When the local wines were mentioned even in the manuscripts of the chroniclers, when you carry on the wine tradition of a vineyard that has in the center of the universe or a mansion built by the boyar Stefan Negruzzi, in 1872, a wine cellar and a cellar built, in 1874, for the wines of the French oenologist Rene Faure, the history of the place could, at some point, not only to inspire you, but also to overwhelm you. One more reason to find out more about the multi-award winning Averesti Domains winery, from marketing director Crina Dulute Florea.
I had the intention to start the interview completely differently, but in the meantime, three wines from Averesti-Busuioaca domains of Averesti Nativa, Merlot Rose and Spectrum, Busuioaca produced exclusively for the Carrefour Open Romanian Wine program – were awarded gold medals at the International Rose Wine Competition, held in Poland. All were appreciated with Best Value 2022. Moreover, Busuioaca de Averesti Spectrum 2021 was awarded the supreme title The Best Rose of 2022, at the same contest. Congratulations!
What do these distinctions mean for the Averesti Domains, but also for you, personally?
A distinction for Averesti Domains is a praise to the team, a compliment to the activity we carry out, but, with all possible modesty, for me, personally, it is something natural.
It is something I expect, year after year, from the team, because I know what we can and with how much seriousness and dedication we treat the wine production process.
The most important thing, however, is that each medal proves to the partners that they were right to be with us, to the consumers that we deserve to choose us and, last but not least, that in Romania it is made good wine.
In a world where the process of wine production is still in doubt, and the vagaries of the weather are felt at every harvest, the medals are "recertifications" for producers and indisputable evidence for consumers.
How complicated is it for a graduate of the Faculty of International Relations, within the Academy of Economic Studies, with a specialization in Risk Management, to find a place of her own in such a complicated world of wine? Do you remember the moment when you realized that you could make your career in this field?
All the previous experiences have brought me closer to the role I have now, but I was also lucky to be able to choose, to see more areas and to analyze them beforehand.
I searched intensely to build a career independent of family businesses; I was at the beginning, I wanted to prove that I deserved it. This aspect I still want to prove it, together with the team with which I build the Averesti Domains brand and with those with whom I will build the second business of the family, in the field of wine, in Husi.
If at first I was participating in parallel in decisions and I was watching with interest the set of values that were taking shape at that time around wine communication and I felt that I could contribute on the marketing and development side, when I made the decision to get 100% involved at Averesti, I put aside many of my personal ambitions and focused on learning closely each aspect. I changed my perspective from doing my job well, to knowing how to answer any problem. I admit that, in some places, I felt overwhelmed, but I always knew that the wine field has something special and… I persevered!
Although it is part of the Husi Vineyard, with an impressive tradition, the Averesti brand is a relatively new one. What professional challenges does the marketing director of such a brand face? What advantages does the wine cellar offer you?
The Husi vineyard offered us strengths and disadvantages, as well as the winemaking of Busuioacei de Bohotin. We started by changing preconceptions and by finding a way of our own through Averesti wines, such as Busuioaca de Averesti and Zghihara de Averesti. The craftsmanship of winemaking, along with the technological input and the considerable investments helped us to talk through the wine made.
Our initial objective was to be the most relevant on the emblem varieties, Busuioaca and Zghihara, and to have the most appreciated wines. People who tasted the wine in the blind told us that they recognized them immediately, that they were unmistakable; that’s how we got to create the first TV campaign, under the name Busuioaca Unmistakable. Everything was naturally intertwined, because we really have something to differentiate ourselves with.
Your father is a businessman who managed to impose his own business philosophy in the agricultural field and has become a landmark in the field in which he operates. Has anything changed in the relationship between your daughter and father, after you became a professional of the wine world? Do you perceive it differently, with the experience you have now? Do you feel that he looks at you, in turn, professionally speaking, with different eyes?
In my opinion, a family business is always confused with its initiators, with the values of the family and with the way in which they are transmitted to future generations. If he changed his perspective you have to ask him, I definitely discovered how much I was sowing. If there was something changed… is the fact that now family dinners inevitably get business discussions.
You are on the first place in terms of areas cultivated with local varieties: Busuioaca de Bohotin and Zghihara de Husi. How would you promote, in a few words, the two varieties, in order to arouse the interest of some young people who are now discovering the wines?
Aromatic wines of Romanian varieties, as only in our country you can find. Our wines impress as soon as you try them, we offer the experience of a special wine, from the Husi Vineyard, a completely different experience compared to other wine regions in Romania.
Judging from the professional position you have now, what things do you not resonate with, or are you convinced that they could be much improved, in the world of Romanian wine? Are there insufficiently exploited niches in the field?
I don’t resonate with "outdated" mentalities; with those who say that we must do so, just because others do so, with those who believe that only cheap and bad wine is sold in Romania and that all consumers should be treated the same, but also with many other aspects perpetuated in the market for years, in a time when there were not many alternatives or technological wineries.
Niches I think are appearing more and more, but few are the ones that lend themselves to a winery the size of the one we have, of 650 hectares. For example, we approached a niche through the wine from Zghihara de Husi, we have 30 hectares and, at the moment, we are the only producer with Zghihara on the shelf, a local variety, native to the Husi Vineyard, which gives white wines, sprinting, easy to drink and easily flavored.
Because it is right to mention the positive things, what do you think are the aspects that bring a plus to the world of Romanian wine, and, consequently, should be perpetuated?
We have seen a considerable increase in the number of wine enthusiasts, those interested in learning more about wine and those who want to join the industry. In addition, we have seen several wineries present at international competitions and at events to promote Romanian wine, together with retailers such as Carrefour and the DVR initiative. All of them are to be appreciated and complete the overall image of the Romanian wine world.
What news can the wine lovers from Averesti Domains expect in the next period?
At the Bucharest edition of RO-Wine we launched two white, summer wines: Zghihara de Averesti, from the Diamond Selection range, in the Magnum version (1.5L), and Cuvee de Averesti, from the Nativus range. Consumers were able to taste them together with Busuioaca de Averesti and Rose de Averesti 2021, from the Nativus range, a collection where we have implemented a small "facelift" that we will let you discover. We have another surprise planned, until the end of the year, but we keep the secret!
Thank you and I wish you continued success!