Clara is an oenologist who managed to produce memorable wines from a very small area – the 4 hectares of the Andronic Winery, from the Minis-Maderat region.
What was the moment you realized / knew your personal destiny was connected to wine?
I became somewhat obsessed with winemaking in the fourth year of college after a trip to several wine-growing areas in Hungary. I graduated from the Faculty of Food Industry, specializing in Biotechnology at the University of Horticulture in Budapest (formerly Kertészeti és Élémiszeripari Egyetem) and, until the fourth year, I focused on food microbiology and I intended to pursue this field and study further. But the production of wine, with all that it implies, fascinated me and made me radically change my professional plans. The knowledge of biotechnology and microbiology was very useful and helped me greatly in all the stages of wine production.
What style of wine do you prefer, in general?
I don’t have a favorite style, I like any beautifully vinified wine, obtained from healthy, high quality grapes. I love the beautiful wines of established producers, but also the simple and vigorous wines of many small producers. I like wines from all wine regions of the world if they do neot bear any defects and problems, but I really appreciate wines expressing their terroir.
How do you choose different wines (brands or styles of wine) according to certain moments – seasonal, anniversary, warm or friendly discussions, sophisticated dinners or everyday?
For home, I generally choose according to my mood and adjust the food according to the wine, but I also choose according to the season – for example, in the summer I consume a lot of white and rose wines, because I cook a lot outside, in the open air. In a specialized store, I consider the wine-growing area or the producer, but sometimes I choose an unknown wine out of pure curiosity, to test it. I’m not a fan of overly sophisticated and overloaded dinners, I think that on such occasions the wine gets lost among the dishes and in the end, as a result of the exaggerated satiety, we end up forgetting about it.
What was the perfect, memorable pairing, where everything involved – wine, food, people – fell into place?
A tasting of sparkling wines from 2021, at Domeniile Panciu, together with winemaking friends, led by Mr. Macoviciuc Sorin, the winery’s oenologist.
How much decision-making power do women have in the Romanian wine market?
I don’t think that the decision-making power on the wine market is related to gender, but to the professionalism of the specialist. If a woman oenologist is capable and manages to indicate a good direction to the vineyard, winery and sales team and she is also financially supported, her decision-making power will not be challenged.
What do women know about wine that men don’t (yet) know?
I can’t answer this question, I’ve met women who were preaching the most absur things about wine, but also men doing the same. I think that "knowing" about wine has nothing to do with sex.
In March, Wines of Romania set out to honor the role of women in the world of Romanian wine. We are therefore preparing a series of materials – interviews, articles and social media posts – to draw the public’s attention to the role of women in oenology. Come back for more portraits, until then you can read below about: