the most famous Romanian wine regions, the largest and best organized among its kind, offering some of the most varied types of high-quality Romanian wines, like Pinot Noir, Fetească Neagră, as well as white wines like Pinot Gris and Sauvignon. Annually, at the end of September, the place hosts the Wine Festival – the biggest wine producer fair in Dealul Mare and the entire country – for which the locals put on their best traditional clothing.We will not leave Valea Călugărească without having  a Dealu` Mare wine tasting.

Dinner and accommodation at Conacul dintre Vii www.conaculdintrevii.ro or Casa Seciu www.casaseciu.ro or similar.

Day 6: Urlați – Odobești - Panciu - Bucharest (395 km)

Today we visit the Panciu-Odobești vineyard, one of the biggest and oldest in Romania. Vrancea county holds century-old legends about wine, dating back from Stephen the Great’s reign. The region is also unique through its scenic famous vineyards. In either Panciu, Odobești or Cotești, you will discover a rich history of wine production and ageing. Starting from the Stephen the Great cellars in Panciu, the tour of vineyards in Vrancea is followed by Odobești vineyard, stretching across the Măgura Odobești hills. Here, Beciul Domnesc domain was listed in the National Heritage Tourism Register as well on the UNESCO list.

The Panciu vineyard is known as the land of champagne. But its white and red wines are as remarkable as the liquor produced through the Champenoise method: Feteasca Albă, Feteasca Regală, Cramposie – an old Romanian wine; Feteasca Neagră – one of the oldest  in Romania, cultivated by the Dacians in Moldavia; Băbeasca Neagră – a local Romanian type of grape. Odobești vineyard is one of the most famous and oldest in Romania and the earliest documents about it date back to the 17th century. By far, the most famous wine is Galbena de Odobești, produced from a Romanian type of grape that can be found only locally.

Wine tasting and lunch at Panciu/Odobești.

Return to Bucharest. Dinner on your own. Accommodation at Hotel Moxa www.hotelmoxa.com or at similar locations.

Day 7: Departure from Bucharest. Breakfast and transfer from hotel to the airport Otopeni and farewell.

PRICES

Group size Tarif per person based on double occupancy Single room supplement Observation
15-18 persons 685  EUR 180 EUR Transport by 19seater minibus
8-14 persons 770  EUR 180 EUR Transport by 19seater minibus
6-7 persons 875  EUR 180 EUR Transport by 8seater minivan

Price / person is based on double occupancy. The prices are calculated per person and in Euros. The given rates may vary slightly in 2015.

INCLUDED SERVICES:

-       6 overnights based on double occupancy at guesthouse or hotels 4*

-       6 breakfasts

-       5 dinners - set menu (3 course dinner including including jugs of tap water)

-       1 lunch on day 6 at a Odobești/Panciu wine cellars (3 course meal, including jugs of tap water)

-       English speaking local guide from day 1 to day 6

-       Private transport by minibus from day 1 to day 7, according with the above program

-       Wine tasting (3 types of wine) at 5 famous wine cellars: Ştefănești, Jidvei, Rhein, Valea Călugărească, Odobești / Panciu

-       Entrance fees for Curtea de Argeș Monastery, Măldărești Museum; Alba Iulia: The Orthodox Unification Cathedral; Black Church and the first Romanian school in Brașov;  Bran Castle and Peleș Castle (standard tour)

-       Brief Romania travel guide with useful information

NOT INCLUDED:

-       Air travel

-       Entrance fees  - other than those mentioned at „Included”

-       Medical insurance

Note:

Optional activities will be charged additional. The guide will assist you with all necessary information.

Depending on when you’re visiting Romania, you can take part in other local social and cultural events: weddings, traditional dancing and singing festivals, church celebrations, artisan reunions, etc.

The daily schedule can change according to the weather, to local social and cultural events, without any fundamental change to the program’s structure.

 

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