WELCOME TO CARASTELEC WINERY!
Carastelec Winery is the first investment in Romania aimed at producing mostly sparkling and semi-sparkling wines. It is located in Crișana Region, which is one of the oldest wine producing regions in Transylvania, close to Măgura Şimleului Mountain which is a crystalline island in North West Transylvania. The region of Carastelec, marked by this Mountain, has a particular soil from which grapes can extract minerals required to make elegant and sophisticated wines full of fineness, fresh and fruity, typical of the varieties cultivated here. And also, this crystalline terroir gives them special personality and typicality.
The winery was founded in 2011, when the 22 ha vineyard was planted. This south-facing “natural amphitheatre” near the village, on the top of a slope, is a real “treasure” hill with a specific microclimate which has been chosen by Tibor Gál, one of Hungary’s leading oenologists, years ago. As with the selection of the site, all decisions have been and continue to be taken with the same thoroughness every day and always the aim of obtaining high-quality sparkling wines.
The region of the village has been historically used for high-quality wine production, and this is precisely the reason why we have chosen to create a vineyard on the hills of Carastelec. The mission of our Winery is to create excellent wines – and the ingredients for this are, in addition to a wonderful terroir, Perseverance, Passion and Professionalism.
The cellar, a semi-underground building built in 2011-2012 using EU funds, is designed to ensure a temperature of 14-15°C and uses modern air-conditioning technology with geothermal pumps. The total useful area of the cellar is 1433 m2.
In 2013, the cellar was equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, such as stainless steel fermentation tanks with cooling systems, an automatic bottling line for both sparking wines and still wines, a labelling machine and equipment for remuage required in the sparkling wine production. The total capacity of the stainless steel tanks is 2300 hl, of which two tanks are special pressure tanks used to produce semi-sparkling wines, while 4 tanks are designed for red wines. Maturated wines are produced using oak barrels of 225 l, of barrique-type, or 500 l.
The owners are foreign investors involved in wine production, that is, they also have vineyards and cellars in Hungary: 50 hectares and 8 hectares in West Hungary and the Tokaj region, respectively, a region well known for its sweet wine production
Crișana (Hungarian: Körösvidék; German: Kreischgebiet), our wine-growing region lies between three rivers, Mureș, Someș and Tisa, and the heights of the Western Carpathians (Apuseni Mountains). Archaeological evidence was found of the Silvaniei wine region in the Roman military camp in Porolissum-Moigrad, as part of the Crișana wine region. The first comprehensive survey throughout the territory of the Habsburg Monarchy, Josephinische Landesaufnahme shows grapes to have been cultivated here, in Carastelec, as early as 1770.
Carastelec, a village first mentioned in 1241, is today part of Sălaj County. It was a parish in the Diocese of Oradea (Division of Şimleul Silvaniei). The first written reference to this church goes all the way back to the 17th Century when Princess Zsófia Báthori, wife of Prince György Rákóczi II, owned forests and vineyards near to those of the church. In 1650, Princess Zsófia Báthori rebuilt this church. In order to provide support for it, she donated some forests and vineyards, as well as her own castle to the vicar to accommodate his family. This was, therefore, the first document to prove the presence of vineyards here.
Crișana Region, which is one of the oldest wine producing regions in Transylvania, close to Măgura Şimleului Mountain, a crystalline island in North-West part of Transylvania. The region of Carastelec, marked by this Mountain, has a particular soil - clay and mica - from which grapes can extract minerals required to make elegant and sophisticated wines full of fineness, fresh and fruity, typical of the varieties cultivated here. This south-facing “natural amphitheater” near the village, on the top of a slope, is a real “treasure” hill with a specific micro-climate.
As with the selection of the site, all decisions have been and continue to be taken with the same thoroughness every day and always the aim of obtaining high-quality products.
The region has a moderate continental climate with average rainfall. The total number of sunshine hours during the growing season is around 1200 to 1600; the annual precipitation is 626 mm, while the temperature in this region is somewhat lower. All these factors lead to a higher acidity of the wines and add to their complexity and personality. Furthermore, this area (47th parallel; altitude: 300 m) is also suitable to produce excellent sparkling wines.
Noble vine varieties were planted on 22.4 hectares in 2011, at a distance of 2 m/0.8 m (6250/hectar); this density results in a concentrated high-quality production and leads to competition between the vines which will cause their roots to get to the harder mica-schist much faster.
The compact location of the vines in the immediate neighbourhood of the cellar minimizes the transport of the grapes, thus avoiding their deterioration.
These grape varieties have been chosen based on the terroir and the mission of the Winery, that is, to produce high-quality sparkling wines. Therefore, we have planted the varieties used for sparkling wine from the Champagne region, Feteasca Regală of the local varieties for semi-sparkling petillant wines and Rhein Riesling for still wine.
Almost half of our slopes are covered with Pinot Noir. Although Transylvania is located along a parallel that is favourable to white grape varieties, Pinot Noir, one of the oldest varieties, of over 1,000 years old, really likes this colder climate which enriches the wine with an abundant bouquet and an elegant style. Pinot Noir is used both for sparkling wines and semi-sparkling wines and for still red wine maturated in oak barrels.
Wine tasting should be booked 3-15 days in advance. Tour and tasting take approximately 2 hours.
Monday-Friday: 10.00 - 16.30
Saturday-Sunday: for groups of 10 pers.
The prices include wine tasting, finger food, guided winery tour and walk in the vineyard on request, if the weather is good.
(Please ask for availability via e-mail or phone)