As you walk through the centre of Timis Co. you will come across an area covered with a wonderful vine, Recas. Six km away from the city, near a picturesque village, on a wine-land, a new winery rises. Petro Vaselo winery was named after the dwelling it lays on. The winery cultivates 42 hectares of vineyard, the oldest fruit-bearing vines dating back to 2005 and the youngest to 2009.
Petro Vaselo is a bio-certified vineyard where grapes, once they’ve reached the cellar, go through two manual selections in order to have any unsuitable clusters removed. Throughout the production process the wine is treated in the absence of oxygen; this allows the grapes to reach the end of fermentation without having to add any antioxidants.
Moreover, this is the winery where, perhaps the most expensive young wine in Romania is produced - PV Gran Cru - a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine is produced by means of a micro-winemaking process (a heavier workload – it will take about twice as long), and is taken to an advanced phenolic maturity. It is produced from grapes manually harvested in mid-November (thus, very late) from the best vines in the vineyard. The grapes are then carefully selected (manual selection) and the unfiltered wine is fermented in oak and French acacia barrels.
Brief biography of Petro Vaselo winery:
2002 - The company Petro Vaselo is founded. The investors are from Northern Italy and were instantly attracted by the picturesque and potential of the place when they were in the area on business. The 172 hectares they own today, were purchased from over 600 owners: "Some did not even know how to add their signature," says Ariana Black, commercial director. "The land was depleted, but the vine did seem to make it glow again."
2005 - the first plantation of vines.
2009 - the first harvest was vinified in Montalcino, Italy.
2011 – The winery is functional and the first harvest is processed. It is also the year Marco arrives, initially as an assistant, today becoming the youngest winemaker in Romania.
In addition to wines, another interesting part of the winery located in the heart of Banat is the team. Petro Vaselo has assembled probably the youngest commercial team and most "crude" winemaker, Marco Feltrin. When I asked if age wasn’t an obstacle to them or to the people's perception, Marco replied smiling "Being young can be regarded as a problem only by the elderly".
Marco Feltrin is a real-life character and he is only 26 years old. Even though his father was an electrician and his mother a nurse, he followed in his grandfather’s footsteps- choosing to work with nature. "I’ve always been passionate about wine because my grandfather used to have a small farm and make wine at home. I made my first wine at the age of 14 and I used a plastic barrel. I got about 300 bottles and I bottled them myself. I was very proud that a restaurant in the area bought 50 of those bottles. That was my debut in the wine industry."
Marco graduated from Agri-food High school (Viticulture and Oenology fields) in the homeland of Prosecco. At the age of 17 he was employed by a large winery which was located in an area that produced 60 million bottles of wine. When he was 19, he started working during harvest at a renowned winery in Piemonte, Albino Rocca winery. That winery was well-known for Barolo and Barbaresco wines. He later joined the Faculty of Viticulture, and eventually started working in Burgundy.
"It was in Burgundy that I learned how to make wines from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In addition to that, I learned that wine should be as dainty as a woman. Where I come from, wines are very strong. Burgundy is where I discovered that wine can be sensitive and delicate. "In 2010 he was sent by one of his teachers to Salinas Valley at Blackstone Winery. He returned to Italy to get his Bachelor’s degree, and shortly after, he was called to Romania at Petro Vaselo winery by the one who was the wine expert at the time, and a year later he would become a resident of the winery.
Short questionnaire for Marco Feltrin:
red: Zinfandel / Primitivo
Favourite wine area: Burgundy
Wine Keywords: balance, roundness, freshness.
Favourite part of the job: alcoholic fermentation, because, in my view, it is the key step in winemaking.
Romanian wines have ... a potential that is not yet fully expressed and recognized.
Romanian wine consumers ...have yet to learn how to dispose of clichés, however lately, they seem to have become more curious.
CrameRomania.ro is ... I will resign and tell you the way I see it. I find this project incredible. CrameRomania.ro is a very useful database, and the idea is fantastic. So far I have not seen anything even remotely similar to this in Romania, and the fact that it is a voluntary project supported entirely by you makes it all the more extraordinary. I think it's helpful to the wineries that you promote them free of charge, but this helps the consumers as well because this way they have a variety of choices.
What we did not know and Marco told us: In Italy there are two producers who realize the second wine fermentation in the sea (100 m depth) using the champenoise method and they leave the bottles there for two years.
Petro Vaselo is a winery built on passion. It is true that more and more foreigners are investing in wine lands in our country and they should; they are saving the earth and bringing out the best in grapes, respecting the terroir and the Romanian tradition. We thank Petro Vaselo for another beautiful story at the vineyard.