Clos du Cotnarian
Clos du Cotnarian is an international award winning vineyard in an area with a very long history in wine production. Clos du Cotnarian is located in Cotnari, a region in northeastern Romania about an hour’s drive from Iasi, near the border with Moldova.
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Historic white wines
Clos du Cotnarian was founded by a group of enthusiastic Swedes with high ambitions to revive the historical white wines that the Cotnari region was especially famous for 80-100 years ago.
The area around “Catalina Hills,” where the Clos du Cotnarian vineyard is situated, has a much longer history of wine production than 100 years; it dates back as far as 4000 years, which has been verified through archaeological excavations, lending to theories that the origin of wine making for Europe stems from the Cotnari district. History shows that during the magnificence of the Greek Empire, from about 700 – 300 BC, the Empire purchased their wines from Dacia, known today as Romania.
The history of producing top wines in the Cotnari region extends back to the 16th century, during the rule of Stefan the Great (1457 – 1504). Wine during that period included “The Wine of Voivode,” the ruler’s wine, a 600 year old blend based on the grapes Grasa de Cotnari (30%), Feteasca Alba (30%), Francusa (20%) and Tamaioasa (10%), the very grapes that Clos du Cotnarian grows today. An interesting and little known historical fact is that Stefan the Great was actually a cousin of the mythical Vlad Tepes, also known as Dracula.
Documentation found in a catalog dating back to the beginning of the 16th century in Venice, classifies top wines and lists “Grasa de Cotnari” as being the best and most expensive white wine of its time. In 1711, Peter the Great declared that he had never encountered better wines than those from Cotnari.
In 1875, white wines from Cotnari were documented as rivaling any wine from the Tokaj region in Hungary, and better than those from Germany. In 1889-1890 in Paris, the DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) classified Cotnari for the first time and awarded the region the “Grand Prix” title of Perl de la Moldova.
Since establishing Clos du Cotnarian, the property has been gradually expanded and the vineyards developed according to the latest methods for top quality, boutique vineyards. The soil consists of marbled, reddish, mineral rich sand, clay and sandstone, at sits at an altitude ranging from 200 – 400 meters. The climate is temperate with hot summers, cold winters, good rainfall and a “terroir” in class with the best wine producing regions of France.
A new “cave” was built in 2015, and more recently Clos du Cotnarian has been equipped with state-of-the-art vinification equipment.
Wines of Voivode
Today, Clos du Cotnarian is proud to be reintroducing “Wines of Voivode,” following many of the historical traditions of wine making from the region, including plowing with horses, harvesting by hand and producing wines from the region’s historical grapes: