The first mentions of the vine culture in the Banat area date back to the Roman Empire, the 3rd century. But there are also older legends, saying that the God Bachus, the Dacian wine god, was born there, who was then adopted by the Greeks as Bachus-Dyonissos. The oldest written document about the region’s vineyards is dated November 11, 1447, a writ whereby Michael of Ciorna, Ban of Severin, bought the vineyards from Ioan and Catherine Magyar, for 32 gold Hungarian florins, according to the history quoted on the Recas Caves producer’s website (recaswine.ro). Starting 1772 and until 1786, an impressive number of Swabians emigrated to the region, willingly or due to poverty, coming from Bavaria, the Ulm region, where the Schwaben dialect was spoken.
Known as the smallest wine-growing region in Romania, the Banat region is placed in the southwest part of the country, including only two counties, Timis and Caras Severin. It bordersw Serbia to the south, the Mures Valley to the north and the Banat Mountains to the east. The relief descends from the altitude of 500 meters, to 100 meters, covering hills and then plains.
The wine production of the region was of 140.2 thousand hl in 2013, according to the National Statistics Institute. The Banat region includes two vineyards – Banat and Recas.
(a) The Banat Vineyards
It is placed at the southwest tip of Romania, with Serbia to the south, the Mures Valley to the north and the Banat Mountains to the east. The relief descends from 500 meters to 100 meters, covering hills and then plains. The characteristic natural factor is the hilly region of the Banat, the tapered hills of the Dognecei mountains. They include skeletal, brown podzolitic soils eroded by gravel, levigated rendzines and rendzinic regosoils, rich in iron and micro-elements. The vineyards benefit from a southern, southwestern or southeastern exposure, most of the plantations being situated on plateaus. The average annual temperature is of 9.8 degrees Celsius, with annual rainfall amounting to 518 mm, and the number of sunshine hours totalling 1485 per year. The types of grapes producing wines are: Muscat Ottonel, Sauvignon, Grey Pinot, Royal Fetească, White Fetească, Italian Riesling, Rhein Riesling, Majarcă, Chardonnay, whoite assortment (for white wines) and: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot noir, Black Fetească, Grand Burgundy, Cadarcă, Syrah, Novac, Red assortment (red wines).
(b) The Recas Vineyards
Stretching over nearly 800 hectares of land, the Recas vineyard is one of the landmarks of Babat and a Romanian export brand. Attested in documents as early as 1477, the Recas vineyard has carved a good name for itself over time. The production is stimulated by the climate - temperate continental, with Mediterrranean influences. The rainfall is between 500 and 700 mm, so that confitions are ripe for viticulture, without extremely low temperatures, and the heat is well balanced to favor the growth and full ripening of the grapes – 1519 hours of sunshine per year.
The Recas vineyard has a large variety of types of soil, from the forest reddish-brown to the soil with high content of iron oxydes – perfect for the red wines – all on a basic clayinh rock, perfect for the vineyards.
The types of grapes that can be used to make wines with Recas Contolled orinin Names are white and red. The white types: Muscat Ottonel, Sauvignon, Grey Pinot, Royal Fetească, Mustoasă of Măderat, Italian Riesling, Rhine Riesling, Chardonnay and red types - : Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot noir, Black Fetească, Grand Burgundy, Cadarcă, Syrah, Novac.