Moldova: Land of Wine
You may not know much about Moldova, I didn’t even know it existed until about 6 years ago when I had a manager from the country, but it wasn’t until the last year that I discovered it’s wine heritage. Okay, I’ll be honest, I was watching Jack Whitehall Travels with my Father and they visited Moldova and the wine region. Father Whitehall was impressed by the wine, so it was definitely worth checking out.
The first vines in the country were recorded in 7000 B.C., yes, you read that right and the first wines from 3000 B.C. So how does a country with such a long history of wine fall by the wayside? I think we can largely thank Russia and their wine embargoes for that. Most of the wine was labeled “Made in USSR.”
Moldova actually holds the Guinness World Record since 2005 for largest collection of wine with over 1.5 million bottles, aka the Gold Collection, stored at 80 meters below ground. In fact, a quarter of the population of Moldova is involved in the wine industry!
Why It’s Good for Wine
The country is actually settled in a similar latitude to the famous wine regions of France and Italy and while landlocked does still get some influence from the Black Sea. The black soil, paired with the water exposure from both the Prut and Dniester rivers help make this a prime wine making terrain.
Valul lui Traiain in the Southwest and Stefan Voda in the Southeast are main areas for red wine production while Codru in the center of the country is ideal for growing white grapes, accounting for 70% of the vineyards in the country.
In Codru you can find Mileșsti Mici, which is home to the largest wine collection. It’s near Chișinău, which is the capital of the country. The area is filled with wine bars featuring local wines and traditional Moldovan fare.
A Selection to Try
There are a number of wines to try from the country and for us in the States it’s a bit difficult to get our hands on. I suppose one could always call up the Queen for a bottle, as she is rumored to also be a big fan of Moldovan wine!
This wine won Silver at the 2016 Decanter Wines of the World Awards. The grapes are handpicked in the vineyards, making it a bit more crafted. Notes of green paprika, peppermint, and wild berries give this wine a velvety, full finish. Pair with a French Charcuterie board!
2. Cricova Brut
Cricova is known in the country for their sparkling wines. This Brut has a traditional pairing of Chardonny and Pinot Noir, along with a blend of Moldovan grapes. Serve this at a celebration or with a white fish dinner for a refreshing fusion. It’s an incredible price with an average of $10, thanks to the country being off the grid!
3. Chateau Vartely, Feteasca Regala Riesling 2017
Chateau Vartely is known for it’s wine blends. This Riesling has 55% Feteasca Regala, 45% Riesling and is a dry white. Bring this out for your first summer party to serve with your first course of salad & grilled shrimp!