Since the late 17th century, the Prince Stirbey family, one of the oldest and most influential noble families of Romania, owned a wine estate in Dragasani. Their wines were aged in the huge cellars of Stirbey Palace in Bucharest and delivered to many places in Europe, garnering appreciation and awards of outstanding excellency. Expropriated by the communist regime in 1949, the estate was re-appropriated in 2001 to Ileana Kripp-Costinescu, granddaughter of Princess Maria Stirbey. Together with her husband Jakob, she gave new life to the winery and its 25 hectares of vineyards, producing approximately 100,000 bottles of top quality wines a year, mainly from local grape varieties.
Ileana is inspired by her love for the charming people and the enchanting landscape of Dragasani and keenly respects her family´s winemaking principles, preserved by each generation. This means making natural high quality wines of local grape varieties, revealing their special character, the spirit of the place, its traditions and its people.
Winemaker Oliver Bauer was born in Württemberg, Germany, in a vintners´ family and undertook an apprenticeship in three wineries in Germany and France, gained a Cellar Master degree at the Senior Technical College of Veitshöchheim. She went on to practice as winemaker in two German wineries, before joining Stirbey winery in 2003 as the winemaker.
The vines are just five years old and are planted at a density of 5,000 vines per hectare and yielding seven tons of grapes. Handpicked grapes were de-stemmed and fermented spontaneously, without adding selected yeast, in stainless steel tanks with pigeage three times a day, before being aged for a year in 300 litre Romanian oak barrels. It was soft-filtered before being bottled.
Beautifully balanced, with mature dark fruits, rounded and silky tannin, raisin, prune and spicy notes, this has the perfect complement of fruit, oak and spice.