The Alexandrion Group is bringing the joys of vinars – Romania’s high-quality cognac – to the world
For more than two centuries the Alexandrion Group has been producing some of the world’s finest wines and spirits. Today it uses state-of-the-art technology to build on experience, passion and family principles that date back to 1789.
One of the group’s many specialities is its range of vinars – the Romanian equivalent of cognac, which translates, literally, as “burnt wine”. “Our high-quality Brâncoveanu Vinars is the pride of Alexandrion Distilleries,” says Yianna Christou, the group’s Global Brand Manager. “It signifies a centuries-old Romanian craft, passed on from generation to generation.”
Unlike cognac, the name doesn’t come from a specific region. “To be called vinars, a brandy produced in Romania needs to meet legal requirements to ensure that it’s the purest form of wine distillate,” says Yianna. “It must be made exclusively from indigenous grapes, with no other ingredients added at any stage in the production process – differentiating it from Romanian fruit brandies like tuica or palinka, which use plums and apples. Our vinars are matured in oak barrels and preserved under ideal cellar conditions and humidity levels, giving them a full body and round taste.”
Named after Constantin Brâncoveanu, a 17th- and 18th-century Romanian prince, Brâncoveanu Vinars was launched in 2006. It has since won numerous awards from prestigious competitions, such as the China Wines & Spirits Awards (CWSA), the International Wines and Spirits Competition in the UK (IWSC) and the Ultimate Spirits Challenge (USC), among others.
The Brâncoveanu Vinars range features three high-quality variants, all of which use authentic recipes and the finest ingredients. Each has its own evocative character profile and is labelled according to age. “The Brâncoveanu XO – extra old – has been aged for at least seven years,” says Yianna. “This delivers deep, delicate and complex aromas, and is best enjoyed neat or on ice. It’s the perfect example of a noble character, for those who have powerful experiences and are open to sharing their wisdom.”
The Brâncoveanu VSOP (very superior old pale) is aged for a minimum of five years and can also be paired with gourmet food, suggests Yianna. “The VSOP embodies a hero, those who work hard to achieve new heights, who have the power to inspire and the openness to be inspired.” Then there’s the Brâncoveanu VS (very special) blend. “The VS can be enjoyed neat, on ice, in long drinks, or the creation of fine cocktails,” says Yianna. “It seduces with its youth and freshness, with a brave character that inspires courage and dignity, for those looking to experience something new.”
These descriptions could easily apply to the philosophy of the Alexandrion Group, which has been expanding massively over the past few years. The brand’s products – which include Alexander gin, Kreskova vodka, Saber Elyzia liqueurs and new ranges of bourbons and whiskeys – are available in more than 50 countries. Its headquarters in Romania and Cyprus have been joined by new offices in Brazil, while construction has started on a huge $40 million alcohol distillery in New York, which promises to be the city’s largest. It has also been buying prime vineyards around the world.
“The values that underpin the company are family principles, determination and an entrepreneurial spirit,” says Yianna. It’s undoubtedly these principles that have put them on the path to becoming a global player in the wines and spirits industry.