Local products06 July 2024

The traditional Romanian wine, old and new varieties: Băbească Neagră, a simple and honest wine, unadulterated by experiments

Băbească Neagră along with Fetească Neagră is part of the traditional Romanian varieties that have heroically resisted to the competition of the red grapes brought from abroad

Băbească Neagră - Nicoreşti Vineyard, Galaţi county

Băbească Neagră - Nicoreşti Vineyard, Galaţi county

The Nicoreşti Vineyard, situated in the northwestern part of Galaţi county, between the rivers Siret and Bârlad, is a secular vineyard, full of history, which appears in the writings of columnists Neculce, from the times of Stephen the Great (1457-1504).

It was also mentioned by Dimitrie Cantemir in his work “Description of Moldavia” (1716), as being the fourth largest vineyard of Moldavia, at the time.

After the archaeological discoveries of Poiana Nicoreşti (Piroboridava Ciency), it can be said that the history of vineyards in the area, has very deep roots, dating back to the Geto-Dacian period.

The vineyard is especially recognized for the quality of the red wines, obtained from historical vines. The undisputed star of the area is Băbească Neagră (a sincere blood red wine), followed by Fetească Neagră (the wine that strike with its aristocratic red color) and  Rubiniu de Nicoreşti (a blend between Băbească, Fetească, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon).

Băbească Neagră - an old Romanian variety "left to develop itself freely", a direct descendant to wild vine

Băbească Neagră is a variety resulted from the wild vines “Vitis vinifera ssp.sylvestris”, passing through a natural selection. It can be said that (along with Fetească Neagră) is part of the traditional Romanian varieties that have heroically resisted to the competition of the red grapes brought from abroad.

The legend says, that the name was given by Prince Stephen the Great, who, after winning the battle against the Turks from High Bridge (Podul Înalt), wanting to honor his soldiers, he sent the boyar  Nicoară to bring wine from the area. Stephen liked the wine so much that he has thought to give it a name.  When he found out that the wine was bought from an old woman - "babă" - he found it proper to call it "Băbească". Then he changed the name of the place, calling it Nicoreşti, after the boyar who discovered the wine.

 “Băbească” is a simple variety, without great pretensions, but because it has remained unaltered of experiments, acquires a high note of originality and naturalness. The blood color wine, with violet reflexes, with the smell of freshly cut hay and thyme, with the taste of cherries jam and blackcurrant, impresses through its simplicity and purity, but also for the flavors which retains the taste of the grapes. The wine Băbească Neagră enjoyed a great appreciation over time, both in the country and abroad and this wine deserves to be promoted more to regain its former prestige.    

Elena Radu




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