Events05 February 2020

Blaj Viticulture and Winemaking Research and Development Institute

Authentic grape varieties from Transylvania, Romanian research and tradition

Blaj Viticulture and Winemaking Research and Development Institute

Blaj Viticulture and Winemaking Research and Development Institute

In Transylvania, on the Mureș and Târnave Valleys Herodotus wrote about the culture of the vine during the 6th century BC and the history of viticulture on these lands continued in Dacia Province after the Roman Empire conquest. The colonization of the Saxons in the 12th Century in the area of Sibiu, Alba and Bistrita developed the viticulture in this area with new grape varieties and this area became known as Wienland (Wine Country). There are also legends about the wine of Alba, Ighiu and Tălna, it was the wine for the wedding of the king Matheus Corvinus.

Before the invasion of phylloxera (1885) that decimated the culture of vines throughout Europe, Transylvanian grape varieties were spread throughout the country, such as: Grasă, Iordană, Lampăra, Fetească Albă, Vânătă de Băgaci and foreign grape varieties: Italian Riesling, Riesling de Rhin, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir.

Blaj Viticulture and Winemaking Research and Development Institute established in 1946 at Craciunelul de Jos, on the dominion belonging to Dr. Alfred Ambrosi. It had an area of 70 ha. In 1951, the institute expanded to an area of 196 ha with buildings and land, its purpose being the research of the areas of viticulture, fruit growing and vegetables.

In 1960 its headquarters moved to Blaj and the Blaj Agricultural School Group (70 ha) and the Agrosem Viticulture Nursery (135 ha) were added to the institute, reaching an area of 791 ha. Here all the conditions for research and improvement of production in the field of viticulture, fruit and vegetables were created. Since 1967, the profile of the research institute has become exclusively wine growing and since 1970, it was added a new field: floriculture.

Over time, the institute will undergo several modernization processes and at present the research sector has the field of viticulture and viniculture with 9 compartments: Genetics and breeding, Production of planting material, Agro technics, Ecological viticulture, Agro chemistry, Physiology and biochemistry, Plant protection, Vinification, Wine chemistry and microbiology, Floriculture. Currently the area of Blaj Research Institute has a total area of 895 ha and it has its own production of grape varieties such as Brumari, Radames, Rubin, Amurg, Fetească Regală, Muscat Ottonel, Pink Traminer and others, more details found on the website

Upon request wine tastings are organized and in this area can be visited the touristic objectives: the Freedom Plain of Blaj, ”Sf. Treime” Greek Catholic Cathedral from Blaj, the Roman Castle and the Old Fortress (XVIIIth Century) from Alba - Iulia, the Cathedral of the Reunion from Alba - Iulia and the National Union Museum from Alba - Iulia.  

Photo credit: 

Alina Mafa




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