Wine making in Romania goes back a long time. The ancient Greeks and Romans knew Romanian soils produced excellent wine-making grapes, and archaeological evidence suggests that wine making actually began in the region 6,000 years ago.
Romania sits in southeastern Europe, its eastern border facing the Black Sea. The country boasts four wine-making regions. The Murfatlar region lies near the Black Sea and enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year. The area produces sweet wines. Farther north and inland, the Cotnari area also produces sweet wines and was a favorite of Stephen the Great, a 15th century Moldavian ruler who even had roads paved to the area to transport the fine wine. The Tarnave wine regions sits in Transylvania, where the high altitude produces fruity, acidic wines. In the south, the Dealu Mare region extends over the sub-Carpathian Hills and is known for its red wines.
Since the 19th century, winemakers from France, Italy and Germany have invested in Romanian vineyards. They introduced their traditional grapes, such as those used to make merlot, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, all of which now are produced in Romania. But native Romanian grapes also produce distinctive Romanian wines that are popular with locals and tourists alike. Grape varieties include francusa, feteasca alba, tamaioasa, feteasca neagra and babeasca grapes. Winemakers create both dry and sweet wines and feature many fruity, full-bodied varieties. Cadarca, a popular deep-red wine with a clove taste once was the official wine of the imperial court of Vienna in the 18th century.