Inter-war coat-of-arms of Drăgăşani
Drăgăşani Vineyards have a history rooted deeply and intermingled with the history of the Geto–Dacians, 3000 years ago. Many documents from the time of Voivodes (ruling prices) Mircea the Elder (1386-1418), Vlad II Dracul (1436-1447), Vlad IV the Monk (1481-1495), Radu the Great (1495-1508), etc. all show that the history of this area is marked by culture of vine and wine production. The Vineyards were owned by Banii (rulers of Oltenia) Craioveşti and Buzeşti brothers (well-known family of Oltenian noblemen). Since the 18th century, the owner of the vineyards was the family of Prince Ştirbey. After the fall of Communism, the vineyards were claimed by Ileana, the granddaughter of Princess Maria Ştirbey and restored since 2001.
Barbu Ştirbey (1796-1869), ruler of Wallachia (portrait by Ioan Negulici)
Ştirbey Wines - synonymous with outstanding quality - were well known and appreciated in Romania and all over Europe. Together with his husband, Baron Jakob Kripp, the heir of Princess renovated the vineyards and installed state-of-the-art wine making technology, yet still preserving the gentle and attentive old traditions of vintners and intending to guide this tradition to a new renaissance. Their most important objectives are: furthering indigenous grape varieties and their specific characteristics, rediscovery of the regional "terroir", natural vineyard maintenance, gentle and clean grape processing in the wine cellars, use of modern wine making technology only where absolutely necessary.
The vineyards in the early 20th century
Many plantations slopes of three rows of hills parallel with river Olt, being situated on brown and brown-reddish forest soils, some of them medium podsol, rich in limestone, situated on alluvial gravel. The Drăgăşani Vineyards, with the most important terroirs at Amărăşti, Cerna, Sâmbureşti, Guşoeni, Zăvideni, Prundeni and Iancu Jianu are situated on low altitude hills. Until the phylloxera epidemic (1890), Drăgăşani wines were obtained from old indigenous grapes Gordan, Crâmpoşie, Braghină and Tămâioasă Românească. Tulburelul de Drăgăşani is a popular wine made from a blend of the above grape varieties, has been enjoyed for many centuries. Some of the most sought after grape varieties in Europe are currently grown in this vineyard. Long-term success at international competitions confirms the reputation of wine from this region.
The vineyards now
Wines from Drăgăşani, on occasion of universal expositions from Paris (1867, 1889, 1900), at expositions from Milano (1908) and from Gand (1912), received gold medals and honor diplomas, to which are added the 300 medals, among the most brilliant ones, obtained in the period 1959-2006, on occasion of great national and international contests from Montpellier, Ljubljana, Freiburg, Tbilisi, Sofia, Budapest, Bucharest and so on.
Ştirbey Manor, a place for wine tasting
Tonic, lightly acid, slightly frothy and having a long-lasting flavor, the wines of Drăgăşani have become popular outside Romania’s borders following world recognition. Today, one can still find here old Romanian vine seedlings, but also Italian Riesling, Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Riesling, Fetească Regală (a dry white wine which keeps its yellow–greenish color for a long time; moderately alcoholic, the wine is remarkable for its non-aggressive acidity), Romanian Tămâioasa (a glory of Drăgăşani vineyard, that holds an honorable place in the range of the Romanian flavored white wines) are produced here. Tasting the white, red and rosé wines, we invite you to experience the traditions of Prince Ştirbey's Wines, as well as the perfumes and tastes from the yet undiscovered nature of Romania.