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Moldovan Wines

15 Fascinating Facts About Moldovan Wine That You Never Knew

Back in the day, it was hard to find Moldovan wines in the UK However, now, there are a lot more exciting varieties on the market.

Not only is Moldova’s wine a good value, it also has a lot of unique flavors that you won’t find anywhere else.

Curious? Read on. Here are 15 fascinating facts about Moldovan wine that will make you re-think this exciting new-old wine region.

Why is Moldova known for wine?

Probably because Moldova has the highest per capita number of vineyards in the world. Not bad for a tiny landlocked country of 2.18 million (2020). 

#1 Moldovan wines are globally recognised.

In addition, the quality of its wine has been recognized all around the world. In 2020, for instance, Moldova was able to claim two Best in Show awards at the Decanter Wine Awards. The country also led the way with 53 awards at the prestigious Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.

#2 A Moldovan Wine won Best Red Wine in the world

At the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2022, Fautor Winery in Val Lui Traian, Moldova won the top prize for Best Red wine in the world from a competition of 5000 wines. 

“Тhe best red wine comes from Moldova – the Fautor Negre 2017 is a blend of the native varieties Feteasca Neagra and Rara Neagra.” – Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2022

#3 The country has a rich wine history dating back to 2800 BC.

The history of wine in Moldova dates back to around 2,500 BC when archaeologists discovered the seeds of grapes in amphorae. It was also mentioned in Herodotus, who noted that drinking wine was a common practice in Greece during the 5th century. During the 14th century, the country’s wine was exported to various European countries.

Moldovan wines were famous for their quality, but over time, production was stopped because of social turmoil and war over the centuries. The post-war period saw an enthusiastic planting of international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Moldova has seen a recent revival of its wine industry with more vineyards being planted by entrepreneurs hoping to make their mark on the world’s wine map.

Moldovan wines
Traditional wine in Moldova / shutterstock

#4 It is a republic located in Eastern Europe between Romania and Ukraine.

Moldova is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Ukraine and Romania to the west. The capital city of Moldova is Chisinau (Kishinev). It has a population of 2.18 million people and covers an area of 13,070 square miles.

Moldova is officially known as the Republic of Moldova but also goes by its historical name: Moldavia. It gained independence from Russia in 1991 after declaring itself an independent state that year.

#5 The Moldovan wine industry employs over a quarter of a million people.

Wine plays a major economic role in Moldova. The 140 wineries employ over 250,000 people and account for 3.2% of the GDP. Although only 34 produce quality wines.

#6 The country is home to the most European grape varieties in Eastern Europe.

According to official figures, over 73% of the country’s grapes come from European countries. This region’s diverse geography allows for the production of different types of grapes, such as white and red varieties. Some of the most common types of wine that are made in Moldova are sparkling wines made from grapes such as the Moscato Bianco and Saperavi.

Besides European grapes, some of the other indigenous varieties that are commonly used in the production of wine in the country include the Rara Neagra and Feteasca Regal. These two grapes blend well with the Saperavi and have been recognised by international judges.

#7 Wine culture is an integral part of Moldovan culture and heritage.

Moldova has a long history of wine production.

The culture of wine is an integral part of Moldova’s heritage and culture. The local population has been drinking the country’s wine for centuries, and this has been passed down through the generations. The tradition of wine production in the country can be traced back to Ancient Rome and Greece.

#8 Wine is one of the most exported products in Moldova.

Wine is one of the most exported products in Moldova. The majority is exported with 40% as bottled wine, and the rest as bulk.

Wine is the country’s largest export and a major source of income for Moldova. The wine industry accounts for 27% of all jobs in the country, and it produces over 67 million bottles per year.

#9 There are three historical sub-regions: Stefan Voda, Codru, and Valul lui Traian.

Moldova’s wine regions are divided into three sub-regions:

Codru

Codru is the most famous and largest wine area in Moldova. In the middle of this labyrinthine landscape lies the capital Chisinau (Kishinev). The vineyards are partly on hills, partly in river valleys, ensuring a moderate microclimate. White wines especially thrive on light, skeleton-rich limestone soils. The main varieties are Aligoté, Rkatsiteli, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot as well as Saperavi.

Stefan Voda

The Stefan Voda region is one of the warmest zones in Moldova. Its black earth soils are rich in humus, and its climate is influenced by the nearby Black Sea. The wines grown here are from the native Babeasca Neagra grape, as well as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

The famous Château Purcari is found in the Purcari region in Stefan Voda.

Val Lui Traian

Val Lui Traian is the most famous Moldovan wine region and boasts the best Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and indigenous grape wines in the country. The soils are rocky and light with high iron content. The vines struggle to produce fruit here, making these wines full of character and flavour.

#10 Purcari has some of the best-known wineries, the most famous being Château Purcari and Cricova cellar.

  • Purcari has some of the best-known wineries, the most famous being Château Purcari and Cricova cellar.
  • Cricova is a subterranean wine collection consisting of over 500 miles (800 km) of tunnels in which the wine can age naturally in the cool conditions
  • Moldova has the largest wine collection in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records

#11 Moldova has the largest wine collection in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records

The Moldovan “Mileștii Mici”, with almost 2 million bottles, is the largest wine collection in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records. No other wine cellar in the world has a comparable value as this one: it stretches for 250 km, and there are only 120 km in use.

National food and wine festival in Moldova
National Food and Wine Festival in Moldova / shutterstock

#12 The total area under vines covers 277,332 football pitches.

  • Moldova is the twentieth largest producer in the world.
  • Moldova has 107,800 hectares (266,000 acres) used for commercial production
  • There are 40,700 hectares (101,000 acres) of vineyards planted in villages around the houses for making homemade wine.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of a hectare, it’s equivalent to around 10,000 square meters. Given that this area is covered by around 1,500 square kilometres, that is 277,332 football fields.

#13 Moldova is one of the most affordable wine countries in Europe.

At this point in the post, you will know Moldovan wines are internationally recognised and have won numerous awards. They are also some of the most affordable wines in Europe.

The country’s climate is perfect for growing grapes because it gets enough sunlight and warm temperatures during the summer months while not being too hot during the winter seasons – you’ll see grapevines planted everywhere!

#14 Moldova has a lot of advantages that make it ideal for growing grapes and making wine.

The long summers ensure that grapes get plenty of sun time extending their ripening period which helps produce higher-quality flavours compared to other countries with shorter summers.

Because there is less rain, frost, disease, rot, and fungi during this extended ripening period it takes longer for the grapes to become ready for harvesting (this means more time in the sun). This allows local winemakers to pick their grapes at just the right moment when they reach maximum flavour potential – resulting in some great vintages!

#15 Does the queen drink Moldovan wine?

Queen Elizabeth of England has been a long-time fan of wines from Moldova. Allegedly, the 1990 collection by Negra Purcar was her favourite. It may even still be today.

The VIDA take on Moldovan wines:

Moldovan wine doesn’t get a lot of attention, but our customers and wine competitions think it’s definitely worth your while.

Moldova is firmly on the wine map, with a growing reputation for its delicious wines. Estates like Fautor Winery and Gogu at VIDA are leading the way, offering some fantastic new wines.

3 Moldovan Wines to Try at VIDA:

Gogu Riton 2020

Gogu Riton 2020
Gogu Riton 2020

From the rare, indigenous Riton grape variety, this refreshing summer sipper is a straw-yellow aromatic wine that is surprisingly savoury on the nose with a vegetal bouquet of green pepper, asparagus, fresh-cut grass and kiwi. Ilie Gogu is one of the foremost producers of Moldovan wines in the country. His efforts have earned recognition from the international wine community, including the Berliner Wine Trophy and a number of medals at Mundus Vini.

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Fautor Aurore Feteasca Regală 2019

Fautor Aurore Feteasca Regală 2019Rich and explosive, the nose is bursting with the scent of jasmine, flowers and citrus. The palate is a well-structured beauty that is full of flavor and dense in texture. Lying between Ukraine and Romania, with vineyards located at a latitude similar to Burgundy’s and with a moderate continental climate influenced by the Black Sea, it should come as no surprise that Moldovan wines are amassing award upon award of late. It is therefore no small feat that Fautor has been the country’s most awarded winery year on year since 2017.

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Fautor Illustro Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2015

Fautor Illustro Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2015A wine of outstanding quality, with a rich and full-bodied palate displaying flavours ranging from ripe plum and fig, to coffee, fine chocolate and hints of almond. A modern style that will appeal not only to Bordeaux drinkers but anyone interested in a more sophisticated wine style. With a good amount of bottle age, this is silky smooth and drinking beautifully now.

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See all our Moldovan wines at VIDA

 

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