Saturday, July 30, 2022

Mediaș, Transylvania's old wine trade town

Sometimes you know a day is special. It was June 3, 2022 and we had come to Mediaș to celebrate the First International Fetească Regala Day. We did a morning visit to a nearby winery, ate lunch in town, and toured of some of Mediaș's historical wine sites, some of which are in the process of reconstruction. Later, over dinner there was a Fetească Regala wine tasting, and the launching of Octavian Isailă's book, Rebuilding of the old wine metropolis of Transylvania. Mediaș was an old wine-trade town, and hence has so much rich wine history. We were about to discover that not only was it a special day but also, we had come to a very special place, Mediaș. We were indeed most fortunate to get a glimpse into some of that history.

 Restaurant at Traube Hotel, Mediaș © Spaswinefood

Our days in Transylvania's wine country were filled with vine-filled explorations. It was late evening, June 2, 2022 when we arrived at the Traube Hotel in MediașTraube Hotel is a hotel filled with character, even the steep climb up to our room on the top level, with luggage, was well worth it.

Room with View at the Top, Traube Hotel, Mediaș © Spaswinefood

Traube Hotel, Mediaș © Spaswinefood

After checkin we gathered in the street side restaurant for wine and an evening meal. Here we met up Octavian Isailă who next day would introduce us to Mediaș's wine history. I would later discover that the city has a viticultural history of over 800 years. It was the center of an area known as Weinland (Wine Country). His book is the first collection of documents from the late 1800's on that history. In the documentation he highlights the role of the Caspari and Ambrosi wine families. They were pioneers in the replanting with grafted vines after the phylloxera epidemic in Europe.

June 3, 2022 Mediaș

After a night's rest next day our wine explorations began at Frauendorf Winery.

Frauendorf Winery © Spaswinefood

At Frauendorf Winery, a young winery, we tasted some of their first vintages.

Tasting Wines, Frauendorf Winery © Spaswinefood

After the wine tasting we returned to Mediaș for lunch. This visit gave me a glimpse into how wine making continues to grow this area. Moreover, there are also well established local producers, like Jidvei in the Târnavelor area. 

Mediaș: The Old Wine Metropolis
Mediaș, one of Romania’s best preserved historical centers, includes some well preserved medieval fortificationsThe city lies in the middle of the area, which was inhabited by Transylvanian Saxons. There were seven fortified towns built by the Saxons in the Middle Ages, They settled in the area spurred by the economic and political privileges given to them by the Hungarian kingdom.

Historic Center of Mediaș © Spaswinefood

Historical Fortified Mediaș © Spaswinefood

The Tower of the Buglers, symbol of the town, started construction in the 13th century, with construction continuing into the 15th century. Mediaș's St. Margaret Church, within the fortified center, was built around the same time. 

Tower of the Buglers, Mediaș Fortified Center © Spaswinefood
Looking Towards Fortified Center of Mediaș © Spaswinefood

The city has a number of restored buildings including Liceul Teoretic Stephan Ludwig Roth, now a high school.

Liceul Teoretic Stephan Ludwig Roth, Mediaș © Spaswinefood

Learning about the rich history of this wine-trade town was a unique experience for me. One of the places we stopped was at the former Ambrosi residence. 

Former Ambrosi Residence, Mediaș © Spaswinefood

Plans are to restore it to a boutique hotel.

 Touring Wine History, Mediaș © Spaswinefood

We were most fortunate to have 
Octavian Isailă share with us some of 
Mediaș's wine history. One of the restored buildings is a wine shop, The Wine Corner, established in 2017.

The Wine Corner, Mediaș © Spaswinefood
The Wine Corner, Mediaș © Spaswinefood

This property has been restored as a wine shop however, it has a rich history.

Building's History: The Wine Corner, Mediaș © Spaswinefood

We continued on our walk tour to the police station. Under the police station there exists an old wine cellar.

Police Station, Mediaș © Spaswinefood

Along the way I managed to capture a photo of a manhole cover. This cover certainly captures the historical significance of wine trade in Mediaș (Medgyes, Mediasch).

Decorative History, Mediaș © Spaswinefood

We continued onto a hill overlooking the train station. The train station played a key role in making this a wine metropolis. Here there was not only a winery but extensive wine storage. Plans are to restore this complex.

Train Station: Key to Making Mediaș a Wine Metropolis © Spaswinefood
A Closer Look: Mediaș, an Old Wine Metropolis© Spaswinefood

Clearly, Mediaș, the old wine metropolis is undergoing reconstruction.

Mediaș: Time to Celebrate
We we not the only ones in town that day celebrating. It looked like there was a fair to kick off summer just around the corner. There were carnaval rides, food, music and more.

Time for a Ride, Mediaș © Spaswinefood

Time for a Fair, Mediaș © Spaswinefood

It was late spring and the town was clearly ready for a fair. 

Since September 2021, Winefest Mediaș began hosting a wine festival with wine tasting, food, and live music concerts. When I checked I discovered that they did post information on International Feteasca Regala DayGiven the historical significance of this old wine trade town it was appropriate to celebrate the First International Feteasca Regala Day, June 3, 2022 here. This is am sure, it is the first of many celebrations to come.

 International Fetească Regală Day, June 3, 2022 © Spaswinefood

Later over dinner at Hanul Greweln we enjoyed a Fetească Regala wine tasting, and Octavian Isailă launched his book on wine history of Mediaș. Clearly Isailă has undertaken a number of impressive projects to restore some of Mediaș's rich wine history.

 Feteasca Regala Wine Tasting © Spaswinefood

 Launching of Octavian Isaila's Book © Spaswinefood

Over dinner that evening how could I not get a sense of this special town Mediaș.  Mediaș has such a rich wine history.

Time to Celebrate Mediaș © Spaswinefood

At that day with the celebration of International Fetească Regală Day it signaled the reclaiming Mediaș's wine history.

Thank You Razvan, International Fetească Regală Day, June 3, 2022, Mediaș © Spaswinefood

A few members of our group managed to check out the city's celebration of First International Fetească Regala Day at City Hall. I am sure there are more celebrations to look forward to in future years.

International Fetească Regală Day, June 3, 2022, Mediaș © Spaswinefood

For me celebrating the First International Fetească Regala Day, June 3, 2022 was a special honor. After a very brief introduction to the rich wine history of Medias we traveled onto Sighisoara where I concluded my Transylvanian wine travels. What a wonderful introduction to Transylvania wine country it was! My traveling buddies would spend one more night in Sighisoara, and then onto the Dealu Mare Wine Region however, we (Carol & I) were off to Cluj to travel onwards. 

 On the Road in Transylvania Wine Country © Spaswinefood

It was hard for this wine traveler to leave Mediaș, a city with such rich history. I did leave with an autographed copy of Octavian Isailă's first book on the town's wine history. I have since read and/or scanned the book that includes documents written in German, Romanian, and English. Despite my language challenges I still get a sense of how important Mediaș's wine trade was. Thank you Octavian Isailă for all your efforts to reconstructing this history. For most of us, just being part of the First International Fetească Regala Day, was a once in a lifetime experience. For sure Romania is for winelovers therefore I invite you to join me in my travels in Romania and elsewhere at Wine Travels with Dr. Sharon and at Spaswinefood on Twitter and FacebookSpecial thanks to Razvan Stoenescu, and all of our wonderful Romanian hosts for making my vine-filled explorations so memorable. 


June 2022
To Mediaș, Romania with Love
© Spaswinefood
Thank You, Mediaș, Romania © Spaswinefood
With Love to Mediaș, Romania © Spaswinefood Trip May 31- June 7, 2022 © Spaswinefood
Thank You, Winelover Romania © Spaswinefood

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