Like a precious jewel among the Romanian vineyards the famous Cotnari vineyard was established more than five hundred years ago (1448). Vines are grown there since time immemorial. Located towards the northern vine limit in N-E Romania, Cotnari is directly comparable with the most famous vineyards of the world. Its lofty peaked hills bring to mind legends with deep significance about vine and wine history.
The natural conditions of the Cotnari vineyard, suggestively described by the great Romanian novelist Mihail Sadoveanu “a particular height, wind shelter and balance between aridity and moisture, a particular vine variety and soil composition” are extremely favorable to vine culture. The calcareous soil and the marvelous effect of the “noble rot” (Botrytis Cinerea), as well as the selective harvest when berries turn into raisins, contribute to the exquisite quality of the Cotnari wine (D.O.C.C.).
Going back to the Middle Ages under the name of “Pearl of Moldavia”, the Cotnari wine is now produced, as in the days of yore, from the same old native varieties of Grasa, Feteasca Alba, Tamaioasa Romaneasca and Francusa. This wine is golden to greenish-yellow, extractive, vigorous, elegant, bright, and generous, improving in fineness and harmony as it gets older.
The Cotnari wine was awarded the Merit Diploma at the international exhibitions in Vienna (1873) and in Budapest (1889), and the Grand Prix at the Universal Exhibition in Paris (1889).
Cotnari wine has won numerous gold medals and grands prix (too many to mention them all here!) at various world contests including Montpellier, Langenlois, Budapest, Ljubljana, Bratislava, Sofia, and others.
The Cotnari area is also an attractive tourist destination. The tourists may enjoy visiting the modern winery, the old cellars and the castles of Carjoaia and Paraclis, the ruins of the Hirlau palace, built in the time of Stephen the Great (1457 - 1504), under whose reign the vineyard enjoyed remarkable prosperity.