In 2012, the total area planted with vines for wine in Romania was 181, 011 hectares , out of which approx. 95,000 ha were noble vine-bearing and 85.000 ha hybrid producing vine-bearing. There are also 60,000 ha in resting prior replanting, so the total area allocated to vines in Romania is approx. 240,000 ha. The total wine production was 4.05 million hectoliters, up by 23% compared to that of 2011. There are white grape varietals (84%) and red grape varietals (16%. 42% of total vineyards (as area) are located in the S-E of Romania. Each of the first five biggest Romanian wine producers has between 2,000 and 3,000 ha.
The bottled wine market in Romania is estimated at around 600 million Euros in 2012. Wine of fresh grapes, including fortified, were exported both in and outside the EU countries and totaled 7,000 tons. Annual average consumption of wine per capita is approx. 25 l.
WINE LAWS AND QUALITY CLASSIFICATIONS
1. The Romanian Quality Classification for wines consists in:
Table wines-are wines with minimum 8.5 % alcohol content, without a specified rule regarding the grapes or the region. This category represents 70 % from total national production.
Wines with geographical indication (IG):The harvest should be done when grapes offer minimum 179 gr of sugar/ liter; this wine is obtained from the grapes picked from the delimited area plantations. The alcohol level should be minimum 9,5% vol. for the wines obtained in the zone B and minimum 10,0% vol. for those in zone CI and CII. Alcohol should not be over 15% vol.
These wines are made from grapes produced by the vines from "Vitis vinifera" or a cross between "Vitis vinifera" and some other "Vitis" species. They are labeled under a grape variety name or a zone name, only if minimum 85 % of that grape variety or zone.
Wines with controlled origin (DOC)-are the equivalent of French AOC or Italian DOC. They are produced from grapes grown and used in wine making in a delimited area DOC and represent 30 % of the total national production.
According to the level of maturation of the grapes, these wines may be:
a) DOC-CMD, obtained from the grapes picked at the complete maturity (minimum 187 gr sugar/liter at harvest);
b) DOC-CT, obtained from the late harvested grapes (minimum 220 gr. sugar /liter);
c) DOC-CIB, obtained from the grapes worked with "noble mold" or picked when raisined (minimum 240 gr. of sugar/liter).
2. DOC and IG appelations
- 32 controlled denomination of origin (DOC) for still wines:Târnave, Alba Iulia, Sebeş-Apold, Aiud, Lechinţa, Cotnari, Iaşi, Bohotin, Huşi, Iana, Dealu Bujorului, Nicoreşti, Panciu, Odobeşti, Coteşti, Cernăteşti-Podgoria, Dealu Mare, Pietroasa, Ştefăneşti, Sâmbureşti, Drăgăşani, Banu Mărăcine, Segarcea, Mehedinţi, Recaş, Banat, Miniş, Crişana, Murfatlar, Babadag, Sarica Niculiţel, Oltina.
- 10 controlled denomination of origin for sparkling wines: Târnave, Alba Iulia, Sebeş-Apold, Iaşi, Bucium, Huşi, Panciu, Dealu Mare, Şimleul Silvaniei, Murfatlar.
- 12 geographical indications (IG) for still wines: The Hills of Transilvania, The Hills of Moldova, The Hills of Vrancea, The Hills of Muntenia, The Hills of Oltenia, The vineyards of Caraş, The Vineyards of Timiş, The Hills of Zarand, The Hills of Crişana, The Hills of Sătmar, Colinele Dobrogei, The Terrasses of the Danube.
MAJOR GRAPE VARIETALS
There are both local and international varietals in Romania. Over the years, cepages or assemblages produced have gained international recognition in major wine events. Most popular whites are White and Royal Feteasca, both reaching together about 20% of the white varietals. Merlot represents approx. 40% of the reds. Varietals (Romanian grapes) currently used in Romania for wine production are listed below:
WHITE: FETEASCA ALBA, FETEASCA REGALA, GRASA, TAMAIOASA ROMANEASCA, FRANCUSA, SARBA, ZGHIHARA, CRAMPOSIE, MUSTOASA, GALBENA, BABEASCA GRI.
ROSÉ: BUSUOACA DE BOHOTIN
RED: FETEASCA NEAGRA, BABEASCA NEAGRA, NOVAC, NEGRU DE DRAGASANI