Corcova Roy&Dâmboviceanu, cultivated pleasure
Probably, viticulture existed in this area ever since the Dacians, as the area was inhabited and placed not very far from the capital city of Sarmizegetusa. Documents attest the vineyard since the 16th century. Later on, by means of a document dated the 1st of July 1594, Michael the Brave acknowledges two vineyards to Necula in Corcova and, in another document dated the 8th of July 1956, the prince acknowledges to Radu, the second cupbearer, an inherited property and vineyards in Jirov, Cernaia, Cotoroaia and Valea Buna.
Corcova, as an estate belonging to the Bibescu family, went through its period of glory at the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. Prince Anton Bibescu hired a young French agriculturist to handle the vineyard, Aristoteles Sauget. This young man, followed by his sons, turned Corcova into heaven and furthermore, he invented the Corcovin and Corcovel, amazing types of blending based on Cabernet.
None of the specialists of the State-owned Agricultural Enterprises (IAS), some of them quite praiseworthy, managed to bring these back to life again during the communist regime.
In fact, Corcova was the favourite place of Anton Bibescu and Martha Bibescu for holiday spending, as well as for some of their famous friends. Marcel Proust wrote: "Dear names, such as Corcova, were so familiar and close just like Senlis and a thousand times dearer than Bonnelles and I lived in constant fear not to see them publicized in a press release and at the same time I blamed myself for not knowing enough other as well that you must hold dear and which are maybe known through your memories, Emanuel's or Princess Bibescu's. Oh, how dear I hold you in my heart at these moments!"
Virgiliu Tataru, a publicist and literary historian from Mehedinti county, wrote in his "Tragic adventure of the spirit": "Prince Anton Bibescu was more than convinced that only in these places from the charming valley of Motru could he regain that long sought-for balance of body and soul, to be able to start again with unimagined enthusiasm, with increased energies, on life's insurgent waves, seeking for the eternal mystery of man's destiny on Earth. Here, at the Corcova mansion, he especially liked spending spring, allowing himself to be pierced by the dazzling perfume of so many flowers he thought to belong only to this land and which he believed not to be found anywhere else. The prince loved just as much autumns in Corcova, he lived rare moments of happiness when he saw the vast vineyards overwhelmed in fruitage and when he touched, with a gentle caress, the grey chubby grapes that had stolen miraculously the golden treasure of the summer sun."
The Wine-growing Viticola Corcova Company, property of Roy & Damboviceanu was founded in 2005, a moment when, out of the 470 hectares of vine that the Corcova State Agricultural Enterprise (IAS) owned, only 18 hectares were left and the wine cellars, which had been built by Prince Anton Bibescu at the beginning of the 20th century, were ruined.
In the summer of 2005, the company bought 12 hectares of vine planted by the Corcova IAS and approximately 50 hectare of land planted with ruined vine, in Jirov Village. Both locations had been planted with vine ever since the time of the Bibescu family estate and their predisposition to vine culture was confirmed. Later on, the company applied for financing from the SAPARD Fund in order to replace the aged vine and re-plant it with higher quality strains. The project received financing and it was finalized in 2007. Thus, during the years of 2006 and 2007, 40 hectares were planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Muscat Ottonel and Chardonnay strains. Except for Syrah, the strains had been cultivated in Corcova since the Bibescu family Estate, being included in the D.O.C authorized strains for Mehedinti-Corcova area.
The wine cellars were fully renovated and modernized throughout 2008-2009. With the support of the EFARD (European Fund for Agriculture and Rural Development), the wine cellars were equipped with modern machines and tools that facilitate processing, according to European standards.
After new planting process organized in 2008 and 2010, the cultivated surface reached an area of 55 hectares, out of which 40 are cultivated with red wine strains.
Located in the South-West of the country, in Mehedinti County, Corcova is considered a new vineyard for the today consumers, although it continues the tradition of producing quality wine, a practice that begun in this area hundreds of years ago.
Corcova Roy & Damboviceanu wines are special and have that "gout du terroir", because all the necessary elements meet in the same place: a temperate-continental climate with Mediterranean influence - warm and dry summers, gentle winters, with increased rain fall; soils with a diverse lithological structure and rich in minerals, specific to the Motru Piedmont, that is part of the largest piedmont area in the country, the Getic Piedmont; noble vine with the proper strains, supplied by Pepiniers Hebinger and the careful and responsible work of the Roy&Damboviceanu Corcova team.
Starting with 2005, 55 hectares of land have been replanted with vines from Pepiniers Hebinger in France and strains dating back from the time of Bibescu's estate - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Muscat Ottonel, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc - as well as Feteasca Neagra. Furthermore, the wine cellars built by Prince Antoine Bibescu were completely refurbished throughout 2008-2009, observing the initial architecture and equipped with wine production machines manufactured by the most prestigious specialized companies in France and Italy.
Corcova Roy & Damboviceanu wines are elaborated in such a manner as to render as loyal as possible the "terroir" eloquence.
The extremely important human intervention plays precisely the role of keeping untouched the flavour, the taste and the scent of grapes that bring about wines. The parcels of vine, carefully treated and supervised, produce grapes whose identity is preserved in the wines produced, as they age in the cellar. Later on, through the oenologist's careful intervention, they are blended to mutually enrich and highlight their qualities.
Thoroughness, care, talent, these are all common features of the Roy & Damboviceanu team and they are essential in reaching the common goal: producing an excellent Romanian wine.