PHILOSOPHY

REBIRTH OF A TRADITION

For over 300 years the wines of Prince Stirbey family are grown according to a core of well-developed principles, preserved by each generation. Our wish is to respect them and pass them to the future generations, as well:

Discovery of traditional grape varieties
We are adepts of traditional grape varieties, evolved over the centuries and adapted to the pedoclimatic conditions of a wine region. Only there they can fully develop their personality. Vinifying them separately, we are only producing single grape wines, in order to reveal the individual character of each variety.

Discovery of Terroir
Soil, climate, flora and fauna, as well as customs of people working in our vineyards and in our winery, they all stongly influence the development of our grapes and wines – giving each single parcel a specific character – synthesized as Terroir or, in a profounder understanding, Genius Loci – the spirit of the place. Our aim is to convey this Genius Loci in all our wines.

Natura has priority
We are convinced that the forces of nature are able to give us much healthier and durable products than any human technical intervention could. We are nurturing the grapevines only by manual work and not mechanically, reducing chemical treatments down to a minimum. At vinification we respect the nature’s rythm in fermentation and aging, thus not forcing the process through technical interventions.

Stirbey Quality Seal
For many generations, Prince Stirbey family has actively contributed to the development of the Romanian nation. Thus, Prince Stirbey became a synonym for excellency. We guarantee that by their outstanding quality, all Prince Stirbey wines deserve bearing this name as a quality seal.

HISTORY

The Princely family Stirbey, of Wallachian origin, first time documented in the 15th century, has marked the political and economical development of the country, through many generations.

After the Revolution of 1848, in difficult times, Prince Barbu Stirbey (1799-1869) is elected Reigning Prince (“Domnitor”) of Tara Romaneasca, and seeks balanced relationships with the Ottoman Empire, the Empire of Austria-Hungary and with the Russian Empire, thus setting the foundations for an independent state. Under his rule (1849-1856), Tara Romaneasca went from a feudal and agriculture-based country to an enlightened nation, with its first industrial enterprises, a modern educational system and a well developed road network.

Prince Barbu Alexandru Stirbey (1873 – 1946), grandson of Domnitor Barbu Stirbey, was one of the most influential Romanian personalities in the first half of the 20th century. His influence is well known both in the politics of those times – Barbu Stirbey was the Head Counselor of King Carol I and King Ferdinand – but also in the economy – he was the Administrator of Royal Domains and Chairman of some industrial enterprises and banks.

Prince Barbu Alexandru Stirbey managed to convert his estates in Buftea (Ilfov County), Stirbeiu (today- Iancu Jianu, Olt County), Galicea Mare (Dolj County) and Onesti (Iasi County) into a profitable agricultural cluster, through investments in processing facilities for agricultural products. For example, he established the very first canning factory in Romania, at Buftea. The wines produced on his domains were aging in the huge cellars of the Stirbey Palace in Bucharest. Through modern marketing, Barbu Stirbey promoted his products, under the brand Stirbey, which became synonymous with outstanding quality.

At the beginning of the 20th century, after the Phylloxera pest ravaged the vineyards across the country, Prince Barbu Stirbey was the owner of the largest grapevine nursery in Romania, where mostly domestic varieties of grapevines were being grafted – Prince Stirbey was promoting these native varieties, which had been nearly displaced by foreign varieties.

In 1946, Princess Maria Stirbey, the eldest daughter of Prince Barbu Alexandru Stirbey, inherited the vineyards in Dragasani, owned by the family since 17th century. After the national expropriation in 1949, its operations were carried on as a state-owned winery. In 2001, the vineyards and the cellar were restored to the heirs of Princess Stirbey.

Baroness Ileana Kripp, granddaughter of Princess Maria Stirbey, devoted her efforts to the rebirth of this family tradition, and together with her husband, she renovated the winery and equipped the cellar with modern technology, in order to provide the customers with high quality wines from the Stirbey wine estate in Dragasani.

VINEYARDS

4 hectars, in the west slope of the Olt hill, at the surface loamy soil, with sand layers in some areas, on deep grey-yellow clay. Plantation in terraces. The orientation to the west gives an elevated insolation, favorable for Merlot, while the Sauvignon Blanc terraces at the bottom of the slope are protected against the heat peaks in summer.

 

WINES:

MERLOT

SAUVIGNON BLANC

Via Stirbey
4 hectars, on the east side of the Olt hill, oriented to the east and south, on a slope of 15-20 %. Loamy soil (3-6 m) at the surface, with aquiferous sand layers in some areas, on deep cold clay. Cabernet Sauvignon ripens well on the south slopes,while Novac and Negru de Dragasani keep freshness in the morning sun to the east.

 

WINES:

ROSE

CABERNET SAUVIGNON

NOVAC

NEGRU DE DRAGASANI

Via Bibescu
5 hectars, orientation to the east, towards the river Olt, exposed to the morning sun and protected against the afternoon heat. Compact soil of deep and cold clay, keeping humidity also in extreme heat, facilitating nutrition of the vines and preserving of fresh flavours in the grapes – ideal conditions for Cramposie.

 

WINES:

CRAMPOSIE SELECTIONATA

Via Bengescu
1 hectar, near to Bibescu vineyard, oriented to the east, loam at the surface, on deep clay, planted with more than 40 years old Sauvignon Blanc vines, which eery year give the best Sauvignon Blanc grapes from our vineyards.

 

WINES:

SAUVIGNON BLANC

Via Moraru
2 hectars, oriented to the south, soil of brown to red loam with inclusions of limestone and reduced humidity – perfect conditions for growing Tamaioasa grapes, reaching here elegant and intense aroma and flavours.

 

WINES:

TAMAIOASA ROMANEASCA SEC

Via Tiberie
4 hectars, exposure to the east, fat soil of clay and loam, of elevated fertility, with sufficient humidity all over the year. Vines of Tamaioasa and Feteasca Regala give well textured, full-bodied wines.

 

WINES:

FETEASCA REGALA

TAMAIOASA ROMANEASCA DULCE

Via Pencovici
4 hectars, on a south and west slope, well structured loamy soil, not too compact, favouring the development of deep roots, assuring healthy nutrition of the grapes, and giving them intense colour and flavours.

 

WINES:

CRAMPOSIE SELECTIONATA

NEGRU DE DRAGASANI

NOVAC

Via Foisor

CELLAR

The wine cellar on the Stirbey Estate, in Dragasani, in its actual size, was designed by Prince Barbu Alexandru Stirbey at the beginning of the 20th century for processing the grapes harvested from a 20 hectares area, the equivalent of approximately 70.000-80.000 liters of wine per year.

Today, the annual wine production at the Stirbey winery is about the same. However, the facility has been renewed to match the modern standards of winemaking: stainless steel tanks – used in the incipient stages of winemaking: fermentation and clarification; oak barrels of different volumes – for the red wines’ maturation process; a pneumatic press – which due to its reduced pressure prevents the damage to aroma cells in grapes, and a modern bottling line, which assures bottling in sterile conditions.

Besides the technical assets, maintaining a clean and tidy work area averts any damage to the wine over this sensitive stage of vinification. Thus, we are able to avoid technical interventions for correcting wine defects , facilitating creation of natural and healthy wines of consistent quality.

ECHIPA

For more than 300 years, people from the village of Mitrofani, with all their passion and experience, formed and transferred from generation to generation,  are involved in the works in the vineyards and in the winery of the Stirbey Domaine, giving birth with the work of their hands to natural wines of excellent quality.

ILEANA KRIPP
After escaping in 1969 from a prison-country, Ileana rediscovered their ancestors´ land in 1997, spending her honeymoon with Jakob in Romania, and reencountering the roots of Stirbey family. Rediscovering her own family´s roots inspired her to give rebirth to the tradition of Stirbey wines from Dragasani.

JAKOB KRIPP

His skills as lawyer enabled the restitution of the Stirbey Domaine in Dragasani. From his very first vist in 1999, Jakob was enchanted by this charming place in the hills of Dragasani. Discovering the potential of this wine region, his “genetical predisposition” was awakened, formed by his family´s 500 years old winegrowing tradition in South Tyrol.

DUMITRU NEDELUT

Working in the 1980-ies in the former Stirbey vineyards in Dragasani as agronomist, he wished to give back to the Stirbey family´s heirs in a good shape these vineyards he took care of with all his passion and professional skills  for more than 20 years within the state-owned winery of Dragasani. Already at their first meeting with Dumitru, Ileana si Jakob Kripp felt his exceptional professional dedication, and entrusted him as administrator the Stirbey Domaine in Dragasani.

RALUCA BAUER

Met for the first time with Stirbey Domaine in Dragasani with the help of Oliver, who served the first vintage of Stirbey wines at a wine show in Bucharest in November 2004. She immediately fell in love – not only with Oliver, but also with the wines he created. And who could promote these wines better then the winemaker´s wife?

OLIVER BAUER

Learned for the first time in 2003 about the history of Stirbey Domaine in Dragasani, at the occasion of a meeting with Jakob Kripp in a beer brewery in Bavaria. Pushed by the curiosity of a true wine enthusiast, he saw a unique professional chance and immediately accepted Jakob´s offer to participate as winemaker in an expedition into a wine region completely unknown to him, but rich in winegrowing tradition and plenty of precious indigenous grape varieties.