Originally published in Romanian in Vinul.ro
The tradition of family wine cellars is just sprouting in Romania. The oldest ones are barely at the second generation. In this landscape, a young wine cellar, set up in 2016, bearing the name of the heirs of the owner, hopes to become a traditional winery, like French chateaus. The symbol of the MaxiMarc Winery is a sequoia tree, which denotes power and longevity over generations. Near the vineyard, there are some real sequoias planted back in 1845 by the Hungarian Baron József Dietrich.
The slogan of the wine cellar, “Where dreams become wines” refers to the ambition of the Ţucudean family to leave an inheritance. This should go beyond individual recognition and become emblematic for the area. The goal of the winery is to put the Minis-Măderat vineyard back on the wine and tourist map. They even dream further, to get it back to the level at which it was during the Habsburg period. Here, the wine was produced for the Imperial Court of Vienna, and the Ispravnic Castle, currently in ruins, was one of the favorite destinations of the nobility and bohemians of the time.
Emanuele Reolon – The Italian in love with Romanian grape varieties
Romania has become a Land of Promise for foreign winemakers who find here the opportunity to make full use of their knowledge, having the support of cellars owners. They get to express their oenological creativity through experiments, perhaps not all of them with immediate commercial potential.
Emanuele Reolon chose to bring to Arad the experience he gained in Italy (Verona, Tuscany) and to adapt the methods he knows to reach the maximum expressivity of the grapes and reflect the typicity of the terroir. Previously he worked for Petro Vaselo.
He admits that he is in love with local varieties, being a fan of the Fetească Neagră variety, which he refuses to compare with international varieties and hopes to become a brand in itself. Emanuele dreams of making Mustoasa Mäderat a recognized variety for more than acidity and recommends that it be harvested at full maturity, or even late harvested.
Romanian wines with Italian soul
In the middle of the 19th century, Pancota was already recognized as an area for red wines, with high acidity and deep color, but also well-integrated alcohol content.
All these features are fully found in MaxiMarc’s wines. Currently, there are two Pinot Noir, a Merlot and a premium assemblage on the market, and other wines will be launched in the coming years, in which the Italian spirit will be more present.
The first Pinot Noir is exclusively vinified in stainless steel, and has a red, translucent color, specific to the variety, while the red fruit notes are perfectly preserved. Interesting about this wine is the slightly bitter aftertaste, with a touch of licorice. The premium version is obtained through a 6-month maturation period in 500l tonneaux, which makes it much more intense in color and adds distinct flavors such as spices (black pepper, cloves) and elegantly defines tannins.
The most impressing is the assemblage of Cabernet Sauvignon, Fetească Neagră and Merlot called playful Suiram, the anagram of the owner’s forename. This wine has a distinct character with abundant notes of black fruits. It impresses through its strong structure, with well-balanced between acidity, alcohol and tannins, and elegant notes of dry wood and tobacco.
However, as you can expect from such a young wine cellar, the best is yet to come. Emanuele gave us the opportunity to taste, directly from tonneaux, several wines created by Valpolicella philosophy. The first one is Amarone style, from the dried grapes. The second, in the ripasso method, was designed to make the most out of the tannins present in the Amarone left-overs. This involves a second fermentation of wine that would otherwise have been less expressive. They will be available on the market in a few years.
Wine tourism at the castle: from Ispravnic to Sofia
The MaxiMarc domain also includes the ruins of Ispravnic Castle, a Habsburg mansion that the owners want to rebuild after the plans found in the Vienna archives. They want to render it back to its old glory as a favorite of poets, artists, and other wine lovers. The projects are very ambitious and also include the digging a tunnel linking the modern wine cellar with the old cellars of the castle and the refurbishment of the ice fountain.
Moreover, through this investment, the place will enter an oenological tourism circuit under the name of Castle Sofia, a tribute to the youngest member of the family. Dreams do not stop here.
Behind the keyboard...
Silvia Palasca- web dev by day, wine storyteller by night (or the other way around)
Hello, I'm Silvia, wine and travel enthusiast. Looking to turn my passions into a lifestyle. As I writer and web designer I thrive on great sips and epic scenery. WSET Level 2 graduate, I love writing, talking and analyzing wine. If you have a project in mind, let's talk!