Carastelec Winery – founded in 2011 – is the first winery from the new generation, designed and built to produce sparkling wine with a second fermentation in the bottle, the traditional method.
The winery is located in Carastelec village (Sălaj Co) in North West Transylvania, part of AOC Crișana, Șimleul Silvaniei Vineyard – in a wine region with a history of hundreds of years in winemaking and producing sparkling wines. The winery has put on Romania’s wine map this forgotten area, the winery slopes being in the exact spot where they have been shown on the Josephinian map in 1770.
Both the choice of the location, the grape varieties – the majority of them are traditional varieties for making sparkling wine – the planning and organizing the plantation (slopes with south exposure, the planting density of 6250 vines/ha), and the winery equipment have been designed in order to produce sparkling wine from the local harvest, the entire process taking place in the local winery.
The cool climate of Carastelec area offers a difference in temperatures between night and day, which allows the grapes to ripe slowly, producing basic wines with ripen, matured flavors, while the acidity of the wine is high, a main characteristic in producing sparkling wines. Obtaining these types of grapes is difficult in other regions other than the cool ones. For sparkling wines, the harvest – depending on the weather and the level of technologic maturity - begins at the end of August, the beginning of September and it is only done manually.
Carastelec Winery owns a new plantation of 22.4 hectares, a new building constructed in 2011-2013 and equipped with modern technology for producing sparkling wines, which covers the entire process of making sparkling wines from pressing, fermentation, maturing in bottle at controlled temperature, mechanized riddling with gyropallet, disgorgement through freezing brine, corking equipment, up to labeling. The whole sparkling wine process happens in the same place, in the winery, thus controlling the entire process.
The Carastelec Winery Sparkling wine is called CARASSIA. The name, derived from the location and winery’s name, underlines the importance of the place of origin of this sparkling wine, the terroir being the basic factor in the typicality and quality of the wines. The first edition of the Carassia sparkling wine obtained by traditional method, was launched in May 2017, after 20 months of aging in bottle and after three years from harvesting the grapes. Aging a long time in the bottle is the process that gives the sparkling wine specific flavors of autolysis, unique flavors for sparkling wines obtained through traditional method.
The longer the process of aging in bottle is, the more complex the aromas of the sparkling wine, the finer and the more persistent pearl. The moment of disgorging has been and will always be a decision taken according to the evolution of the sparkling wine, which is further monitored during maturation in the bottle. In order to get a higher quality, we made the choice to take a period of aging wines nearly three times longer than the one prescribed by the law for the AOC sparkling wines.
The Carassia brand, the main brand of the winery - next to the Friza wines and the still wine Vinca, available on the Romanian market since 2014 - will be launched both on the market in Romania and Hungary in May 2017 with three labels: Carassia Blanc De Blancs Brut, Carassia Classic Extra Brut, Carassia Rose Brut. The sparkling wines will be available exclusively in specialized stores and Horeca.