An academic life dedicated to vine and wine, promoting continuously Romanian viticulture culture
In Romanian, an old proverb says that the chip doesn’t fall far from the trunk, with the same meaning as the English “apple that doesn’t fall far from the tree”. When it comes to the story of Academy member Valeriu V. Cotea (Vicu, for friends), the English version is more inspired, because we are talking about a fruit that sprouted, grew and carried its legacy forward with strength, but also with great modesty.
Professor, son of a professor, Academy member, son of an Academy member, two trainers of professionals and characters, two top researchers and two Romanian delegates at the OIV, the International Organization of Vine and Wine who represented (and continue to represent, thanks to the heir) the Romanian wine with honor around the world, even in the worst of times.
Born and raised among vineyards, fond of mathematics, but rather of horticulture, (his mother was a viticulture teacher), he joined the teaching staff at the Faculty of Horticulture of USV Iasi in 1986, climbing all the academic steps up to the position of university professor, in 1999, and as PhD supervisor, since 2005. At the time of his admission as a corresponding member of the Romanian Academy, in 2019, he had already guided 23 doctors, five postdoctoral researchers to the completion of their studies and was also supervising 16 other doctorates. For those who do not understand the importance of this detail – these are the top specialists on whom the future of Romanian wine depends, the people who deeply understand the complex connection between wine and the place where it is born.
Ten years before his merits were recognized by the Romanian Academy, Valeriu Cotea received the Order of Merit for the scientific activity within the OIV, one of the most important awards that a wine specialist can hope for and which usually comes at the end of the career, as a crowning of all the work. Valeriu Cotea was only 49 years old at the time.
There are many things for which we are grateful to Valeriu Cotea, from the training of new oenologists, whose wines we enjoy today, to lesser-known things, invisible to the general public. For example, in 2000, the National Vine and Wine Patronage (PNVV) was created, and Valeriu V. Cotea was elected president of this organization, although its members were producers of agricultural machines, oenological substances or wine producers. A hard-to-evaluate impact of this non-governmental organization is the decisive contribution to the way the media in Romania, traditional or online, started talking about wine.
A landmark of Romanian viticulture: Appreciation bestowed upon Professor Valeriu V. Cotea on his anniversary.
There were years when everyone lived in a general confusion, when everyone just "knoew" that Pinot noir can only be sweet, that Murfatlar is a type of grape, that any Cabernet is rough and no one ever spent a second thinking that there were simply not enough hectares to produce the millions of bottles of Feteasca neagra that had flooded the market. Articles about wine in the media were at best written by amateurs, until PNVV managed to coagulate a hard core of journalists and bloggers who, from one winery to another, from one tasting to another, educated them and helped them learn the language of wine, its depth, the essential things about viticulture and winemaking… And Valeriu V. Cotea was a constant guest of these meetings and tours that formed the first specialized journalists. The way in which they further formed the wine-loving public beyond any estimation…
A list of merits, diplomas and distinctions would be too long, even for the most patient reader, so we will highlight just a few of them, hoping that as many as possible will understand what kind of teacher we are honoring today:
- Corresponding member, Swiss Academy of Wine
- Corresponding member, Italian Academy of Vine and Wine
- Member of the International Federation of Journalists and Writers of Wines and Spirits (FIJEV)
- Member of the International Society for Horticulture Science, Belgium
- Oenologist; doctor in agronomy (Horticulture specialization),
- Professor at the "Ion Ionescu de la Brad" University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Iasi,
- Corresponding member of the Romanian Academy since 2019,
- Prize of the jury of the International Office of Vine and Wine in the category "Monographs and specialized studies of a scientific nature", 2001
- Special mention of the International Vine and Wine Office in the "Descriptive monographs" category, 2009
- "Ion Ionescu de la Brad" Award, Romanian Academy, 2011
- The "I.C. Teodorescu" award, Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, 2015
- Grand prize for horticultural research of the Romanian Society of Horticulturists, 2018
- "OIV Merit Award", awarded for the scientific activity submitted within the International Organization of Vine and Wine, 2009,
- National Order "Faithful Service" in the rank of Knight, 2003
- Knight of the Order of "Agricultural Merit ”, offered by the French Government, 2015.
Happy birthday, dear professor!