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Vineyard Property Casa Isarescu Charms with Panoramic Views of Romania

Casa Isarescu

Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

Located deep in verdant Romanian countryside, elegant wine estate and traditional hacienda Casa Isarescu is the result of perseverance, planning and impressive creativity by members of the Isarescu family. Members of the influential bunch include 68-year-old Mugur, a 27-year Governor of the Romanian National Bank (the longest serving Governor worldwide), former Prime Minister and Presidential candidate, and his talented son and CEO of the property, Costin, a 30-year-old architect.

 

Casa Isarescu
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

Heading upwards from the charming old town of Dragasani in the county of Valcea, a narrow road winds around 40 hectares of gently sloping Casa Isarescu vineyard, some plantings new, some old, producing an average of 150,000 bottles per year, of memorable white, rosé and red. International grape varieties include cabernet sauvignon, merlot, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, the national tămâioasă Românească and locally-grown grapes, crâmpoșie and negru de Drăgășani. Table grapes include Victoria, created at Dragasani and now being planted worldwide, and Italia. Interestingly, the vineyard—like the region itself—once lay at the bottom of the sea, thus the presence of rich deposits of seashells in the soil.

Casa Isarescu
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

Through an electronic gate is an exterior courtyard featuring two classic 1970s Renault and Dacia cars and an MZ motorbike and an elegant 19th-century carriage with smooth, polished wooden wheels. The winery itself with spanking, shiny ultra-modern equipment from Italy is housed nearby, with a tasting room neatly arranged beside it. The smell of fermenting grapes in high stacks of Transylvanian oak barrels in the cellar teases one's nostrils.

Outside, meandering pathways lead one around segments of vineyard beside a decorative, multi-colored rose garden and assorted bushes and shrubs.

 

Casa Isarescu
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

History is kept passionately alive here, with the modest, wooden ancestral wine storage shed renovated, yet retaining some 150-year-old boards incorporated in the new structure. Framed photographs inside of family members, some dressed in traditional Romanian costumes, lining the walls, grant visual insights into bygone epochs. Here, Mugur’s parents, Aritina and Constantin Isarescu, brought the first family wines to fruition.

Casa Isarescu
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

Meanwhile, back up the pathway at the main accommodation complex, a new restaurant unfolds across an open terrace offering stunning views across a wide valley to the towering Carpathian Mountains beyond teeming with legend, myth and historical drama, much of it dating from the ancient Dacian, Celt, Roman and Medieval periods.

Casa Isarescu
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

Once inside the hacienda's broad comfortable lobby, the true nature of this luxury property becomes abundantly clear. Furnished in the traditional style of a Romanian 'cule' or 'conac' (chateau), it is enriched with attractive artifacts, many hinting of days long gone, including decorative wooden clocks, antiques, chandeliers, 19th-century paintings featuring still-life and animated monks busy at wine-making, ink etchings, hand-painted bottles, and bronze statutes including one of a nubile maiden dressed in a toga, an old gramophone with the emblematic 'His Masters's Voice' inscribed on it, beautifully varnished wooden barrels, and even a framed set of metal corkscrews from different countries and epochs.

Casa Isarescu
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

A long wooden table seats about a dozen people with soft padded armchairs in one corner beside an open, log fire offering leisurely relaxation. Terracotta tiles adorn the floor and most of the furniture is carved from oak.

Casa Isarescu
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

While the interior decor is enticing, I found no greater thrill than sitting outside on the spacious terrace, glass of Isarescu wine or potent homemade pálinka in hand, overlooking rows upon rows of healthy vines, pregnant with grapes, and the River Olt and lake reposing peacefully below, a soft, warm breeze on my face, listening to the silky-smooth melody of Shadow Of Your Smile by artists such as Tony Bennett, Barbara Streisand, Gary Mulligan, "Old Blue Eyes" Frank Sinatra and Kenny G. The playful company of the property’s resident cat and dog, Jolie and Hunter, enhanced the ambience even more.

Casa Isarescu
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

Rooms, bereft of ornamental clutter, make one feel gracious and well-rested. Elaborately-carved oak furnishings, an old-style rotary-dial telephone in wooden housing and crisp fresh linen, combine with modern technology such as a wide, flat-screen T.V. with multiple channels, to satisfy guests.

Casa Isarescu
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

Our room—there are six in total on two levels—are fashioned in a graceful Old World manner, with intricately-engraved oak headboard on the bed, a hanging mini-chandelier and charming bedside table-lamps. This inviting sense of tasteful Romanian tradition is completed by a smooth wooden floor and hand-woven carpeting with light floral designs. A painting adorning the wall behind the king-size bed features a bucolic rural countryside complete with a rambling farmhouse.

Casa Isarescu
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

Another wonderful aspect of the property is its underground vaulted crama or cellar. Dating from 1850, it features a slate stone floor, a richly-ornate walnut "throne," an impressive roundtable reminding one of King Arthur and his valiant Knights, bear and wild boar hides as floor coverings and assorted artifacts such as statuettes, hunting horns, antler horns, brass candelabra and silver engravings.

Casa Isarescu
Photo Credit: Columbia Hillen

If it’s high-quality accommodation paired with high-quality wines, panoramic views over verdant Romanian countryside and an authentic sense of history that you seek, then Casa Isarescu must be on your high-priority vacation list.

Sean Hillen

Sean Hillen has been an international journalist and editor for almost 40 years and is also a published author. His latest book is a high-end contemporary fiction novel, Pretty Ugly - a thrilling, intriguing ride through the murky undercurrent of corporate and political machinations bridging the complex worlds of medicine, media and modeling. http://www.seanhillenauthor.com/ His experience spa...(Read More)

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