VERY WELL RED
Made in Romania by enthusiasts as a hobby, Crama Casa Vlas’s noble red wines can compete with the world’s best Cabernets and Syrahs
Although an engineer by profession, Mirel Vlas was always fascinated by wine. He developed a passion for wine, and held a dream of operating his own vineyard. His work eventually took him to a part of Romania that has its own rich wine tradition, where he created Crama Casa Vlas, located in Ardud, Satu Mare, a boutique winery that has established a reputation in Romania for producing exceptional reds.
“We don’t have a legacy nor an immense vineyard, but with our 3.5 hectares we strive to make history and make authentic wines driven by passion and enjoyment,” says Mirel. “We want our wines to satisfy the most refined of tastes. We believe our wine should be for special occasions, to consecrate a memorable experience.”
Crama Casa Vlas is located in a part of Romania that was settled by German migrants in the 1700s, who brought with them a wine-making tradition. Mirel acquired a small family vineyard in 2011 and then made the improvements that were required to produce noble reds such as Cabernet and Syrah. In 2014 he had his first harvest; the debut wine took first prize in a regional competition, the first of dozens such prizes.
Mirel believes that his engineering background gives him the attention to detail that is required to make exceptional wines. “Being an engineer, you need to be on top of things and take care of every step of the process,” he says. “It is the same with growing grapes and making wine. It is the precision of doing things properly that helps the process. During the winemaking process, every step is carefully and diligently overseen with enthusiasm and dedication.”
Through it all, Mirel continues to work as an engineer. The vineyard might only be a hobby, but it is one which he takes with a profound seriousness – and one which yields incredibly impressive results. “We will not make more than 10,000 and 15,000 bottles a year because we pride ourselves on keeping only the very best,” he says. “We are determined to maintain an extremely high quality. Because this is still a hobby, we are able to make decisions for the right reasons rather than commercial ones. We are able to grow at our own pace, sustainably, and focus entirely on making fine wine of character and distinction, and to build a brand that is acknowledged by its elegance, simplicity and refinement.”