The Inmost Oltenia vol. 2   Crama Oprisor

The Oprisor Cellars: When you're here, you can suddenly feel romantic, overwhelmed by the simplicity of basic things. Amazed by the routine and the calm of villagers you want, for an instant, to forget the busy life on the city's fast tracks. 
Without taking some distance from the city life, what would there be to say about the wilderness of this place? The story must be told in a whisper. At a first sight, the entire place looks like it was born from a miracle, from a seed brought in by the wind, growing roots and bursting to life in this rich land. 
The cellar is lost in the middle of Oltenia, between two villages shaping the horizon, surrounded by folds that look rather like ancient watchmen defending it from curses and evil. But, most of all, protecting it from being a place like other places. 
The entire land is magic. It's the mystical place that chooses you, instead of being chosen. If you listen to it and feel its vibration, it will take you in a fairy tale, looking for the eternal life. Should you be thirsty - it will send you to soothe your craving to a fountain that provides for all the villagers - that cold and tasty water will play your soul and make you never want to leave this place. 
Many of the locals work at the cellar - mainly during the harvest, when they race to be the first to fill their baskets. Picking grapes means more than work - it's singing old sad songs, telling jokes and catching up with the latest gossips about the maids. Then it's the unofficial cooking competition, when everyone is working to make he finest dishes, just to fake later the deepest modesty: Well, it's made from scratch... It's what I had around the house....
After a working day, they gather at the cellar as a crowd of giant ants, then return to their homes. It's when I would stay some more around the cellars, tasting some wines - since they all say it's good for the soul. And in each glass you feel it's the work of those sacred hands, as if the entire vibration and energy was moved within the wine.

After such a day, you hear the crickets buzzing along through the night, you retire in the tempting coolness of one of the guest rooms, with their traditional bedding and ancient costumes. For a while, you lose yourself in imagination, trying to see the way it worked - all those women sewing and stitching all day, until their fingertips turned into blisters. But they wouldn't stop, not even then, because that was it took to be beautiful on church day or during holidays. 
Jderu is one of the locals, knowing the place and the vineyards like the back of his hand. His name means the marten and he's one of the most passionate men you'd ever see. He took me and shown me each corner, each hidden spot, each beautiful view - until I felt like my eyes were sinking in green. All green, as far as you can see. I climbed the house of one of the watchmen and I saw huge snakes, as long as all the hill's slope. One along the other, as if a giant put a comb on the hills, drawing parallels in the red and brown soil. On a hilltop, near the dragons, there is a house - The Vineyard Mansion, they call it. Near it there is a huge bottle, and the first thing you ask yourself is what hidden message does it carry? Whose call for help got lost at sea?
From another angle, you see the vines reaching the edge of a forest. Right there, a wooden table and two benches await your arrival. It's the place where the old oak shade makes a perfect hideout for those who just want to contemplate the beauty of the vines. 
Near the harvest, the scented air is making you dizzy and sleepy. The wonderland where you can get caught and lie down and sleep forever. Hard to escape this place...
Each kind of grape throws into the mix its own flavors. Jderu has shown me that... The leaves, the grains, the grapes and the color... All important, all specific. The sun's position and the plants' craving for light, the dryness or moisture of each soil, all put in balance, all so permanently pampered by the villagers... When you pick a grape, you must feel both its power and its finesse. Velvety or sticky from its sugar drops. 
The vineyard is like the locals - strong, resilient and so full of spirit. Taste it and it will tell you the secrets of the place. They'll gift you a part of their mysterious world.

The Marten

In the past few years, the old saying that good wine starts in the vineyard returned to life. Still, too often we fail to remind what lays beneath these words. Good wine starts its life further in time, before the vines were planted, before all the work and before the first fruits of the harvest.
The wine comes to life in the eye of the one who sees the hidden treasure buried under wild shoot and weeds, on the tongue of the one who tastes the earth and knows how the vines will grow in the decades to come, it comes to life due to the knowledge that dictates what sorts of grapes should grow on that specific piece of land, how crowded or how rare the plants should lay  their roots, how many grapes are allowed to live until fall...
For Crama Oprisor, the one was a local man, Nelu Jderu, a name that could be translated to Johnny Marten. Anyone who ever got to visit Oprisor knows now how much Jderu means for the place. He always greets his guests wearing traditional costumes, reciting poetry in the blooming vineyard, proving that all the attributes generally considered as belonging to the people of Oltenia are indeed reality. He is a joker and a wise guy, with hilarious punch lines and always ready to work some more, he is fast, but never in a hurry. 
The magical load opf his totemic name works in this case: with Jderu / the Marten, not only the man bears the name, but also the name bears the man, with a full correspondence between the man and the significance of the marten, as it may have been described countless centuries ago by a lost local tribe.
The days of the marten and the days of local vintners and workers have something in common: there is no place for pauses since dawn 'til sunset. Never tired, never resting, there is no hibernation or skipping choirs, each season demands its works, each moment has its needs and there is no postponing. Before the good wine, there are people who loved it before its birth. They are found today on this wine's label - a graphic symbol of the Oltenia man, carrying his bucket yoke everywhere, sharing lordly viands and thirst soothing wines at a Sunday village fair, always finding the righteous balance between the everyday burdens and the never-ending joie de vivre.
The wines included in this collection - The Big Marten, The Cheery Marten, The Tough Marten and The Cold Marten - are defined by their freshness and cleanliness that reminds of a peasant's guest house.

The Cold Marten
The Italian Riesling is not usually considered as a special grape variety, it usually doesn't produce any special wines and is widely regarded as common. Still, in this Oprisor semi-dry version, and respecting the Cold reference, it proves to be a great companion for late summer nights, just when the burning heat seems to start fading, but still returns with a final twist.
A wine that tastes like autumn, dry leaves, covered by still fresh yeasts and flavors reminding of white plums and still green peaches. The taste is long and relaxing, with strong acids, well balanced by the residual sugar.

The Cheery Marten
An explosive Muscat Ottonel, cheerful just as the name says, friendly from the very beginning. The classic candy-like aroma is compensated by strong scents of dry grass, mineral accents and a strong center of lime peel. Although it's a semi-sweet wine, the sugar is not excessive. On the contrary, the dry stone feeling, the traces of grapefruit in the aftertaste and the high level of acidity build up an elegant balance. The sugar may make it recommendable for ladies, but the wine may very well stand as reason for a gentlemen's afternoon meeting.

The Big Marten
The most delicate grape in the entire world, the Pinot Noir, easily finds at Oprisor all the necessary resources to put up a huge surprise, year after year. In this semi-sweet version, it became a wine with a seductive speech, starting with sweet red cherry and black cherry flavors, moving towards warm bread crumbs, evolving towards strawberry jam and rounding up with an deep ink flavor. All through the evolution, the classic Pinot flavor are penetrating - dry rose petals, wild strawberries, a bit of raw meat, delicate tannins and a small trace of wet black earth. The natural sugar residue is balanced by an athletic body, with perfect acidity.

The Tough Marten
Even if it were just for the grape, the king of wines which is the Cabernet Sauvignon, and this would have been enough for the tough attribute. But it is so much more than that: it is a full-bodied, strong wine, with a firm first strike and an evolution that betrays its modern winemaking inspiration. It is not a heavy and dark wine of the classic school, but still maintains its royal attitude. Its tale starts with darker notes - stewed sour cherries, truffles, earth, black berries - but opens up to crushed strawberries and gooseberries. The taste betrays its youthfulness, but the complexity recommends this wine for rich dinners rather than long chats.

The Trailman

Any road, any step away from one's hearth is also an initiation, a step on the way of knowledge, a small treasure that combines the taking into the world of home tradition and the gains of a traveler's experience. In Romanian, the word calauza, originally the name of this wine range, means a guide who knows the roads well. Calauza is both a stalker and a guide, a traveler who always returns home, to bring and share the wisdom gained along the way. 
The region of Oltenia is historically known for its 18th and 19th century outlaws, those who left their homes to haunt the forests and live beyond the rules imposed by foreigners. In 1848, they had an important say in creating what was to become the modern and independent Romania.
On the other hand, those who to chose to stay home during those dark years, only survived through commerce. Both outlaws and peddlers knew the roads by heart. Wherever they went, they became the guides. The Trailmen. They delivered news and stories, they led fugitives across the country or kept alive endangered commercial roads. Returning home, they were bringing along a wealth of knowledge, translated into a spiritual state of the region.
 The labels drawn by Ciprian Paleologu speak about this change, this evolution of the man acquiring knowledge through travelling: from the intuitive silhouettes of the Marten labels, to a figurative image of the Oltenia man, the Trailman, always carrying his bucket yoke. The same step forward, towards complexity, is found inside the bottles, where the wines become more complicated, require more attention and offer a different kind of satisfaction.

Feteascã regalã
The Royal Maid, as some try to translate the name of the grape, Feteasca Regala, is often seen as a poor relative of the finer, smoother White Maid (Feteasca alba). Still, during the past few years, Feteasca Regala proved its ability to produce surprising and remarkable wines. At Oprisor, this happens every year, the wine produced by this grape being such an exception: lively and fresh, mostly floral, but with some dynamic mineral traces, cooling and relaxing. It does not require an exclusive attention from the one drinking it, preferring to smoothly integrate in the bigger picture, as a natural attribute of a moment of relaxation. The taste helps building this sensation, with its cool and shining sensations - curling tendrils, small grape bits, juicy citrus fruits and a small, almost unnoticeable fat grass scent.

Sauvignon Blanc
Pretty far from the standard, modern interpretation that the new generation gives to this popular variety, the Sauvignon Blanc of the Trailman line suggests a lighter, more delicate and feminine approach. The more discreet aromas, dominated by dry hay, pollen and the terroir-specific minerals are covered by a delicate trace of smoke and apricot seed core. The taste is cheerful and live, with citrus accents and a pleasant, comforting acidity. It is the kind of wine that asks for more

Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé
A rare wine in Romania, where most rosés are made using Merlot grapes, this Cabernet differs from the normal wines in every possible way, starting with color, where the coral tone is replaced by a dark pink rose shade. It's the kind of wine that comes to contradict the popular saying according to which rosé wines are a replacement of white wines in the hands of red wine lovers. This rosé is full of personality and expression, with flavors ranging from thick petals to ripe sour cherries, passing through fresh red cherries, wax cherries, green plums, fat grass and the typical peppery notes.

Always one step ahead of its times, the Merlot seems to have its own path, everywhere in Romania, as one of the main quality wine heroic representatives. The results often surpass all expectations, so what could have been a good, decent wine, becomes a great wine. It's the same here, with this Merlot showing bloody and earthy notes, reminding of the fresh game. From its depth emerge, one by one, red and black fruits, spices, wood-box and tobacco flavors, all in a blanket of warm bread crust. The taste starts with old wood and silicate notes, evolving towards jams and marmalade, with an warm and expressive medium-length aftertaste, the only clue revealing some of the wine's freshness.

Feteascã neagrã
Rightfully considered as the flagship of Romanian varietals, the Black Maid (Feteasca Neagra) proves once again that it's a grape designed for performance, standing in line with any international varieties. The specific dried and smoked plum flavor is the central element in an assembly gathering dried oak bark, blackberries, black currants, tobacco and thick leather. Although the residual sugar would classify it as semi-dry, the sweet notes are barely noticed, being well integrated by the young and supple body, with well-integrated tannins and the acidity of a young wine. In taste, fresh fruits are dominating the picture - almost ripe strawberries, wild strawberries, cherries and crushed purple grapes. The finish is young and passionate, with notes struggling for supremacy, not as much as a war game as more of a lovers' seductive negotiation.

Stronghold / Miracle

La Cetate (At the Stronghold) is one of the brands that made history in the renaissance of the Romanian quality wine. For Crama Oprisor, the Stronghold line was the first range of premium wines, finely crafted, with an exceptional attention paid to details. Since its first appearance and until today, great wines were featured in this collection. To celebrate the re-birth of this land, the Stronghold Treasure range, made of the best grapes in the region, changed its name to Stronghold Miracle. We dared - and we still dare to believe that the sum of all transformations that took place in Oprisor deserve the name Miracle. The land was blessed by the Almighty with everything it needed to bring forth the best fruit. The people of this place were another blessing.

The labels of the Stronghold Miracle range tell the story of old aristocratic families, of those who first attempted to create better wines. Their taste set landmarks over the centuries and still has a say in today's best wines. The noble couple is here represented by the usual domestic symbols, from the leather boot to the aristocratic rose, under the rays of a totemic sun.

Pinot Noir
It's the elegance of long-gone ages caught and bottled as a potion. It seems to try to hide its nature under a thick armor, asking the partner for patience in a long game. The longer the game, the higher the pleasure, though... 
This Pinot Noir has a intricate speech resembling a cipher. The first feeling is that of old wood and fossil earth. It's the armor of an old soldier left in a gothic basement to protect the treasure. Following the barely noticeable secondary flavors until the wine opens up, one may see the growth and blooming of exotic notes, like rum and dry coconuts, followed then by an European-style mushroom note and, finally, an explosion of juicy red fruits. The evolution in taste follows step by step the story told by the nose, with an addition of supple sensations of thick leaves.

The bond between Chardonnay and womanhood has been for decades a beautiful tale, and this wine is far from changing things. It is that kind of wine that turns into an instrument of hedonistic pleasure, furthermore when it's enriched by classic recipes of oak barrel aging. Its citrus heart, with vague floral nuances, is covered by a warm eiderdown of freshly baked peanuts and almonds, with a vanilla touch. A combination that stirs and fools the senses: the nose promises a wine of silky sensations, but the taste quickly unveils a heart pulsating lime and grapefruit peel, which invades the palate. To balance the explosion, the aftertaste turns smoothly into buttery sensations, with all the modulations of the oak barrel flavors.

As one of the main royal court servants spying for a moment of weakness in order to claim the crown, the Merlot is still in a spot where it tries to please everyone. It is aware that claiming the throne is just a matter of time. There is nothing to be reproached to this apparently faithful member of the court, the manners are impeccable and the speech is cult, without being boring. 
Beyond the metaphors, this Merlot is a wine where only a pettifogging critic may find something wrong. It is complicated, but pleasant, flexible in its trip from shallow towards deep. It speaks everyone's language, fitting both an innkeeper and a king. It forces a bow, but does not demand it loud.

Cabernet Sauvignon
Even though the Merlot is its right hand and together they can walk towards greatness, the Cabernet has it simple: it is enough to step forward and the world will acknowledge its presents. It is strong and impetuous, as any king should be. Its depth is obvious and it has no corners to smooth. It IS and that is all. 
Since the first flavors, bursting from deep underground, to the elegance of the aftertaste, the Cabernet proves its noble descent and makes it obvious why it has the widest obedience of all. It is a wine that can be understood immediately of that can be studies in years and years of evolution. It can be anything, but ignored.

Cupola Sanctis

The Profound Oltenia is the Oltenia of its people and nothing more. And its people were among the first to kneel before the Christian God, adopting the religion of those who love and forgive. In the rare occasions in which celebrations steal some of the hours that would have been normally dedicated to working the land, the people gather in the name of Orthodox Saints, upon whose martyrdom we built our entire history. 
For these days, we lovefully and respectfully created a wine, dedicated to celebrating the life to come. It is a wine that separates itself from the usual intentions of other wines: it is not to quench thirst, nor to cause melancholic escapes. It is not a wine to party, not one for solitude. It's a wine for the heart, for each one's love towards the ones near, a wine for the days when we remember about what really matters - faith, love and kindness. 
Even though the wine debuts in sober, inky notes, it opens up fast, showing red fruits, jams, fine cocoa powder and fine tannins. The aftertaste is long and warm, without hiding any of the years lived through until today.

Saint Stephen
Saint Stephen is the Protomartyr - the first martyr of Christianity, the lapidated apostle. His blood was the signal for centuries of wars and persecution. During his life, it is said that Stephen was so rich in Holy Spirit that the apostles elected him for be the first among them - archdeacon among deacons. 
Because he confessed his faith in the Christian God and his Son, Jesus, in front of all the priests of Jerusalem, Stephen was tried by the Sanhedrin for blasphemy against Moses and God and speaking against the Temple and the Law. Still, before dying, Stephen has the first ever recorded theophany: Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
Orthodox Christians celebrate Saint Stephen on December 27.

Saint Andrew
The First Called is another name for the fisherman who left behind the boat and the fishing net to follow John the Baptist and became his apprentice. When John testified for Jesus, recognizing Him as Lamb of God, Andrew was the first called to follow the Messiah, also bringing along Simon, to become fishermen fishing men, Peter. He stood by Christ's side in all the days and then, after his Crucifixion and Resurrection, when the apostles shared the world they were about to cross, in order to announce the Word of God, Andrew got to travel to Bithynia, to the Black Sea and further on to Thracian lands and Macedonia.
He has a special place in the heart of Romanians, being the first to step on today's Romanian soil. As many of the first Christians, he suffered a cruel death, being crucified head down, when he was 80-years old, by the Corinthians. Saint Andrew's Cross stands today on Scotland's flag, being the patron of the country, as he is patron of Romania, Greece, Russia, Spain and Sicily. 
Orthodox Christians celebrate him on November 30.

Saints Constantine and Helena
In 293 AD, the Roman general Chlorus, following the advise of emperor Diocletian, divorced Flavia Iulia Helena, a Christian woman born in the Bithinia province, the land where Saint Andrew had conducted his work. Years later, Constantine, heir of Chlorus' empire, would lead his army against the uncleanness of Rome, ruled during those days by Maxentius, son of Maximian. And God saw the cleanness in Constantine and revealed Himself in front of him, in broad daylight, as sign of the Holy Cross in the sky, along with the words hoc signum vinces - through this sign thou shall vanquish. Then Jesus has shown Himself to Constantine and asked him to bear the cross sign in battle.
Constantine asked for all the flags and swords to bear the cross sign, and won the battle against Maxentius, whose army was six times the size of Constantine's. And thus Constantine became the emperor of Rome in 312. In order to honor God, he moved the capital city to Byzantium, which later became Constantinopolis - the City of Constantine. One year later, through the Edict of Milan, he legalized the Christian worship. Constantine himself would be a great patron of the Church and set a precedent for the position of the Christian Emperor within the Church. 
In 325 AD, he summoned the First Council of Nicaea, the first Ecumenical Council, where Jesus was first recognized as being one with God. At the same time, the Easter date was established, as the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the spring equinox. 
The story tells that Helena, Constantin's mother, left for Golgotha after the Council of Nicaea took  place, and was the one to discover the cross on which Jesus died. The cross touched a dead man and the dead man came alive, proving that was the true cross. 
Orthodox Christians celebrate Saint Constantine and Helena on May 21.

Saint Demetrius
At the time when the Roman Empire was in the hands of two emperors, Maximian and Diocletian, the head of the Thessaloniki stronghold was secretly baptizing his son, Demetrius, as a Christian. It was the time of Christian persecution and the teachings of the father were not well seen by the strong men of Rome. After the death of his father, Demetrius was summoned by Maximian and, upon proving his wisdom, he is named head of Thessaloniki. In 306, returning from a war against Scythians, Maximian stops in Demetrius' fortress, to verify the rumors about his Christianity. Demetrius does not hide his faith in God and is thrown in prison, where his blessings help a prisoner, Nestor, win in the battle against Lyaeos the Giant Vandal. Enraged, Maximiam sent soldiers armed with spears to kill Demetrius, but he will survive in the Christian memory for his blessing power. Orthodox Christians celebrate St. Demetrius of October 26.

Saint Peter and Saint Paul
The two saints are widely considered as the ones to seat closest to God in Heaven. Their unchanged belief in God and their never-resting spreading of God's Word, their countless miracles and the huge amount of souls they brought on the path of faith are fundaments to the Christian morals. And still, one couldn't find anywhere two people so different than the two Saints. 
Simon, brother of Andrew (the First-Called), was a poor fisherman in Bethsaida, baptized in the Jordan river by Saint John. he was called upon by Jesus, and he left everything behind him to follow God. During his apostolate, after working to establish the church of Antioch for seven years presiding as the city's bishop[ and preaching to scattered communities of believers in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia Minor and Bithynia, Peter went to Rome. He overthrew Simon Magus, proving the power of God and also enraging Nero, who asked for Peter to be crucified. Feeling unworthy of the same death as the one of Jesus Christ, Peter demanded to be crucified head down.
Saint Paul is the only one of the apostles who didn't walk with Jesus. In fact, he was one of those who dedicated their lives to pursuing Christians and punishing them for their beliefs. Still named Saul, he was blinded by God while heading for Damascus. After his miraculous healing, he turned himself in the hands of God and became the only one whose power to attract souls was as big as Peter's. Later in history, he would be described as the window through which the Pagan world saw Christ. As Peter's example tells about how true faith means leaving everything behind, Paul's life is the symbol of the second chance: regardless how far you were from God all your life, it's never too late to repent. 
Orthodox Christians celebrate the two pillars of Church on June 29, the day when Nero beheaded Paul in Rome.

Saint George
Saint George was a Roman soldier in the Guard of Diocletian, born of Christian parents in Cappadocia. Pursuing a military career, he came to be one of Diocletian's commanders in 303, just when the emperor asked the Christians to let go of their beliefs and return to the polytheistic Roman religion. 
Saint George was one of the first to refuse. First, Diocletian attempted to convert George, even offering gifts of land, money and slaves if he made a sacrifice to the Pagan gods. Saint George refused, and the torments he was put through, in the attempt to torture him until he gives up his faith in God, were unbearable. But the angel of God was on his side and Saint George never gave up. Miracles took place during Saint George's torment, including a man rising from the dead and telling he was in the fires of Hell for three centuries and statues of the Pagan gods breaking apart in the temple. 
Even the heart of Empress Alexandra turned towards God at that time, but nothing changed the emperor's mind. Saint George was beheaded and Alexandra died in prison. 
Until today, Saint George remains the protector of the army, his cross standing on the UK flag. In icons, he's often seen killing a dragon, as the story tells that he saved the city of Selena from a dreadful monster who spread terror among the populace. 
The Orthodox Christians celebrate Saint George on April 23

Saint Mary
The Saint who gave birth to God is the most celebrated figure of all Christianity, bears the most different names and still remains one of the most mysterious characters in the history of Christian faith. In front of the people, she is the reversed image of Eve: instead of the first sin, she brought the pure birth. 
She is the most honored of all women, since she was given the extraordinary chance to give birth to God. The main celebration dedicated to Saint Mary is on August 15, the Dormition - the day when she went to the Heavens. But she is also celebrated in September 8 (her birth), on December 8 (date of the Immaculate Conception), on November 21 (the day she was brought to the Temple) and March 25 (the Annunciation).

Saint John the Baptist
Announced by an angel and given the power to bless his mother while  wasn't yet born, Saint John the Baptist is one of the most beloved and celebrated saints of the Orthodox Church. 
His birth was thee sign for what was to come: John came from an unfertile mother, his name being chosen by the angel who announced his coming. Leaving in the middle of the dessert, feeding on wild honey and locusts, announcing the soon to come Messiah, John is the one to baptize Jesus and the first to recognize his Holy nature, calling Him The Lamb of God. His power was so great that Herod did not dare to kill him, not even when John points out the emperor's decadent life. Later, he would fall into a trap, promising his wife to do anything for her he finds himself forced to behead Saint John and offer her his head on a silver platter. 
He is honored by Orthodox Christians three times during the year: for his birth, on June 24, in the day he baptized Jesus, on January 7 and the day of his death, on August 29.

Saint Archangels Michael and Gabriel
In the way the heaven was built, archangels are the first above the angels, and there are seven of them. Out of all seven, Michael and Gabriel are the two considered as closest to the mankind, main benefactors of men. 
Archangel Michael, whose name means power of God, is  head of the heavenly army, bearer of the burning sword and his main duty is to safeguard God's Law. When Lucifer rose in rebellion, Michaels' shout was the one who stopped the falling of angels. His miracles are countless, from saving Daniel in the lions' pit to taking Lot out of Sodom.
Archangel Gabriel, whose name means man-God, was the one who carried Virgin Mary's prayers to God's ears, the one to first say the word Jesus and the one setting the name for Saint John the Baptist. He is the protector of mothers and new born babies. 
Orthodox Christians celebrate the Saint Archangels Michael and Gabriel day on November 8.

Saint Elijah
Also known as Ilya or Elias, Saint Elijah was one of the most important prophets before Christ. Eight centuries before Jesus, Elijah was the one to let people known that eternal life can be achieved though faith: after along life of holiness, he was taken by angels in a chariot of fire and taken to the Heaven.
In the Books of Kings, Elijah is shown as a defender of the worship of Yahweh over that of the more popular Baal. During his life, he raised the dead and brought fire and rain down from the sky, for which he's still referred to sometimes as keeper of Heavens' keys. 
Elijah's return is prophesied before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. His most known miracle was made in a widow's house: to make an oil vessel and a flour bag never run out. It is said that he spent three years and a half in the widow's house, then he went to king Ahab and challenged him in a battle of Gods. Ahab and 450 priests prayed to Baal and fail to obtain any sign, but when Elijah prays, the skies open up and fire falls on his sacrifice.
Orthodox Christians celebrate Saint Elijah on July 20.

Saint Nicholas
Although is the most popular saint among children, given the annual gifts they receive on Saint Nicholas' day, on December 6. But Nikolaos of Myra, later to be known as Nikolaos the Miracleworker, was a man who first knew how it is to lack things and only then how it is to taste. The stories about the life of holy men tell that Nicholas fasted as soon as he was born and that later on he fasted during every Wednesday and Friday, even as an breast-fed infant. 
Born, as many of the Christian founders, in the Christian persecution days of Diocletian and Maximilian, Nicholas had a life defined by faith and kindness. The most famous story about him tells how a poor man had three daughters but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant, in those days, that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment would have to become prostitutes. Hearing of the poor man's plight, Nicholas decided to help him but being too modest to help the man in public, he went to his house under the cover of night and threw three purses (one for each daughter) filled with gold coins through the window opening into the man's house.
Other stories say he put a gold coin in the shoes left outside of the houses, this turning during centuries into a tradition. Until these days, during Saint Nicholas' night, parents leave a toy in their children's shoes, if they were good kids, or a wooden rod (symbol of punishment), if they are on the naughty list

Cupola Sanctis
The Profound Oltenia is the Oltenia of its people and nothing more. And its people are those who were among the first to kneel before the Christian God, adopting the religion of those who love and forgive. In the rare occasions in which celebrations steal some of the hours that would have been normally dedicated to working the land, the people gather in the name of Orthodox Saints, upon whose martyrdom we built our entire history. 
For these days, we lovefully and respectfully created a wine, dedicated to celebrating the life to come. It is a wine that separates itself from the usual intentions of other wines: it is not to quench thirst, nor to cause melancholic escapes. It is not a wine to party, not one for solitude. It's a wine for the heart, for each one's love towards the ones near, a wine for the days when we remember about what really matters - faith, love and kindness. 
Even though the wine debuts in sober, inky notes, it opens up fast, showing red fruits, jams, fine cocoa powder and fine tannins. The aftertaste is long and warm, without hiding any of the years lived through until today.