In 1994, the world was completely different from what we see today, without TV, cable, internet, mobile phones, lost in a wild capitalism. In those times, a Corsican, Count Guy de Poix, guided by the stories he had heard from previous generations about fine Romanian wine, arrived in Dealu Mare, where he first loved the milky mist that hid the slopes of the hills from sight. Then he definitely fell in love with a Feteasca neagra.
You could still find foggy mornings here and there, even quite often in Transylvania, but Feteasca neagra was an almost extinct wine grape variety, lost among the high-yielding vineyards of the former communist regime where the labels were almost random used, according to "orders from above", Somehow, Guy de Poix navigated through all this and, in a modest house in the courtyard of Dionysos, a company that had taken over part of the vineyards of a former state farm, he discovered the taste he had dreamed of – a fresh Feteasca neagra, a wild, crazy, vegetal and a bit bitter wine, fit for a for a long term taming. And he also found its parent, Aurel Rotarescu, a young oenologist at the time, but one who was going to leave a deep mark, along with Guy, on everything that means Romanian wine.
From that day, SERVE was born – the acronym for the Euro-Romanian Society for Exceptional Wines. Crazy years followed, with difficult investments, in an oligopolistic market, with explosive inflation and thousands of other discouraging problems. It was only in 1998 that the first private competitors appeared, ones aiming at the production of high quality wines – a competition that made Guy de Poix happy and convinced him to stay in Romania. Because, in their absence, it was hard to believe that Romania would ever mean anything in the world of wine.
With a handful of plants chosen from the 5 hectares of old vineyards bought in 1999 from IAS Tohani, Guy de Poix created his first private Feteasca neagra nursery, managed to produce the first plants in 2002 and established the first plantation in 2003. It was only in 2008, 14 years after Guy de Poix and Aurel Rotarescu shared the first glass of Feteasca neagra, and a year after Romania’s European integration, that this variety was officially bottled at SERVE, under the Terra Romana label.
Another 14 years have passed since then, even more. Unfortunately, the first European citizen who believed in Romanian wine and local varieties can no longer accompany us on the path he opened.
Today, on Europe’s Day 2023, we owe SERVE a bow. We have wines that deserve their place anywhere in the world, we know our local varieties better and we learn, every day, how to be better. And we learned from Guy de Poix that all these things need an unlimited amount of patience and perseverance.
So, we invite you to taste the new history of Romanian wine. For the first time, in the masterclass organized by SERVE within RO-Wine | The International Wine Festival of Romania (May 12-14, Fratelli Studios, Glodeni 1-3, Bucharest). We will taste Feteasca neagra Terra Romana from 2009 (the second bottling in the history of the company!), 2012, 2016 and 2017, as well as the precious Feteasca neagra honoring the founder, Cuvee Guy de Poix, from the 2012, 2014 and 2016 harvests. We shall discuss about the vineyard works, about picking the grapes, what the special conditions of a year mean, how the wine matures and ages…
At the same time, at the SERVE booth within the festival, you will have the opportunity to taste another mini-collection: three editions of Cuvee Charlotte, another SERVE wine with a major contribution in changing the image of Romanian wine and which, among other things, established the standard blend recipe from Dealu Mare – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Feteasca neagra.