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An indigenous variety from Transylvania

Liliac – just arrived!

30.12.2016

The wines from a recently established, ambitious estate in Transylvania are now available in the Netherlands! Miranda Beems presents Liliac.

Liliac Winterlandschaft © Lorant Pandea
Liliac Weinlandschaft © Liliac
The lodge of the Liliac estate is situated amid the vineyard, with a 360° view. The winery presents its tastings here, and there is a guest room as well. And: here above, you can even park your caravan!

Many opportunities, new perspectives

Liliac’s homeland is a country with one of the world’s longest histories of wine production. Each one of Rumania’s eight regions is home to the vine – just like in Italy, for example. And Romania is no insignificant player in the wine business: with its nearly 170,000 hectares under vines, it ranks just behind the USA and Argentina, and just ahead of grandees like Portugal and Australia. Wine production in Rumania lies at the same geographic elevation as it does in France – the environment here is characterised by a continental climate with hot and dry summers, plus adequate and regular rainfall. The wineproducing region Transylvania lies on the high plateau – up to 460 metres above sea level – of the Transylvanian Basin in the north of Romania, where the cool and rainy climate makes a kind of island for producing refreshing white wines. The Liliac Estate has its home here, in the small sub-region known as Lechința.

Romanian team, Austrian expertise

It was early on that the Austrian national Alfred Michael Beck (founder and proprietor of Liliac) came to appreciate the scenic beauty of Romania, its numerous little-known cultural treasures and the down-to-earth, honest hospitality. He has been working in Romania for some three decades as an architect and general contractor, and thus knows the land and its people extremely well.

And things often develop in unexpected ways: what began as assisting a Romanian co-worker, who had acquired a small vineyard parcel in Lechința as restitution, culminated six years ago with the founding of his own estate. Beck and his team found the fully regenerated soils in the vineyard quite alluring, and felt the same as well about the marvellous history of the region. The small, 700-hectare DOC-CMD Lechința (of which 400 hectares are in production) enjoys an outstanding image, because for many long years it supplied the white wine to the Romanian royal house. The Liliac estate today cultivates 52 hectares of vineyard in two locations, and employs 37 co-workers year-round; this number grows to 90 during the harvest, when all grapes are picked by hand. The entirely Romanian team is led by the experienced Austrian cellarmaster Rudi Krizan.

Liliac is setting itself the goal of helping restore the region to its erstwhile renown as an outstanding source for white wines.

And the curtain goes up for the Romania’s white wine ambassador!

Among eight white wine grape varieties, Liliac also cultivates THE white ambassador of Romania: Fetească Regală. What Grüner Veltliner is for Austria, Chenin Blanc to the Loire and Chardonnay for Napa Valley – that’s what this white variety, also called Königsast – is for Romania. Importer Miranda Beems is quite enthusiastic, telling us: I am especially pleased that this variety, the home favourite in Romania, now meets with increasing interest in the Netherlands. Tasted blind, nobody guesses Romania. Its varietal character is fresh and fruity, and when treated properly delivers the necessary serious flavour as well. It can be cellared for two to three years.

Liliac Feteasca Regala 2015 © Liliac

Tasting note: Liliac Feteasca Regala 2015

A young and crisply flavoured wine with a greenish gold colour. Youthful and fresh, the nose shows floral tones together with notes of green fruit and herbs. A balanced flavour, varietally typical acidity, which imparts a citrus aroma and a grapefruit finish to the wine. 11.5% alcohol.

Source of supply and price

Miranda Beems – €14.95

The matter of the caravan…

Is it allowed, to park a caravan at the winery?’
This is in fact the question most frequently asked by folks from the Netherlands, according to Miron Radic, Liliac’s general manager, who punctuates the statement with a grin. The drive from Holland to the winery in Transylvania covers some 2,000 kilometres. Parking places up on the hill are free of charge, and four of them even have electrical hookups. For €10/person, the estate welcomes its guests with a small wine tasting as well as local culinary delicacies.
Enquiries and reservations at hello@liliac.com.

Also: Miron Radic will be appearing at the 15th Wine Professional in Amsterdam, from 9–11 January 2017. 

Liliac Lodge Tag © Liliac
Liliac Alfred Michael Beck © Lliiac
Liliac Lodge Nacht © Liliac
The lodge at Liliac invites guests to linger and relax. Alongside, founder and proprietor Alfred Michael Beck in the vineyards.
Liliac Kornfeld © Liliac
PICTURES (downloadable)