The EU-funded cross-border project WINET ‘Trade and Innovation in Wine Industry’, brings together wine producers from Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria, providing a common online platform where their products are available to wine lovers worldwide.
Although largely undiscovered in western markets, the three countries are a source of impressive and unique wine styles based on long-established history. Traditions in wine production and wine culture on these territories are older than the countries themselves.
End of the 1980s to mid-90s, wines were exported in bulk, being regarded as a commodity, with an accent on quantity rather than quality. The fall of the Iron Curtain and the following independence marked the beginning of a new era, with wine producers finding themselves in a situation when old ways were not available anymore. The winemakers had to rethink their strategy and look for new markets while focusing on quality control and compliance with international standards.
All three countries have areas with PGI and PDO and international grape varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir, but also their own grapes that produce unique, authentic, exciting wines, different from what the consumer can usually find on the market. Thus, for wine lovers seeking different flavors, Eastern European wines are most definitely worth discovering.
As mentioned in several articles and books written about the area, the authentic grape varieties to look for are: from Romania and Moldova – Feteasca Neagra, Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Regala, Negru de Dragasani, Rara Neagra, Viorica; from Bulgaria – Melnik, Mavrud, and Gamza.
The wine industry is vital for these countries, being a significant employer and driver of economic progress. Therefore, the EU Black Sea Basin program saw an opportunity to increase cooperation and trade between Romania, Moldova, and Bulgaria and help them make the wines available to anyone interested using a digital platform. Thus, the WINET cross-border project was initiated and currently covers 150 wineries.
The platform www.winet.wine is the advisable tool for consumers who are looking for something different and are open to new tastes and aromas.