The Miniş – Măderat vineyard is located on the hills of the final ramifications of Zarandului Mountains, at an altitude of 130–300m, the slopes being oriented mainly towards south and west. Winters are mild and summers are long and hot.
Such ideal conditions for growing grapes have been taken advantage of since ancient times. The first mention of the Miniş vines dates back to year 1038 in relation with queen Gizella, wife of king Istvan. Later references certify the expansion of the vineyard and the fame of the wines produced here.
In 1636, Gheorghe Rakoczi, the prince of Transylvania, ordered a 7000hl capacity cellar to be excavated in Mocrea, and in 1749 count Grassalkovich made another large cellar in Miniş. In 1878, when the wine production outsized the existing storage capacities, the first concrete containers were built. Since 1881, when the Viticulture School was established, the activity became better organized. Vine nurseries were started in Păuliş-Baraţca, Ceala and Târnova, two large wine-making facilities were built in Miniş and Baraţca and a Research Center was also created.
The wines with controlled appellation of origin are the red wine varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Burgundy and the white wine varieties: Italian Riesling, Furmint, Muscat Ottonel.
Starting with 1744, the Miniş-Covăsânţ area has produced the sweet Cadarcă wine. The greatest recognition of its exquisite quality came in 1862 at the International Exhibition in London, when a sweet red wine from Miniş was called “the king of wines”.
The vineyard, with the old town of Lipova on the south-eastern extremity and the towns Pâncota and Ineu at west and north-west, is enriched by remains of historical events, by beautiful villages and hospitable villagers, and, of course, by great wine festivals in October.
The core of the vineyard, crossed by county road DJ708B, consists of the adjoining localities, favorite summer residences for many city inhabitants:
PĂULIŞ – The village is 10 km far from Lipova and 25 km away from Arad. It has been first mentioned in historical documents in the early 14th century. The main site to visit is the Monument of Heroes, built to honor the cadets from the Radna military school who fought in WW II.
MINIŞ – The high-school is the follower of the old Viticulture School and the keeper of a large collection of wines consisting of 90,000 bottles, the oldest ones dating back to 1926.
GHIOROC – The village is 24 km away from Arad. Documents prove its existence since 1135, as part of the Arad County, along with the other great wine producers Cuvin and Miniş.
The Wine and Vine Research Center (initially located in Minis) hosts the Museum of Wine and Vine – in a small 18th century castle (the museum may be visited on request) where interesting old tools are displayed.
Still on request, the village may be also reached with the old electric train. Today part of the urban tram system, the Arad-Ghioroc section is the last remainder of the 58 km long railway Arad – Ghioroc – Pancota – Radna, opened in 1906.
Several beautiful hiking trails depart from the village to the surrounding spots in the Zarandului Mountains: the Feredeu Monastery, Cladova Valley.
COVĂSÂNŢ – The locality is strongly marked by the peculiar architecture of the newly built houses, nevertheless, it still bears the traces of history: „The Tower” probably from the 15th century and the old copper mines (Cioaca Băii and Lilii Creek).
ŞIRIA –Located 28 km far from Arad, Şiria is an old village, first mentioned in documents in the 14th century. The locality is on the border between the plains and the mountains. Above the village one can see from a distance the ruins of a fortress dating from the 13th century, not far from a TV relay antenna, both reachable by car. In the center of the village, hidden in a park, is the Bohus castle, today the memorial house of a great Romanian writer, Ioan Slavici, and of composer Emil Montia. Also in the park one can find the statue of Antonia Bohus, one of the pioneers of charitable works in Arad.
Traveling along this road, one can easily detect the tourist, economic and historic potential of the region, as well as the favorable conditions for wine production. Investments in this region will bear fruit for sure.