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Cristina Carazan, Liliac Winery: Women maintain the balance from grape to wine

by Radu Rizea
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Cristina Carazan

 Cristina Carazan

After a few years on the market, the wines from Liliac Winery need no introduction. Fresh and lively or sweet and rounded, they perfectly express their origin and harvest year. The "Spirit of Transylvania" arrives in our glasses (also) thanks to Cristina, the Liliac oenologist, a young lady who assures us, just a few years after graduating from college, that the future of Romanian wine is in the right hands. We have a great new generation of oenologists!

What was the moment when you realized / knew that your personal destiny is linked to wine?

This moment is related to my first winemaking campaign in 2018, which took place immediately after completing my faculty finals. Due to the high temperatures throughout the summer, the harvest was ready, the grapes were fit for picking (full ripeness), then turned into wine in the second half of August. At the time, I didn’t know much about wine and winemaking, that’s why I had to look for information, make a list of helpful specialty books and ask for guidance from people who had experience in the field. 

That autumn at the winery was an intense one, with many challenges and decisions to be made. I had the opportunity to see, get involved and be responsible for each stage of transformation of the grape into must and then into wine. It was a joy to discover the primary aromas from the grapes, to follow the fermentation process, and finally to lead the wine to its maturation, evolution and development until bottling.

All this time my enthusiasm grew constantly, and so I quickly realized that I want to learn more, to grow in this field.

What style of wine do you prefer, in general?

I prefer light, bubbly, dry and expressive wines, those that express the area of origin. Those that cause me emotion, first of all. 🙂 🙂

How do you choose different wines (brands or styles of wine) depending on certain moments – season, anniversary, friendly discussions, sophisticated dinners or everyday wines?

I like to choose the wines according to the wine-growing area / country because, in this case, it is like traveling through that glass :), a good way to learn about various aspects of the vineyard (about the structure of the soil, insolation, altitude, etc.). Sometimes I see an interesting wine on the shelf and buy it out of curiosity, to find out about the winemaking style, the intensity of the aromas and the taste.

Of course, every special moment in life can be celebrated with a proper wine. On those occasions, I choose a producer and a wine I already know, and then choose one of my favorite varieties.

Memorable, perfect pairing?

I believe that our taste and smell are deeply linked to beautiful childhood memories. That’s why a good pairing is rather a feeling of pleasure determined by several components: good wine, favorite food and dear people. For this you need a light, joyfully expressive summer wine (white or rosé), a pie with cottage cheese mixed with greens (green onions, a little dill and / or young beetroot leaves). To enjoy along with a gathering of the family and dear friends.

How much decision-making power do women have in the Romanian wine market?

I believe that the results often speak for themselves and the decision-making power is proportional to the competence and skill, but especially to the results obtained in the field. Women’s interest in the field of wine is growing in Romania and internationally, as is the decision-making power. I believe that we are on the right track and that makes me very happy.

What do women know about wine that men don’t (yet) know?

Wine, like all things in life, needs balance, and women succeed through dedication and attention to details to keep the balance starting from the grape to the wine.

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:

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