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Romanian wines worth seeking out

Darrel Joseph introduces Romania’s main regions and grapes, and selects his favourite wines...

It’s a little-understood wine nation with a long, if interrupted wine heritage, but decades of growing interest from foreign producers and a resurgence of domestic talent are seeing it rise again.

Wine from several Eastern European countries are – finally – attracting recognition and favour around the world with their authenticity, distinguished character and, especially, their ability to satisfy that desire for ‘something different’.

Romania is certainly one of those countries. Although mainly known for its easily approachable, good value wines produced in significant volumes by large wineries such as Cramele Recaş, Halewood and Jidvei, its more hidden side is now gaining real ground.

Impressively crafted wines from boutique and medium-sized estates are yielding distinction and depth, often featuring the most expressive native varieties.

Scroll down for Darrel’s top Romanian wines

There are only about 145 of these quality-focussed crame, or wine cellars, in Romania – a rather limited number, considering that there are nearly 180,000ha of vineyards dispersed throughout the country’s eight official main wine regions. But of those vineyards, almost 85,000ha are planted with an array of odd hybrid grapes, not the pure Vitis vinifera vines used by quality producers.

Darrel’s top Romanian wines to try:


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