Visiting Transylvania with the almost mandatory stops at Sibiu, Sighisoara or Brasov has already been ticked off the bucket lists of most Romanian and foreign tourists. Before you set up for an all-inclusive holiday in Turkey or Greece, remember that the Clock’s Tower in Sighisoara is not the only tourist attraction around and Instagram-worthy stops.
A newly emerging global trend is all about a more personal, experience-based tourism. In this context, wine cellars are a good option for those who do not necessarily prefer extreme sports, although tasting 12 types of wine can fall into this category.
Minimalist, exclusive, elegant – Liliac Winery & Liliac Lodge Wine Cellar
If you do not have a visa for Napa Valley, the next best thing is to go to the Liliac Wine Cellar near Reghin. Built in 2010 with an investment of more than 10 million euros, it is a place where modernity and technology have found their place in the heart of the natural landscape, propitious for wine-making.
For a complete and incredibly romantic experience, Liliac Lodge also has the possibility of overnight accommodation. There is only one room available, with the view below. Of course, larger groups can find nearby accommodation and rent the Lodge for outdoor parties. I recommend to also invite a live band, like Oamenii Diminetii (the Morning People), who sang to us until late at night.
The Liliac team are good hosts and have the pleasure of explaining to anyone with passion a lot of info about grapes, varieties, winemaking methods, and culinary associations. They produce over 360,000l of wine annually, and growth plans are ambitious. Approximately 80% of the production is sold in the HoReCa network in Romania, 10% goes to export, and various other channels sell the rest.
What should you drink at Liliac?
Since I mentioned the terroir, the wines from Liliac Winehouse can be considered as signature wines for this area of Transylvania. In the Lechinta vineyard, there is a unique microclimate characterized by hot summers, with cold nights, mild and warm autumns and enough rainfall to avoid the need for irrigations.
At the end of the summer, the days are foggy, which helps the slow and uniform ripening of grapes, preserving aromas and maintaining a right level of acidity.
Liliac wines are refreshing and zesty. The feeling they leave is freshness and lightness. These are wines of which you always ask for another glass to enjoy the aromas specific to individual varieties.
Laurent Dubreuil and his wines
Of the more than ten wines presented by the oenologist Laurent Dubreuil, a specialist who received multiple awards for his creations, I have loved the following wines along with the culinary suggestions offered by him:
- Feteasca Alba: a light, floral wine with citrus tones (lime, grapefruit) reminiscent of linden tree’s flower scent. Taste it next to an avocado salad with shrimp, grilled pike with vegetables or summer salads.
- Neuburger: An old variety cultivated by the Saxons, Liliac is among the few wine cellars that still have it in the portfolio. This rustic wine brings a burst of ripe fruits: red apples, bergamot pears, apricots, a light pumpkin taste, all of them under an excellent acidic and creamy aftertaste, coming from the fine yeast. Culinary suggestions include tzatziki, grapefruit shrimp, quiche Lorraine, mushroom omelet and vegan rolls.
- Sauvignon Blanc Unexpected- although the classic Sauvignon Blanc is a delight, being a stylish expression of the grape, this variant is more seductive by its taste and underlying story. Born from a mistake caused by a technical error on the cooling system, it is a New World, intensely aromatic wine. It exudes exotic fruits, but also vegetal notes and almond flavors. This is the terrible child of this year’s production of the Liliac winery that they already love, as we have been able to understand from Miron Radic, CEO. Consumers will most likely love it as well. Monsieur Dubreuil recommended us to enjoy it with cod salad, seafood lasagna or stuffed calamari.
- Rose: Created from Pinot Noir is a perfect summer wine, reminiscent of the Provence roses by delicacy and minerality. The fragrances are discrete pomegranate, strawberries, and alcohol is perfectly integrated. Can accompany you on a picnic, or an elegant dinner of St. Jacque.
- Nectar of Transylvania: Because I believe in the idea of eating dessert first I start with this aromatic wine. These grapes were harvested late, placed on straw mats to dry over the winter and accumulate sweetness. The taste includes dried apricots, raisins and honey, making it the perfect companion for pannacotta, creme brulee or even a foie gras.
I also recommend Liliac Sparkling created from Feteasca Alba and an excellently refreshing spritz from Liliac.young.
Have you ever wondered why Prince Charles had fallen in love with Transylvania? Spend a few moments in the yard of a fortified church, as we did at Bunesti. Then make a picnic on the fresh grass with local produce and a good glass of wine (you have enough ideas above). You will understand that pure joy lies in simple pleasures.
Acknowledgments: This experience would not have been possible without the kindness and professionalism of the entire Liliac team and road partners, BMW Motors
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!