Romania has a long wine history and a more significant contemporary wine market presence than many observers appreciate. Its fine wines seem to fly under the radar here in the United States.
Romania produces more wine than New Zealand, according to OIV statistics. So why are Kiwi wines much better known on the international scene?
Strategy is one answer. New Zealand is highly export-driven, powered by international and multinational investment, while Romanians drink much more of their own wine and export less. In fact, statistics I found suggest that Romanian spending on imports generally exceeds their wine export receipts, creating a negative wine trade balance.
Market positioning is another difference. When New Zealand was breaking into the high-margin US and UK markets 20 years ago many Romanian producers were focused on the lower-margin Russian and CIS markets. This is changing. Exports to the UK, China, and Germany among others now lead the charge. Romanian wine is on the rise.
I was pleased, therefore, to learn that a Romanian translation of my 2011 book Wine Wars has been released. It is called Războaiele Vinului, which translates as “War of Wine.” The subtitle, “The Curse of the Blue Nun, the Miracle of Two Buck Chuck and the Revenge of the Terroirists” is “Blestemul Blue Nun, Miracolul Two Buck Chuck și Razboaiele Teroriștilor” in Romanian.
The Romanian Wine Wars was adapted by Catalin Paduraru and translated by Radu Rizea. Why translate Wine Wars into Romanian? Catalin believes that it is important for Romanian wine producers to better understand the global markets in which they and their wines compete. He sees Wine Wars as an approachable and understandable analysis of global wine dynamics and was willing to go to a good deal of trouble to make it available in Romania. I’m flattered by this attention and hope that Romanian wine-makers can leverage this analysis to help them gain ground in the fiercely competitive global markets.
I hope to find an opportunity to visit Romania later this year and talk about their wine wars with my Romanian readers. Cheers to you all, and especially to Catalin for all the work he put into this project.
Update. The Romanian edition of Wine Wars has been named the book of the year by an important Romanian publication.