220 20th St S
Arlington, VA 22202
Old Town Cellars is the distribution side of Sarego Imports, a national importer of fine wines from lesser-known wine countries. It is a husband-wife team based locally in Alexandria, VA. Stacy and Serghei’s portfolio is mainly focused on the diversity of Eastern Europe’s wine regions and the native varietals that come from there, with a specific focus on Moldova. Winemaking in Moldova has a long history, it began with the Dacian people between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago. The Greeks, who settled the Black Sea coast of Moldova in the 3rd century BC, brought their own winemaker techniques. Again, under the Romans, winemaking continued to develop. The formation of the Moldavian feudal state in the 14th century spurred the development of viticulture. Stephen the Great was a great promoter of culture and even created the position of Paharnic, who oversaw the vineyards and winemaking to ensure high quality production (and that the king was not being poisoned). The 16th century brought Ottoman rule and 300 years of decline because winemaking was forbidden. The modern winemaking in Moldova has also had a rocky road, but they offer great value and have greatly improved their wines and are winning international acclaim with many of their wines!
Stacy and Serghei don’t just focus on Eastern European wines, but also have a well-curated selection of unique wines from the world. Come out and get a taste of what they do!
- Josef Drathen Rheinhessen Kabinett 2014: A very refreshing blend of Müller-Thurgau and Scheurebe, both crossings of Riesling, this off-dry white German blend comes from Rheinhessen, which lies on the left bank of the River Rhine. With a mild climate this region is ringed by protective hills and forests and it features steep vineyard sites that are confined to a small area near the river. Here, we have fully ripe grapes that were picked around mid-September, lightly crushed, and left on their skins for a short period to ensure the complete release of aromas into the juice. It is stainless steel fermented at cool cellar temperatures to fully capture the aromas, flavors and delicate natural spritz of the varieties. This delicate, refreshing blend shows fruity flavors, mild, well-balanced acidity and elegant finish that all together make for an easy drinking spring-summer white. Pair with cheese, fresh salads and vegetables or any style of lighter foods; or it compliments spicy foods equally well, especially meats.
- Valdrinal de Santa Maria Verdejo 2015: The Valdrinal Winery Project was born in the year 2000. From the beginning, the principal objective has been to produce a high quality wine in small quantities. The Valdirnal winery controls 60 acres of vineyards in different areas around the town of Aranda de Duero in the province of Burgos, Spain. Here, one can find the best quality Rueda Verdejo, the signature grape variety of Northwestern Spain. This is 100% Verdejo that was harvested at night to prevent the grape juice from oxidizing as they enter the winery. A perfect spring-summer white, with an outstanding fruity character and freshness. Medium bodied it tastes smooth, very pleasant, with a very well integrated acidity. Pair with pasta, rice, vegetables and fish.
- Individo Rose 2016: This is a super special occasion for us! Recently featured at an embassy party, we were lucky to get a few bottles for the tasting tonight. This is one-time only availability. It is a Bordeaux-style rose, a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot. It comes from PGI Valul lui Traian, Moldova’s sunniest region with Mediterranean influence. The grapes are hand-picked from selected vineyards in September before undergoing cold maceration and being fermented in stainless steel. This is a refreshing crisp wine with a graceful abundance of soft raspberry, strawberry and redcurrant fruit. Pure and highly enjoyable with refreshing acidity and finish. A great aperitif, but it also pairs well with seafood, cold appetizers, and cheese platters.
- Individo Rara Neagra, Malbec, & Syrah 2015: An intriguing, new blend showing clearly the sense of place that indigenous variety Rara Neagra (42% with 30% Malbec & 28% Syrah) can bring to a blend. It is something uniquely Moldovan but easy to approach. The winemaker has created this blend in order to introduce American and European wine lovers to the indigenous grapes of Moldova and to help them fall in love with what Moldova has to offer! The grapes are hand-picked, the wine is fermented in oak vats, and aged for 6-12 months in new French oak barrels. It is full-bodied, with a velvety taste, notes of cherry, black pepper and dark chocolate. Pleasantly long finish combining flavors of leather and toast. Pair with grilled beef, pork, or rotisserie chicken.
- Et Cetera Serendipity 2013: A fascinating, mature blend of 70% indigenous Feteasca Neagra [Black Maiden] and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a limited bottling of 5300 bottles from a family-owned winery that aims to reflect Moldovan terrior in their wines. The grapes are hand-picked and manually sorted. It is fermented in stainless steel, aged for 12 months in a mix of Moldovan and American oak barriques, and matured in bottle before release. This is a full-bodied red with sweet, velvety tannins, expressive notes of dried plums, delicate spice and well integrated oak. Pair with grilled steak, roast lamb, or other hearty meat dishes.