Paolo Mennini’s motto: "I dreamed I was here"
The Mennini Winery, named after its founder Paolo, is one of those places that can brag about having been born straight from a dream. In fact, this is also Paolo Mennini’s motto: "I dreamed I was here". Born in another dream place, Tuscany, and after travelling all over the world, he discovered Dragasani and says he couldn’t part with this place, where he now spends 80-90% of his time.
Before investing in wine, Paolo Mennini had successful businesses in the industrial area, transforming the ruins of a factory in Targoviste into one of the largest producers of steel bars in the world. The business he owned between 2000 and 2014 allowed him to create a little paradise in Colibasi, which every wine lover should have on their list of places to visit.
Dragasani is similar with Tuscany, says Paolo Mennini
The 70-hectare vineyard stretches over a part of the former surface of the Dragasani Wine Research and Development Station, the place where Novac and Negru de Dragasani were born, grape varieties that saw growing popularity in recent years. Also here, the rustic Cramposie found a more complex expression, which today we call Cramposia selectionata (selected) and is considered one of the symbols of Oltenia wine.
About Dragasani, Paolo Mennini says that it closely resembles his native Tuscany, both in relief and in terms of climate: "Here, in Dragășani, the area is hilly and resembles Tuscany and, in addition, the climate here is similar to from Tuscany. The climate in Romania is even better because it is drier. There is a special affinity between Tuscany and Dragășani: climate, environment, and temperature.
After creating the space I needed and after a lifetime of working in the company and all over the world, retiring here in Dragășani is definitely a beautiful thing. And that’s why our motto says, "I dreamed I was here." In fact, if someone asks me how much time I spend here, I answer that 80% of my time I live here, even 90%, because it is a place I like very much", says the founder of the winery.
Because he came to consider the people around him part of an "extended" family, Paolo Mennini has a piece of advice for those who have made up their minds about Romanians and Romania only based on what they read in the newspapers or heard on TV: "I would tell them not to listen to the chatter they hear around: that is the most insane thing a person can do."
Paolo Mennini will bequeath to his, Valentin Jambru
About the winery that he will bequeath to his son who, at the age of 30, is starting to learn how things work in a vineyard, Paolo Mennini says that "this place deserves to continue (…) and let people see what we can do when we work together. To enjoy fine wine, full of qualities… And let’s not forget that this area was part of a research station, and the history of wine in this place started 300 years ago.
Therefore, it is clear that continuing a tradition and proving that fine wine can be made here is a good signal, especially since the world understands that Romania has made great steps forward in the quality and started to gain awards from all over the world".
You can discover more about Crama Mennini, its founder and the Dragasani region in the exclusive interview Paolo Mennini offered Wines of Romania.
The wines we recommend from Crama Mennini are Moments Rose Pinot Noir & Negru de Dragasani 2021, La Reve Sauvignon Blanc 2021, Paolo Mennini Negru de Dragasani 2018 and Irrumo sparkling wine.