Mike's visit with Andy in


October, 2003
Andy's crew

Andy (in the red jacket above, in case you don't recognize him) spent the fall of 2003 working as a winemaker in Romania. The winery - known as Crama Oprisor (The Winery of Oprisor) - is owned by a German company, Reh Kendermann. They hired Andy as the winemaker in charge of the 2003 "River Route" vintage.

Andy travelled first to Frankfurt to meet the German management group, and then on to Bucharest for the ride to the winery, in the general area of the city of Severin in southwest Romania. For a map and other information about the country, click HERE (a WorldAtlas.com site). Severin is not on this map, but, if you locate the Danube River, Severin is right on the river, bordering Serbia and Montenegro. Andy was in an area called the Danube plains, between the river and the southwestern Carpathian Mountains (AKA Transylvania).

A little info about the 2003 vintage: The Oprisor winery crushed 2500 tons of grapes and produced almost 2 million liters of wine in 2003. Before leaving, Andy met with the management team from Germany and they reviewed the year's output. They reported that it was the best vintage yet produced at Oprisor in terms of both quality and yield. For a first-time winemaker in a foreign environment, Andy did a good job!

Mike went to an aerospace conference in Frankfurt in October, and then flew over to Bucharest where he connected with Andy and the winery crew. He spent four days with Andy, looking around and taking pictures. A selection of 30 of the best ones follows below.

But before you click through them, here's a couple things to know:

  • I'm relying on Mike's explanation of these photos, since I wasn't there. You've been warned.

  • While Romania is struggling to move into the 21st century, Andy was in a part of the country that more resembles the 19th. Mike, and especially Andy, got a close-up view of a place that is working to recover after decades of neglect under a dictatorial regime. This winery is an example of an effort to rebuild a local economy.

  • Most of the harvest was over by this time, and the weather was changing from late fall to winter. All of the pictures show a grey, cold-looking sky. According to Mike, it was, in fact, grey and cold for those few days while he was there.

OK - pictures follow below. By clicking on the thumbnails or captions, you will see a larger version (800x600, around 150KB) in this window. I captioned each picture with a little explanation, and I hope you enjoy them.

Part 1.

Andy and the best way
to see the area

cart The Romanian version of
fixing a flat

Mike and the cart,
good as new (almost..)

vineyards A view of the vineyards

A view of the winery

winery A closer look at the winery

At La Crama's front door

Part 2.
Andy's room

Andy's room in the winery

kitchen The winery's kitchen
dining room

Looking into the dining room

Food A Romanian table
More food

And Andy ate very well

Winery tanks The winery storage tanks

La Crama exterior
with storage tanks

winery A loading area

New tanks inside the winery

Corgi A dog that Mike
especially liked

The winery's pigs

pigs La Crama's garden

A local distillery

Winery crew Andy and part of the
Oprisor crew
Part 3.
Road to Oprisor

On the road to Oprisor

Roadside shrine A roadside shrine to Mary
Oprisor bar

A local bar

Dracula Bar The Dracula bar
Dracula Bar

Inside the Dracula bar

Dracula Bar More "Inside the Dracula bar"

A house in the village

Oprisor New construction in Oprisor
Danube dinner

A dinner along the Danube


BACK to Our Travels