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Wine and Cooking Vacation in Romania

Come to the region of Tarnava Mare that has a tradition of hundreds of years in the making of quality wines in Europe. In the beginning of the 20th century, the local villages were still exporting large quantities of wine to the rest of Europe. Transylvania Culinary Academy still has some of the old vines on their property and they make their own wine every year. During the event, you will pick the grapes, make the "must" (grape juice that ferments a bit), taste wine from previous years, cook with it, and create interesting dishes. You will go and visit some of the well-known wineries in the region, including Villa Vinea.

Highlights

  • Making wine experience
  • Tasting wines from different wineries in the region
  • Visit the wineries of Tarnava Mare and the famous village of Viscri
  • Cook incredible dishes with wine, including the famous lamb stew (ceaun)
  • Witness the culture, history, and culinary tradition of Transylvania
  • 4 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


4 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Hebrew, Romanian
Group size: Minimum of 4 participants
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
14:00
Check-out Time:
12:00

Facilities

  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Parking lot

Go back in time and experience an authentic Transylvanian lifestyle

Renovated and repaired with care, love, and attention to the little details and supervised with a keen architect’s practice and skill and a graphic artist’s trained eye for composition and taste our mansarded property keeps the soul and the details of a bygone era alive and topical. Original features of the architecture and interiors recall the life of the Saxon community that lived in this village for 900 years.

Totally integrated into the picturesque surrounding environment the property was until fairly recently, the house of a beekeeper, a descendent of the Hellwig family who lived on the property for generations, and it still bears silent witness to the occupation of its previous owners.

The house

The apartments and rooms gather together authentic details: antique furniture, very old traditional tools, and decorative objects that can be proudly displayed in a museum – all of which give you the essence of the traditions, heritage, and culture of the area. The service amenities are all newly and discretely modernized to blend in perfectly.

All of the apartment rooms are spacious, light, airy, and comfortable rooms with queen size double beds and en-suite bathrooms. Most of our rooms can easily accommodate at least one extra bed and in some cases even two.

The original patrician two-floored house is made up of a large family suite with an en-suite bathroom, a separate living room, and a single en suite bedroom, the whole can easily accommodate a group or a family (3-5 people), having its own entrance.

On the first floor, again with its own separate entrance hallway and stairway, there is a second apartment group formed of two double-bedded en-suite adjoining bedrooms that can accommodate 4-6 people.

In the adjacent, newly converted old building there are three additional separate bedrooms all with en-suite bathrooms – two on the first floor and one other larger suite on the ground floor that can take an extra bed and which has its own wood-burning stove. Each floor has its own separate entrance.

The kitchen

The old main barn and workshops have been reworked and transformed into a new open-plan area that skillfully blends the old and the new. Massive old oak-timbers from a two-hundred-year-old barn have been rebuilt into a new structure – based on the remains and site of the original building – all under a newly built and traditionally tiled roof.

This large vaulted space includes and houses the Culinary Academy, the massive kitchen, training, and preparation area which includes a dining space and is a total of more than 120 square meters overall.

The loggia

The loggia is a separate open space that can accommodate up to a dozen people socializing at a very large oak round table with splendid views across the property and beyond.

Altogether this building creates the Convivium space where guests can cook, eat, study, and be with each other – some in small intimate groups and others in larger groupings – everyone enjoying all the comforts and pleasures of a large country home.

The summer kitchen

Almost intact from the times that have been originally built, more than one hundred years ago, the Transylvanian Saxon summer kitchen, large and spacious, incorporate a cooking space, that has a contained cooking area where you can experience and experiment with traditional country style cooking methods, as well as using it as a communal space to drink and relax in.

The old bread stove, one of the biggest of his type in the village, is still used for the making of traditional Transylvanian bread.

The courtyard

The extensive, large, irregularly stone-paved, and abundantly flowered internal courtyard area has traditional water well and, as its eastern boundary has an old trailing double vine which still bears enough grapes to produce our own wine. In this courtyard area, there are additionally three separate outdoor garden lounge areas to relax in and enjoy.

The vegetable gardens

The terraced vegetable and herb gardens are the place where the staff grows and cultivates the vegetables, herbs, and soft fruits that they use in the kitchens that you will be working with and also eating. Beyond the northern pergola wall, there are the beginnings of the newly planted orchard of fruit trees and further larger areas ready to grow more vegetables and fresh produce.

Here too they have provided secluded restful areas of tranquility for you to enjoy and savor that look out across the village into the sweeping hilly woodlands and the tranquil Transylvanian countryside.

Entertainment area

A separate space, on the upper floor of the kitchen, is designated for entertainment and a lounge, including a computer with a printing facility, workspace, and free Wi-Fi internet connection. A selection of indoor games, a library of books and magazines, a Smart TV and a music station are the facilities that make this area agreeable and useful at the same time.

Program

In October you will harvest grapes and make the “must” (grape juice that ferments for a few days). In different periods of the year, you will follow the trace of wine in the Tarnava Mare region. You will also taste the wine from previous years and cook interesting dishes with wine. Your host created a special cooking class in which wine is the primary ingredient. You will prepare sarmale (stuff cabbage) cooked in wine, ceaun (a local meat stew, usually cooked by men), and many other dishes, that are made irresistible by the addition of wine. In addition to all of that, you will visit some of the well-known wineries in the region including Villa Vinea and Liliac.

Day 1

  • Arrive from 14:00
  • You will be assisted to accommodate in the location
  • Welcome beverage and a light snack - local peasant dish
  • Guided visit of the village and church, dating 1810 and included in the National Heritage
  • Aperitif and dinner
  • Introduction and discussions on the workshop themes

Day 2

  • Breakfast with natural products from local farmers.
  • Making wine - first part - picking the wine and making the "must".
  • Visit Sighisoara – medieval citadel, Unesco Heritage Site (not guided)
  • Lunch in Sighisoara – not included
  • 16:00 “Sarmale” is one of the most loved and popular dishes in the region and is cooked with dry wine. You will prepare sarmale and enjoy it with wine
  • Dinner with prepared dishes, local brandy, and wine included
  • After dinner discussions and entertainment

Day 3

  • Breakfast with natural products from the local farmers
  • Trip to the wineries in the region including tasting their wine sided by a quick snack (transportation and taxes are not included)
  • Dinner and beverage followed by entertainment with local traditional music

Day 4

  • Breakfast with natural products from the local farmers
  • Making the wine, second part. Setting the grape juice for the first fermentation
  • 10:00 Hands-on cooking class. You will prepare a local famous stew, called Ceaun by the locals, because it is made in a special pot and cooked on a wood fire, and of course with a wine splash
  • Lunch with prepared dishes
  • Free time in the afternoon. Many activities available will be presented, including visiting interesting historical monuments in the region, a trip to Viscri, Unesco World Heritage Site, visiting a sheepfold, and many others
  • Dinner
  • Wine tasting at a local wine bar in Sighisoara; not included

Day 5

  • Breakfast with natural products from the local farmers
  • Participants will receive a brochure with the dishes of the workshop
  • Check out until 12:00

Changes can be made depending on weather, season, and availability of the activities. Additional days can be booked in advance.

Location

The Transylvanian region Transylvania Culinary Academy is located in Tarnava Mare, and it is rich in natural produce: a large variety of organically grown vegetables; an extensive selection of meats; varied dairy products, specialty herbal, and blossom honey and good wine are all available.

There are extensive forests where foraging can be enjoyed and you can collect wild herbs, forest berries, and nuts, an assorted selection of wild edible plants and vegetables, as well as forest floor mushrooms and even truffles during the winter months.

Transylvania is a great place for natural products because it is an area of predominately volcanic soil, it will pretty much grow whatever you want it to grow. There are still bear and wolves in the area. Advice: Do not forage without a guide. The whole region is extensively protected in European Union law.

Features

General

  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge

Services

  • Free Wi-Fi / computer
  • Parking lot

Food

During October, you will pick the grapes and make the “must” (grape juice that ferments for a few days). In different periods of the year, you will follow the trace of wine in Tarnava Mare region. You will also taste our wine from previous years and cook with wine interesting dishes. Transylvania Culinary Academy has created a special cooking class in which wine is the primary ingredient.

You will prepare sarmale (stuff cabbage), cooked in wine, ceaun (a local meat stew, usually cooked by men), and many other dishes, that are made irresistible by the addition of wine.

In addition to all of that, you will visit some of the well-known wineries in the region including Villa Vinea and Liliac.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Visits to the historic fortified churches, towers, and impressive views. Go cycling (bicycle rental is available in the area) or trekking through the beautiful surrounding countryside on the biking and trekking trails that connect to the villages close by. You can also go foraging and travel hunting in the surrounding area.

Optional tours

  • Brasov, architecturally a notable reminder and visibly reminiscent of the richness of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, as the residents proudly call it, the best-kept secret of a small city in the world. Brasov is also a major entry portal to Carpathian mountain wilderness areas
  • General unaccompanied and / or guided tours to nearby UNESCO World Heritage Sites with fortified churches such as Viscri, Saschiz, Darjiu, Biertan, Valea Viilor, Cairtic, Prejmer
  • Sighisoara, a truly medieval citadel, home to Vlad Dracula birth house, summer concerts, and many different types of festivals

What's included

  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast, 1 lunch, 4 dinners
  • Hands-on cooking classes
  • Visit Sighisoara Medieval Citadel world heritage site
  • Welcome dinner, welcome drink
  • Winemaking experience
  • Winery visit and wine tasting session

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Entrance fees for attractions
  • Transportation of any kind

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Bucharest

  • Driving from Bucharest, you have around 240 kilometers to Crit. It is approximately 3.5 hours drive. Bucharest is located in the South of Romania and has one airport open at present: Henri Coanda International Airport - Otopeni (OTP).
  • From Bucharest take the DN1 to Brasov.
  • From Brasov drive for 84 kilometers on E60 (Targu Mures direction), and after passing Rupea and Bunesti village, turn left at the sign to Crit.

Driving directions from Targu Mures

  • Targu Mures is 86 kilometers from Crit and Transylvania Airport Targu Mures serves the area.
  • Drive on E60 in the direction of Sighisoara and then Brasov.
  • After passing Sighisoara following the signs for Brasov, and drive for approximately 29 kilometers and then turn right at the sign for Crit.

Driving directions from Sibiu

  • Sibiu is one of the most important cities of Transylvania, and an European Cultural Capital from 2007. The Sibiu International Airport is an important access point for internal or foreign tourism.
  • To reach Crit, you have to drive 130 kilometers on route 14 via Medias and Sighisoara.
  • Follow the signs for Brasov for approximately 29 kilometers and then turn right at the sign for Crit.

Arrival by flights

  • Bucharest - Otopeni Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP), 260 kilometers to Crit - 3.5 hours
  • Cluj-Napcoa - Cluj Napoca International Airport (CLJ), 188 kilometers to Crit - 3 hours
  • Sibiu - Sibiu International Airport (SBZ), 144 kilometers to Crit - 2 hours
  • Targu Mures - Transilvania Airport (TGM), 95 kilometers to Crit - 1.2 hours

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 14 days before arrival.
5 days / 4 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants

Availability

Arrival: Sunday October 9, 2022
Departure: Thursday October 13, 2022

Retreat information

Participants who do not cook are most welcome. Children above 14 years old are welcome and considered adults.

Select your package:

For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookCulinaryVacations.com. All major credit cards supported.

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