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Romanians aim to more that enjoy their wine locally.


 
 
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:28 PM
irahat irahat is offline
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Default Romanians aim to more that enjoy their wine locally.

Romania is the fifth largest wine producer in Europe, after Spain, France, Italy and Portugal. But while most people can name one or two French or Italian wines, one is hard-pressed to find someone outside of Romania who can even name one brand. The reason for this is that Romania produces mostly for the domestic market: around 90-95 percent of annual production is consumed domestically.

Ovidiu Gheorge, the director of the wine producers association, said that even though investments from the European Union are considerate there is still a long way to go.

"It has been 10 years since we started with privatization (of wine factories) in Romania. Investments are pretty high; both, for grape plantations and for processing the wine. It's nonsense to have good quality grapes if you can not process it properly. We are talking about over 150 million euros from EU through different programs plus direct Romanian wine producers investments," Gheorge told Reuters.

The Murfatlar winery is the largest in Romania. It serves about 20 per cent of the domestic market. Privatized in 2,000, Murfatlar has over 3,000 hectares of grape plantation around Basarabi, Valul lui Traian, Poarta Alba and Siminoc. Annual wine production is around 22.000 tones; its technology is the most modern in Romania.

The director of the winery, Cozmin Popescu, is proud of the achievement: "We are the biggest investor in Romania and the biggest marketing client. These two advantages are beyond question. From our annual turnover of 46 - 47 million euros, 10 per cent is dedicated for promotion. Our investment in last nine years was about 20 million euros."

Murfatlar vineyard enjoys a particularly favourable micro-climate, similar to Bordeaux, being located between the Black Sea and the river Danube.

Murfatlar also exports wine: 10 - 20 per cent of its production every year goes to the USA, to Israel, Germany, Finland and Spain. Popescu said that Murfatlar will start to export in China and Russia by the end of this year.

While there are big wine producers like Murfatlar, Jidvei, Cotnari and Vincon Vrancea, most of Romania's wine is produced by around one million small wine producers, cultivating areas of less then a third of a hectare.

Gheorge of Murfatlar explained why. "A big problem in Romania is the lack of trust in cooperation. After people regained the property rights, there was almost no borrowing of additional funds, which lead to very low productivity. This lack of trust is somehow normal, keeping in mind our communist past."

After many farmers got their land back as a result of the breaking-up of the big communist farms, they started to produce wine using traditional methods which haven't changed much over the years as Florin Popescu, a resident of the village of Seaca said: "We are processing grapes by traditional methods. I'm producing about 300 - 400 litres of wine solely for our own consumption," adding that he he does not sell the wine but if he did he would ask more than what the big wine-companies sell the local wine for since it is hard work to make a good wine.

The owner of one of Bucharest newest wine shops, Marian Timofti, explained that it is hard for a producer of local wines of a good quality at the moment because: "...he has a lot of wine, but he is unable to enter the market because it is invaded by imported very bad quality wine. The price for this imported wine is between one and two euros, maximum three euros. This wine is considered by importers and retailers good business."

Gheorge thinks that he knows the solution to this: "We have to come to the market with local wines and we have to find the key of the success through marketing." And he adds that wine should have s story behind it, and Romania has "nice legends regarding wine", the country must using them in marketing their local wines
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