There are many enthusiasts among small winemakers, but there are few people who came to this business segment from large industrial wine production and with specialized education. The founder of Vornic Winery, Vladimir Miron, with 36 years of experience in wineries, looks like an aqsaqal compared to his mostly young colleagues from the Association of Small Wine Producers. But in his case, the driver in creating his own winery was the desire of his son.
“I’ll come back for sure”
Vornic Winery is located in the village of Vorniceni, Strașeni district, where the Miron family lives. Its creator and owner, Vladimir Georgievich Miron, worked for 15 years at the local medal winning sovkhoz “Tsvetushaya Moldavia” (“Blossoming Moldavia”) as a winemaking technologist, currently continuing to work as a chief winemaker at a large enterprise. The vineyard of the peasant household “ G.T. Miron Vladimir Gheorghe” once belonged to this sovkhoz, where the hero of Socialist Labor Ivan Alexandrovich Grossu worked. Many residents of Vorniceni worked in his brigade, including, as a schoolboy, Vladimir Miron. When vineyards were planted in this area, in 1974 the documentary “The Vineyarders” was shot. Vornic Winery used a fragment from it in their promotional video.
Afterwards the sovkhoz was disintegrated, the vineyards were divided into quotas and distributed to the population.
The son of Vladimir Georgievich, Gheorghe Miron, currently lives in Denmark. While studying at the Via University of Marketing and Management in Horsens, from his second year he began to combine his studies with work in a furniture factory, in the quality control department. In 2016, he proposed to his father to establish their own wine production (before that they produced homemade wine for their family consumption) and began sending money to expand the vineyards. Now Gheorghe is completing his master’s degree.
Miron Jr. said:“ I like Moldova, I want to work here, and someday I will definitely come back,” says Vladimir Georgievich. “For me, this is an incentive to create the ground for him to return. We began by restoring the old vineyards that our family, my parents, wife’s parents and my brother received under quota distribution. We combined them and bought nearby parcels. In total, we have 8.5 hectares of vineyards of old vines of Sauvignon and Rhine Riesling varieties, whose age exceeds 30-40 years. They were in bad shape when we became owners. Nobody believed that we would be able to revive them. But my brother, who also worked in that sovkhoz as an agronomist, assistant foreman, foreman, took over this. He rebuilt the vineyards together with two workers. They had to replace the wires and a lot of posts. Feteasca Regală was planted nearby on 0.25 hectares, the vines are three years old”.
The needed support came just-in-time
Under the PARE 1 + 1 program, the peasant household Miron Vladimir Gheorghe received a development grant and acquired a tractor and other agricultural machinery.
And thanks to the Association of Small Producers and the Moldova Competitiveness Project (funded by USAID and the Swedish Government), in 2018 we were awarded with funds for the purchase of a press and a refrigeration unit, without which it is impossible to produce high quality wines, especially white and rosés, since cold is a prerequisite for obtaining a beautiful aroma, “ the interviewee continues. “My contribution was to buy tanks of different sizes, a crusher, pumps and filters. This year we were provided with funds to procure barrels: five French oak barriques were ordered in France and two 500-liter barrels in Romania (for fermenting white wines, in so-called Fume style). In such a volume, the influence of wood on white wines is less than in a traditional barrique. I am not a supporter of the very strong influence of wood”.
However, it is not enough just to make a quality product, it still needs to be brought to the market. For small producers, this stage becomes a big obstacle, which is very difficult for them to overcome due to the high costs. But the Miron family was lucky that MCP provided them with support in brand and labeling development and in subsequent promotion.
We had our own ideas that we wanted to reflect in the name of the trademark and in the design of the wines. First of all, to show the connection between our wines and their place of origin. The letter of 1420 of Alexander the Good has been preserved, who wrote: “By the grace of God, we, Alexander Voevod, ruler of the Moldavian Land, grant Oan Vornik the villages of Vorniceni and Dumeștii …”. That is why the name Vornic Winery was born. At the heart of the design, we wanted to put the old vines, which are more than 40 years old and which we are proud of. These ideas were realized by 43`Oz design studio”.
Vornic Winery wines appeared in the wineshops. The series consists of six wines. I managed to taste four of them.
Vornic Winery Riesling & Chardonnay, 2019
By this wine, we can conclude that it was produced not just by a person who loves to make wine (every Moldovan has it in his blood), but by a true professional. Despite the fact that Riesling ranks first in the name of the wine, there is less of it in the varietal composition (40%) than Chardonnay (60%). This is because the next lots of this wine will be overwhelmed by the “German”. The Riesling comes form own vines that are more than 40 years old, the Chardonnay grapes were purchased from a neighboring farmer, they are 15 years old.
Riesling and Chardonnay fermented in barriques, then the wine was removed from the yeast. And already together, both varieties passed aging on thin yeast lees in stainless steel tanks. Strength – 12.5%.
The color of the wine is straw, there are beautiful “legs” on the walls of the glass. The first nose is floral-fruity. The bouquet contains ripe peach, almonds, citrus notes that give freshness, flint, bitter herbs, later an apple opens, and two hours after opening the bottle – tropical fruits, fresh ripe figs and a hint of barberry.
Delicate texture, the wine envelops the mouth, seems oily. Bright acidity. The taste is fruity, with highlighted peach and unripe apricot. In a very long aftertaste, the apricot continued, which was replaced by a well-pronounced almond tone. To be honest, this wine surprised me a lot. Really very good.
I didn’t want the oak to stand out, aging gave only a slight oak shade, and the wine turned out to be well rounded. In general, I have created these wines according to my understanding on how a wine should be,” noted the winemaker.
Vornic Winery Feteasca Regală & Muscat, 2019
For this wine, Muscat grapes were purchased in Vorniceni, from the former sovkhoz vineyards, planted in the 1990s. Whereas Feteasca Regală from Sadova, grapes were of a very late harvest (in October, this happens sometimes). Both varieties fermented separately, in stainless steel, at a low temperature (+ 16 ° C). Then for Feteasca the “sur-lie” technology was applied (aging on yeast sediment for more than two months). Varietal composition in a blend – 50/50.
Feteasca Regală & Muscat is a lighter wine for women, which does not require such serious qualities as the first,” considers Vladimir Georgievich. – This is also an interesting blend in which the Muscat flavor prevail. There are many consumers who like aromatic wines. However, Muscat is inferior in taste to Feteasca Regală. I included it in the assemblage so that it would complement Muscat in taste. “
Since Feteasca Regală was late harvested, its higher strength influenced the final alcohol level of 13.5%. The color of the wine is slightly rosy, with shine, but the “pinking” does not affect the quality of the wine. ”Pinking” happens when someone tries hard to protect the white wine from contact with oxygen. On the walls of the glass the wine leaves thick “legs”.
The first nose is floral. The two aromatic grapes have certainly created a vibrant wine aroma that women love. There are many flowers in it – acacia, jasmine, some other spring flowers, unripe apricot, later warm notes of tropical fruits and honey tints appeared. The influence of the Feteasca Regala variety in the blend was also manifested in the fact that the wine, as a whole, turned out to be thinner than if there was only from Muscat.
Silky texture. On the palate – citrus, in the aftertaste – grapefruit bitterness, which ends with a honey aroma. Feteasca Regală & Muscat, 2019 – for aroma bomb lovers.
Vornic Winery Merlot Rose, 2019
This rose Merlot came out, as if it were, a by-product in the production of a red fellow, for its production, gravity extracted must was used, which fermented at a low temperature. Since they were not going to purposefully process grapes this wine, the produced quantity is tiny, only 350 liters.
The color of the wine is salmon, with a shine. The first nose is cherry-blossom, with thick “legs” on the sides of the glass. After a little breathing it revealed in the aroma bright, ripe strawberries, pink cherries and a hint of caramel.
Silky texture. Rolls in the mouth like butter. On the palate – pink cherry. Long cherry pits aftertaste. A very pleasant, drinkable wine, despite 14% alcohol.
Vornic Winery Merlot, 2019
This wine is interesting because 30% of the grapes are harvested from old vines, in the south of Moldova and 70% from a 15-year-old vineyard, in the village of Vorniceni. Since there was an extraction of must for rose, the red wine turned out to be more intense. Fermentation was controlled, took place on the pulp, at a temperature of 25 ° C, with stirring three times a day. The winemaker also applied some technological techniques and tricks to achieve the desired result. After alcoholic fermentation, the wine also passed malolactic fermentation, which makes the wine softer.
The color of the wine is a deep ruby, it leaves beautiful “legs” on the walls of the glass. The first nose is dried cherry. In the aroma I found candies called “Wet cherry in chocolate”, blueberries, licorice, a little of dried raspberry, overripe plums. About 30 minutes later (while I had to distract myself) a note of milk chocolate appeared in the glass. Soft, delicate texture. The taste is slightly astringent, black dried cherry. Medium body. Long dried plum aftertaste (very tasty). And without aging, this wine is completely self-sufficient. The presence of Merlot from old vines in the blend gave it the maturity.
Pure Merlot, without contact with oak, was released on the market in a batch of only 300 bottles. The rest will be poured into French barriques for maturation for at least six months. So hurry up to try it!
Where to buy?
Vornic Winery wines are present in Chisinau wineshops and in the AlcoMarket chain, which has 30 stores in Chisinau, Balti and Orhei.
The first export to Denmark and Portugal is planned in the near future.
What is the cost?
On the shelves of shops, they cost around 120 lei. But these can be purchased directly from the pruducer for a cheaper price.
By the way, those who want to visit Dolna village, where the house-museum “The Rally Family Estate” is located, where Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin lived in the summer of 1821, can also stop by in Vorniceni to taste the delicious Vornic Winery wines at the winery and witness their wealth – the old vines.