The Danube Wine Route is an amazing journey that encompasses 12 wine regions set along the banks of the Danube, crossing different Central European countries and taking travellers to several undiscovered destinations along the river including small towns and villages where the Danube’s history and traditions can still be felt.
Along the route viticulture is a real treasure that is over two thousand years old. The wines produced here were among the best of Europe in the 19th century. Today, many internationally recognized grape varieties compete with the traditional ones, which are proudly cultivated as unique symbols of regional identity. Red, white, or rosé wines and a growing list of international awards are the wine makers’ rewards for their great efforts along the Danube Wine Route.
In Romania the Danube Wine Route passes through the growing wine region of Dobrogea that, according to wine experts, has the best wine growing conditions in Romania. Good soil structure and fertility do make the difference, so it is no wonder that viniculture has a long pre-Roman tradition here. Rich-flavoured, noble red and excellent wines with natural sweetness are typical for this region. A visit to Podgoria / Crama Murfatlar, the viticulture center of Southern Dobrogea Plateau is a must for people in the area. It’s famous for its old monastic complex with six Orthodox churches and chapels.
Continuing the journey, the Danube Wine Route crosses the Romanian Southern Region, through Muntenia and Oltenia (in the south of the Central Carpathians), where vineyards cover approximately 104,000 hectares. An ideal mix of a Continental and Mediterranean climate, the local microclimate and soil, create the perfect environment for excellent, full bodied red wines. Finally travellers reach the northern banks of the Danube, where they find the Danube Terraces with fully matured grapes that guarantee high-quality wines. Here, viniculture dates back to the 4th Century BC.
The Danube Wine Route continues its way through Bulgaria, running through the Black Sea Coastal. This is one of the five officially recognised Bulgarian wine regions. Here, the mild climate and long-warm autumns favour the cultivation of a great variety of white grapes and the region is well known for its typical white grape varieties.
Next, the Danube Wine Route Trip introduces visitors to the Bulgarian Danubian Plain Wine Region that stretches over five officially recognised Bulgarian wine regions. It covers Pleven and Veliko Tarnovo, “The City of Tsars”. In the north-west visitors find Vidin Province, stretching, besides the Danubian Plain, to five officially recognized Bulgarian wine regions. It’s also known as Danube Valley Region.
In Croatia, The Danube Wine Route crosses two wine regions. Baranja is situated between Danube and the Sava and enjoys a moderate continental climate and boasts of ideal wine growing terrains. Baranja is perfect for white grapes and produces high quality white wines. The other Croatian stop on the route is the tiny city of IIok that forms part of the Srijem vineyards and is directly connected to the Serbian Fruška Gora Region - a paradise for white wines in particular. Ilok has become one of the top attractions on the Danubian routes.
Passing into Serbia, in the Serbian Smyra Region, the Fruška Gora Region is famous for its National Park (since 1960) that covers an area of 25,525 hectares, its Serbian Orthodox monasteries and a very old winemaking tradition.
Upon reaching the Central Region, in the Morava Wine Region, visitors will find its heart in Smederevo, where viniculture dates back to the times of the Roman Empire. Blessed with good soil and a perfect microclimate, the area has all the ingredients needed for good winemaking. Outside Smederevo, visitors will arrive in Krnjevo, a village with (arguably) the best conditions for growing grapes and whose vineyards are among the best in Serbia.
In Negotinska Krajina, wine cultivation dates back to Roman times. The valley enjoys a specific microclimate with hot and sunny summers and cold winters that are very appropriate for wine growing and it is here that some of the country’s most popular wines are produced. The city of Negotin is also worth a visit, with its Holy Trinity Church, the Old Church (1803) and the monasteries in the municipality worth seeing.
Passing into the Serbian Province of Vojvodina, in the south Banat district, the soil structure around Vršac (and neighbouring villages) is very favourable for wine growing. Sandy soil and quartz are perfect for grape ripening. Vineyards are on slopes and at the foot of the Vršac Mountains and have been here since the time of the Romans. In addition to the wine experience in Vršac, travellers should make time to enjoy its beautiful architecture and visit the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral.