The SOMM Journal

August / September 2016

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Page 11 of 148

Campaign financed with the participation of European Union and Romania Campaign financed with the participation of European Union and Romania JIDVEI ... from the Heart of Transylvania Slopes situated at 400–600 meters altude and a variety of soils ranging from forest brown to river-bank. Connental-plateau climate with average annual temperature of 48.2 Fahrenheit and rainfall of 650 mm. DOC Jidvei wines come from the heart of Transylvania and represent the perfect blend between tradion and innovaon. When it comes to wines, Romania is one of the world's best kept secrets. It has a vine growing history of 4,000 years, which makes it textbook "Old World," while its current producon capabilies place it as the fifth largest winegrowing country in Europe. So you might ask: "How come I've never heard about it?" The answer lies in Romanian wine's huge popularity right inside its own borders. But as everything becomes more accessible—from infor- mation to travel destinations—wine markets get more global. And it is in this global environment that Romanian wines are starting to gain international recognition and even market share. Situated in southeastern Europe, on the 45° parallel, Romania offers the perfect conditions for vine growing. Its wine origin system, similar to the French AOC, divides Romania into several Denomination of Controlled Origins (DOC) which offer a huge diversity when it comes to its wines: from the strong, tannic reds of the hotter-climate Southern areas to the intensely aromatic whites of the cooler Northern areas. But even for those who have never heard of Romania, there is one region that sounds familiar: Transylvania. And it is right in the heart of Transylvania that we find one of the oldest wine regions in Europe: Tarnave, the birthplace of Jidvei wines. With a documented vine growing history dating back to the year 600 b.c., the Tarnave region started rising to its potential in the 12th century with the arrival in the area of Saxon settlers, who brought with them their expertise as well as grape varieties from their homelands in the Rhine and Mosel valleys—and the Tarnave terroir proved to be their perfect match. Sheltered by the Carpathian Mountains, the area's dry summers and long autumns with foggy mornings and sunny afternoons comple - ment the area's cool climate, while the higher altitude is perfectly balanced by the slopes with southern and southeastern exposure. While not an ideal place for black grapes varieties, which can strug- gle to ripen fully and thus fail to provide powerful, bold red wines, the Tarnave region does deliver refreshing rosés and excellent traditional method sparkling wines. But it especially represents the perfect terroir for white varieties: from the versatile Chardonnay to the aromatic Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer, from the neutral, but always refreshing, Pinot Grigio to the perfumed Muscat Ottonel, the Tarnave region has it all. And for the adventurous ones, the native Romanian varieties Feteasca Alba and Feteasca Regala can really give a fresh perspective on the word "Transylvania."

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