Livia Gîrboiu about life and the Romanian wine


August, 28th 2020, Marinela Ardelean

I look with great confidence at the young generation of Romanian wine producers.
I have always appreciated Livia for the passion and dedication she and her father invested in managing the family business. The work she does and her results talk about her personality because, isn’t it (?), most of the time, the things we do are due to our principles.

Who and what inspires you?

I have always admired people who have a story, bold people who went beyond their limits. First of all, I think of my father, who dared to believe both in the Crama Gîrboiu soul project, but especially in me, as a human being.
At the same time, I admire the strong women who combine professional success and motherhood – a category in which you fall as well, Mari – as well as people who genuinely care if they brought the contribution in this industry, a good wine, through devotion and perseverance. And last but not least, I am always inspired by an extraordinary wine!

What advice would you give to a young woman who wishes to start a career in wine?

In Romania, unfortunately, the wine world is seen as “masculine”. A woman brings extra value through her vision and the power to create. I was lucky to meet women who were Masters of Wine, oenologists, sommeliers, and expert tasters, women in key positions that fascinated me. They are women who feel comfortable in this field, women who bought innovation and left a mark. I think that in Romania, women should find out from an early age about this fascinating field, to understand the advantages of this profession, which is truly unique! My advice from the bottom of my heart: Dare, woman!

 What kind of wine do you prefer?

The good one! ☺ I had the chance to taste many wines, and both my appetite and my curiosity grew. I wish I’ll have the necessary time and the opportunity to visit all the world’s wine regions, discover local wines, their taste, and the stories of the people who produce them as well. For me, wine is more than just a job – it is passion and a way of living. Each wine has its moment if you respect it. Because each bottle hides inside an incredible amount of work.

How did motherhood change you, and how did it impact your work?

I must admit that my life turned 180 degrees… in a good sense. I’ve learned to be more understanding, to value the profoundly important things, and to better organize my time. I have concluded that you can be efficient, even working from home, if you learn to use the proper channels. For me, it’s a special moment that I want to dedicate to my daughter.

How do you see yourself in 10 years?

Wiser!☺ We work hard now, hoping that we will enjoy the fruits of our labor later. The beginnings are challenging, but when you have a healthy start, and you always offer quality, the results will come. In ten years, I see myself leading a successful business called Crama Gîrboiu!

What was your greatest challenge so far?

Everything is a challenge. The choice to pursue a career, the moment chosen to become a mother, the family business itself is a challenge. But what would life be without challenges? I am a highly active person, and the only thing that scares me is the silence. I couldn’t live without purpose and a well-drawn vision. I know exactly what I want to do and the goals I want to reach.

What was your greatest satisfaction, then?

In addition to my work with Crama Gîrboiu and all the projects that I’ve loved, I think my daughter gives me the most excellent satisfaction. Nothing compares to the feeling you get when you arrive at home, and you hear the magical word: MOMMY!

What do you think we are missing to have a country brand for Romania? Wines of Romania?

The people? ☺ I have concluded that Romanians are unable to collaborate. Either communism has managed to irremediably divide these people, or the mentality of “killing the neighbor’s goat” (note: it’s a proverb about those who don’t try to succeed, but are also jealous on other’s success, wishing them to lose everything) is too deeply imprinted in our DNA. It is sad to see a country with such a great potential unable to create any unity and, even more important, a Country Brand. Even more, the stupid self-pride does not allow us to take lessons from our neighbors, like the tremendously successful program Wine of Moldova. I greatly believe that future generations will bring change.

Name three wine producers you admire

SERVE – because they managed to keep their eyes on the target and remained faithful to their first objective – to maintain a low production and only sell premium wines.

DAVINO – because they genuinely are a commerce model! They can really produce, but – more importantly – also sell the wine.

RECAȘ – we need to recognize the role of this company on both the local and the international market. I proudly watch them managing to create a country brand, all from a viticulture area that basically did not exist before them. I take a bow and honestly congratulate them for being pioneers in so many areas.

Except for Feteasca Neagră, which wine grape do you think should be Romania’s flagship?

Clearly, Feteasca Albă. It has everything it needs to put up intense competition against international varieties like Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, which are sold on all major wine markets. We have been working with this grape for over 15 years, and I can tell it has everything it needs. And you can produce both still and sparkling wines from it.

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