I’m about to open you up to my complete ignorance. You’ve got to understand that I’ve not travelled much in Eastern Europe, and I’ve never ever been to Romania. Before a couple of years back my entire repertoire of knowledge consisted of their football team bleaching their hair in 1998 and a bit of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Another upshot of being in the wine industry is that all this farcically poor level of knowledge can’t last forever!
Ready for a great stat? Romania is the 11th biggest wine producing country in the world! Ok, so it’s not exactly that exciting as a stat, but point being is that it’s one of the big players when it comes to production. It also goes to show that my own rubbish knowledge is even more painfully unforgiveable.
Luckily, at a recent PR day, I met a bloke called Mike Ritchie (a Master Of Wine to boot!) who was very kind and very patient with an absolute berk like me. He works for a company called Copestick Murray who import wines from Cramele Recas, a winery run by a Bristolian who’s lived in Romania with his wife since the early nineties.
If you’re looking for a quirky winery producing just 10,000 bottles a year from a shed up a hill somewhere, then this is not it. Cramele Recas is big business, but wine countries like Romania need this. They need a brand that’s going to get their wines on shelves round the world and start a buzz.
Their Pinot Noirs and Pinot Grigios are well made and popular with punters from Australia to America. But if you get a chance (and living in the UK you do have the chance!) you’ve got to try their indigenous grapes like Feteascã Neagrã, a red wine that shows off everything good about Romanian wine, and how great it can cope with spiced food too.
Thanks to Mike and the team at Clementine Coms for both the invite and the time to talk me through. Everyday’s a school day, but this one was better than most!
Try out Cramele Recas wines at amongst others Asda, Marks and Spencers, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose