On the 21st of July 1718, following the Passarowitz Treaty, Oltenia entered the Hapsburg Empire administration. The concept of “civilization impact” had not yet been invented, but the Germanic rigour, inhabitants’ legendary merry truancy and Ottomans’ bien-vivre lassitude represented nearly palpable collision factors. In 1738, the Empire retired after some failed attempts to take a census, a certain success acquired in mapping and earth “marking” with the first buildings – monasteries and manors – destined to survive in time.

Today, the spirit of place, namely, what had made the Germans abandon their project, still preserves tiny traces of rigour and precision. The moment one is sure the whole village has a siesta and realizes the work cannot be finished in due time, a divine “impulse” makes things move with an incomparable speed. And the finishing – in good time! – of the work is accompanied by jokes and songs, a fact rendering perfectly the spirit of place. Certainly, it’s followed by a siesta...

The wine resembles every inch the story of Oltenia’s temporal Germanization. It’s difficult to fraternize the five varieties the wine is made of – Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Dornfelder –, the more as they could seem to a rude connoisseur almost contradictory. Patiently, several hours after the bottle was opened – some pretend the following day would be even better! –, the flavours start working, revealing unexpected beauties difficult to guess at first nose. Discreet, almost subliminal notes appear and disappear among the rich nuances, leaving the “reader” surprised and out of the blue, feeling he/she is aware, but doesn’t know why, just like the “Germanic traces” the people making this wine preserved. Solid, but graceful and flexible, textured and silky, corpulent and smooth, lively but austere, an endless list of coherent contradictions, PASSAROWITZ 1718 is a wine to be drunk mindfully –  it’s “the library wine” to be approached in front of a historical book or of an art album.  

© Ciprian Paleologu