Sacueni’s scenery has a clear common denominator: croplands. This spreads throughout the country. Agriculture currently accounts for 4.3 percent of Romania’s GDP, considerably lower than the 22 percent that it used to represent thirty years ago (World Bank, 2020). The appearance of new industries and sources of economic development have shifted investment away from crop production. However, many Romanians still rely on agriculture as their way of living. Diversification is a great opportunity for farmers to increase revenue on an individual level. Sacueni has the advantage of enjoying good and fertile soil, allowing it to grow a great variety of crops. Many opportunities arise from such characteristics. It is the moment to invest in something that will create direct and indirect benefits for not only the producer but the community as a whole. Viticulture has the capacity to become the perfect booster to put Sacueni on the map and become a referent in the winegrowing world.
The city would not be starting from zero. Wine culture has been very much tied to the region for centuries. In fact, during the 18th century, wine was the main source of income in the area. It was not always easy, phylloxera took a toll on grapevines across Europe, especially in Romania, where many took it as a sign to switch production to other crops due to the unprofitability and instability of the business. The last nail in the coffin that put a stop to wine production was the arrival of the Communist Regime and the push towards the industrialization of the economy. However, ten years ago there was a change of spirits. The attention shifted back to the potential that the wine industry has.
The new boost has brought the replantation of royal grapes, originary from the region. Even so, wine production still remains a second source of income among locals or even a hobby. The potential of the wine industry is endless, hence the need to promote it. This has not escaped local administrations, who are more and more willing to devote resources into the industry. Dozens of ecotourism experiences can be created around wine, forging chances for economic growth. Wine can also be coupled with the gastronomic traditions of the territory, art and so many other sectors. Thus, a really potent cultural cluster can be assembled around viticulture, benefiting everyone.
In order to make it happen, the quality of wine is a priority. Taking advantage of the flavourful Bakator grape variety produced in the area, checking out the “high quality” box should not be a problem. Building from there, and with the support of the Hungarian Government to wine producers in the Ier Valley, the future of wine looks bright in Sacueni. Furthermore, expanding the industry will also provide new opportunities for young people, who are gradually getting interested in the issue, ultimately fostering regional development. Nonetheless, patience is required. This will not happen overnight.
Just like good wine, time is needed to draft a process that demands careful planning. Build confidence among locals by creating legal support and basis for producers; allow a proper and competitive brand management by acquiring the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO); establish an ambitious marketing strategy, where social media plays a very significant role; set out a well designed product distribution network; engage as many people as possible; and conceive local and international partnerships can be the difference between failure and success. All around the world wine production and cultivation of the vine is possible.
This activity has an endless array of opportunities and elements of interaction tied to it. Such variety is the reason why one cannot find two identical wines. The existing link between wine and the territory it is produced is undeniable: the geographical location, the quality of the land where vineyards grow, the climatology, the vines, the type of grape used, the culture, history, tradition and the local know-how. All of the above are characteristics that need to be celebrated and recognized. It is time to invest in the sector and follow the City Hall’s lead, to participate in the activities and programs organized and consume local products. It is time to put Sacueni’s wine at everybody’s tables.