The Dealu Mare wine region, situated in the southern part of Romania across Prahova and Buzau counties, is renowned for its high-quality wines, particularly its red varieties. This region, often compared to Bordeaux and Tuscany due to its latitude of 45°, stretches over 65 kilometers across the southern Carpathian Hills and is considered one of Romania’s most important wine regions. The production of bio wine is still at the very beginning, but more and more wineries start to invest in organic wine growing and making.
The unique geographical features of Dealu Mare, including its altitude varying between 130 and 550 meters, contribute to the distinct character of its wines. The area’s soil varies, with some parts rich in chalk, which is conducive to aromatic white varieties like Tamaioasa Romaneasca and Muscat Ottonel. The region also boasts of red grape varieties that benefit from iron-rich red-brown soils and a sunny climate, ensuring reliable ripeness levels. Key red varieties include Feteasca Neagra, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir.
One example for the growing importance of organic wines is the winery Domeniile Franco-Romane. Organic viticulture at Domeniile Franco-Române adheres to strict standards. Unlike conventional viticulture, it forbids the use of synthetic chemicals, instead relying on natural, non-GMO products. The certification process for the vines is rigorous, taking four years, including a conversion phase and thorough checks to ensure compliance with quality standards. The winery is equipped with its own laboratory to monitor each production stage, adhering to European regulations for organic agriculture in both winemaking and sanitation processes.
The wines from Domeniile Franco-Române, including their 2019 harvest and onwards, are uniquely “monocepage,” meaning they are made from single grape varieties. These wines, developed in collaboration with consultant oenologist Liviu Grigorică and resident oenologist Valentin Rotaru, include varieties such as Chardonnay BIO, Fetească Albă, Fetească Regală, Sauvignon Blanc, Tămâioasă Românească, Merlot Roze, Merlot, and Fetească Neagră BIO.
The winery also honors its founder, Denis Thomas, through the “Vigneron- Héritage Denis Thomas” range, a tribute to his passion and expertise in winemaking. This range includes classical Burgundy varieties like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well as Sauvignon Blanc and Fetească Neagră from Dealu Mare, all cultivated organically.
Organic wines from Domeniile Franco-Române are increasingly sought after in Romania, both in restaurants and retail outlets. Internationally, the winery exports to markets in Sweden, Norway, Germany, England, France, the USA, Canada, and Australia. The rising popularity of organic wines is part of a broader international movement towards healthier and more sustainable products, with a growing willingness among consumers to pay a premium for organic wines.