The hills of the Odobești grapevine estate yield the largest wine production of all Romanian grapevine estates; the famous academician Gherasim Constantinescu said that ”the Odobești grapevine estate is the heart of the Romanian viticulture, like a beautiful, diligent, plentiful lass”. Historically, the grapevine estate was traced back in a deed of conveyance drawn up during the reign of Eustație Dabija (1661-1665), although it had existed a long time before. The great writer and sovereign of Moldavia, Dimitrie Cantemir, said in his ”Descriptio Moldaviae” that, as far as the quality of wine was concerned, the Odobești region was on top of the list, along with Cotnari and Huși.
The Șarba Odobești land, where the Șarba Winery is situated (previously owned by dr. Blum), owned by the company Odobești Vinex, is situated on the hills of the Subcarpathian Arch; its grapevines spread all the way to the forests of the Crăciuna Monastery and to the top of the Măgura Odobeștilor. The excellent exposure to the sun East and South-East, conferred by its geographical position, the characteristics of the soil and the balanced humidity render the wines of this grapevine estate the most sublime product of nature and of man. The Șarba and the Galbenă de Odobești varieties are the representative varieties that have adapted best in this blessed land.
Galbena de Odobești, a noble grapevine variety, is a natural selection, untouched by man, that has been on this land since time immemorial. The ”Șarba” hill of the ”Măgura Odobeștilor” foothills offers the best pedoclimatic conditions for the growth of this variety.
The company Odobești Vinex was founded back in 2002. By the year 2005, the company managed to meet all European standards for modern technology, with an over 1,500-ton of grapes processing. The pride of the company is a den cellar dating back in the 18th century, completely restored, where over 2,000 hectoliters of premium wines are ageing in stainless steel tanks and oak tree barrels. The specialists of the company are growing grapevine on 157 hectares of land, 35 of which have been replanted with young grapevine plantations of some of the most highly appreciated European and vernacular varieties, such as: Galbenă de Odobești, Șarba, Traminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling de Rhin, Fetească Regală, Plăvaie, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Fetească Neagră.
The Winery can vinify over 1,500 tons of grapes per season (60% white wines and 40% red wines), using 2 separate production lines with completely automated controlled fermentation both for white wines and for red wines.
The manorial cellar, completely renovated and holding 20 stainless steel tanks of 10,000 litres each and the 60 barriques provide the best ageing conditions for wine batches. The wines are bottled in the very place where they are made, by the automated bottling line, which has a capacity of approximately 1,500 bottles of 75 centilitres per hour. The high performance bottling line provides protection against wine oxidation in the bottle by taking the air out of the bottle before pouring the wine and by shooting in an inert gas before the cork is inserted.
The bottled wine is kept as a finite product in the modern warehouse, while the ageing wine is sitting in bottles, barriques or stainless steel tanks in the wine cellar of the winery.
We assume the duty and the honour of safeguaring the value of the Romanian wine, especially of the wine provided by the Șarba Odobești land. Therefore, even if we are keeping up with modernity, we preserve the personality and the ancestral motive of each variety.
Vinification, as a high-tech processing field, is a selling market for upstream industries. Wine is a biological product obtained through the alcoholic fermentation of grape must and due to its relatively low alcoholic strength and to its chemical composition, it represents the healthiest alcoholic beverage for the human body. Speaking of the qualities of wine, Old Plinius said that is “strengthening and blood-making, it is good for the health, it helps digestion, relieves the stomach, boosts the appetite, drives away the flu, helps diuresis and provides a good sleep”. Drunk moderately, wine strengthens the eyesight and the nerves; too large a quantity of it weakens them instead. He recommends wine as a remedy against mushroom, hemlock, mercury or opium poisoning and against spider and snake bites (Gotcu P., 1933, quoted by Popa A.,1996).
Louis Pasteur, the father of vinification, declared wine to be “the healthiest and noblest of all drinks”, and I.C. Teodorescu and his collaborators (1966) presented wine as “a fine drink, to which man has remained faithful and which, when used moderately, can be a good companion who helps, stimulates and inspires, indulges, enlivens and elates, and equally harmful and degrading when moderation lacks, as even the healthy water can be harmful when too much of it is ingested”. Wine, used moderately during meals, is a food complement, a medicine and an energy booster.
Wine is used in gastronomy; the wide range of wines can be associated with countless foods, from appetizers to deserts, not as a food per se, but as a meal companion. Associating wines with various foods is a genuine science, which has created specialists, called sommeliers. The chemical composition of wine, which is extremely complex, has positive effects on the human body. Ethyl alcohol, in moderate quantities, has an energizing effect upon the body. Wine polyphenols have an antiviral and antibacterial action, protect against atherosclerosis and favor the biochemical reactions that protect the cardiovascular system. Recent studies have demonstrated that procyanidins, besides their antioxidant effect and enhancing the action of vitamin C, accelerate the elimination of cholesterol, while the resveratrol has the capacity of preventing cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body and thus from forming metastases.
Wine-drinking populations have longer life-spans, a lower rate of deaths caused by cardiovascular conditions and a lower percentage of alcoholics.
The diet of the population of south France, even though rich in high cholesterol and fat foods (cheese, butter, eggs, meat), associated with a moderate wine consumption, constitutes the ”French paradox”, as the rate of cardiovascular conditions is much lower as a consequence of wine consumption.
Wine has been a source of inspiration to artists for ages. Grapevine and wine are to be found in rupestrian drawings, on clay tables, in ancient mosaics, on various vessels, in famous paintings and sculptures, in poems and songs. The reasonable consumption of wine (Băducă Câmpeanu C., 2001) is a proof of the degree of civilization of a population; a reasonable and educated consumption of wine means that wine must be drunk mostly during meals, each wine with the food with which it associates most harmoniously. Wine is not an indispensable part of nutrition, but it certainly is a product that makes people’s lives more beautiful and that is there for all life’s important events: birth, marriage, death and all our anniversaries, holidays and parties.