London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
Why just visit the picturesque Romanian wine regions when you can spend the night in one of the best Romanian wineries? Ceptura Dealu Mare region has many delightful wine cellars and wine tasting opportunities, but one place has charmed all our senses to the level we have been used in our European wanderings at world class wineries such as Tuscany, Bordeaux or Sicily. It’s called Vinalia Conacul Ceptura, a mansion beautifully restored with care, that will take your wine country getaway to the next level.
First time we arrived at Vinalia Ceptura Mansion for a late lunch from our way from Brasov to Bucharest. A very hot day, typical of August summers in the south of Romania. But 35 degrees feel gentle though by the vineyards and with few glasses of Feteasca Neagra (for red addicts like me after tanin and a full body) one feels gloriously joyous and alive.
My other half indulged into crispy whites, all over a delicious lunch with lamb chops and ribs. The kids devoured the Romanian thin sausages and of course the papanasi (Romanian sweet dumplings with cream and jam).
We couldn’t leave the best of Romanian wine regions without splashing in the pool and wanderings in the vineyard, spotting wild fluffy rabbits and picking few grapes.
We felt in love and promised ourselves to go back very shortly to this glorious pied a terre in the Romanian wineries, spend the night and enjoy properly. So in precisely 6 days we were back with friends.
Perfect for long weekend breaks, 8 adorable rooms are available at Vinalia Ceptura mansion with expansive views over the vineyards: Tamaioasa (white and aromatic) grapes lie just in front of the restaurant and the mansion; Merlot, Cabernet and Feteasca Neagra up in the green rolling hills on the opposite side of the entrance. The feel is rustic chic and with many quaint charming finishes.
We took over 3 rooms on this occasion and all parties were in love.
We arrived similarly for a late lunch, on this occasion we indulged into exquisite aubergine (a delicious Romanian version of melanzana parmigiana with local cheese, garlic and cherry tomatoes); goose local pate and creamy mushroom chicken.
More bottles of Ceptura Feteasca Neagra flowed over lunch, afternoon and dinner – a joyous relaxing day spent with friends by vineyards and the pool, whilst kids ran around, played basket ball, darts, archery and pool, picked grapes and peaches, played hide and seek and of course splashed in the pool.
Bicycles are around at Vinalia Ceptura Mansion and I could not help myself to grab one myself for a short ride in the countryside to soak in more therapeutically green rolling hills. There are horses nearby and at Vinalia Ceptura Mansion there’s a friendly huge dog, beautiful roosters, turkeys, geese and chickens.
The sunset is magic, by the pool, in the vineyards or by the wine pressing ancient tools in the garden.
All parties had such an amazing time that we also gave the kids a break from their usual 8:30/9pm bedtime time and allowed them to play longer in the evening and take in the wanders of the Romanian wine regions. They loved it and by 10pm declared content to stargaze with us and stare at the beautiful full moon by loungers (you guessed, the grown ups sipping more wine!).
Ceptura Feteasca Neagra (my favourites) come in relatively small precious supplies – 40,000 bottles or 2016 edition and even less for 2014. I loved both years of Ceptura Feteasca Neagra and bought to further indulge on our Bucharest trip.
We slept well at Vinalia Ceptura Mansion; the rooms are chic and functional, with many wine related and Romanian wineries features, just like the hotel and the restaurant. One can feel the refreshing proximity of thecountryside with the birds singing and chickens waking up with the daylight. The breakfast was yum, freshly squeezed orange juice, grape juice, freshly baked croissants and pains au chocolats, Romanian feta cheese like and sausages.
One more splash in the pool to wrap up a beautiful summer and we headed to the airport – just over an hour drive from Otopeni and worlds apart Bucharest fast paced life. For more on Romania travel check our post on Road trip Romania : 10 days itinerary. Vinalia mansion and Ceptura Dealu Mare, we will be back!
Covid 19 adjustments and considerations: In the brave new world of 2021, Romania dropped 14 days mandatory quaranteeining for vaccinated travellers (with 2 doses) as well as ‘lucky’ travellers with positive COVID 19 tests more than 14 days and less than 90 days since the confirmation of the test results. We were in second ‘lucky’ cathegory in February 2021 and family circumstances required us spending 3 weeks in Romania, both Bucharest and Brasov. We found life close to normal and Police re-assuringly enforcing the masks everywhere in the public spaces, outside included. We made it safely to restaurants, theatre, skiing, hairdressers and even the spa! The cases have been under control for the last 6 months and Romania somehow managed to find a balanced and reasonable approach to keeping the economy open safely, with vaccins overall on track and rights and freedom relatively unscathed.