Moldova, a small country in Eastern Europe, is known for its rich winemaking history and diverse grape varieties. One of the indigenous grape varieties that thrive in Moldova’s climate and soil is Fetească Regală. This white grape is highly regarded for its unique flavors and characteristics, making it a favorite among wine enthusiasts.
The History of Fetească Regală
Fetească Regală has a long history in Moldova, dating back to the 17th century. It is believed to be a native grape variety that has adapted well to the local terroir. The name “Fetească Regală” translates to “Royal Maiden,” which reflects the grape’s noble qualities and elegance.
Moldova’s winemakers have embraced Fetească Regală as a signature grape variety and have dedicated significant vineyard areas to its cultivation. The grape is known for its strong resistance to diseases and pests, making it suitable for organic and sustainable viticulture practices.
Tasting Notes and Flavor Profile
Fetească Regală wines are distinctive and offer a wide range of aromas and flavors. On the nose, you’ll often find floral notes of acacia, elderflower, and white blossoms. The wines typically have a medium to high acidity, which adds freshness and liveliness to the palate.
In terms of flavor, Fetească Regală wines often exhibit citrus fruit characteristics, such as zesty lemon, ripe grapefruit, and juicy lime. There are also hints of stone fruits, like white peach and apricot, along with herbal undertones of sage and chamomile. When well-made, Fetească Regală wines can display a beautiful balance of fruitiness, acidity, and minerality.
Fetească Regală wines are best enjoyed when young and fresh. They make excellent aperitifs, complement light salads, seafood dishes, and vegetarian cuisine. The wines also pair well with goat cheese and light pasta dishes.
Winemaking and Aging Potential
Due to Fetească Regală’s high acidity, it is often vinified into dry white wines. The grapes are hand-harvested and gently pressed to extract the juice. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures to preserve the aromatic and flavor characteristics of the grape.
While Fetească Regală wines are mostly enjoyed as young wines, there are some producers who experiment with aging. Barrel fermentation and oak aging can add complexity and depth to the wines, showcasing notes of vanilla, toast, and honey. These aged Fetească Regală wines offer a different drinking experience and can develop further in the bottle for a few years.
Discovering Fetească Regală Wines
If you’re interested in exploring the flavors of Fetească Regală, look for Moldovan wines on your local wine shop’s shelves or search for online retailers specializing in Eastern European wines. Some renowned wineries producing Fetească Regală include Purcari, Château Vartely, and Mileștii Mici.
Fetească Regală offers a unique and refreshing alternative to more well-known white grape varieties. Its indigenous identity and the dedication of Moldovan winemakers have helped establish it as a distinctive and deserving variety in the world of wine.
Immerse yourself in the world of Moldovan wine by trying Fetească Regală, and discover the beauty of this indigenous white grape.