Moldovan Red Wines: The Best Red Wine on the Planet You Have Never Heard Of
Moldovan red wines aren’t just good value. Moldova is full of surprises and hiding some of the most distinctive wines on the planet.
And yet most people in the UK would struggle to find Moldova on the map.
After decades ravaged by strife, Moldova’s history has given way to a culture of resilient winemakers. And they have an intense focus on quality.
Let’s learn more about this under-the-radar red wine region.
Why is Moldova known for wine?
Twenty years ago, nobody in the West seemed to have heard of Moldovan wines.
But things are changing. And fast. The penny has dropped for Western European markets. Moldova can offer the wine they crave: bright modern varietals at value-for-money pricing.
Many believe that, at its best, Moldovan wine has more to offer than many other countries in Europe.
Are Moldovan wines good?
This year, the Fautor Negre 2017 won “Best Red Wine in the World.”
In. The. World.
To put this in context: Fautor won the best red wine from 5000 wine entries at this year’s Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. And hold on, because we will talk more on this outstanding achievement below.
But first, what about other Moldovan red wines?
You can find an excellent bottle of Moldovan wine and it could cost you between £10 and £30. But this would be is about half to one-quarter of the price you would pay for similar quality bottles from France or Italy.
And while it may be less expensive than wines in most countries in Europe, the red wines are no less delicious.
Moldova is a red wine country flying under the radar.
Moldova may not be the most well-known wine region. And yet it has been producing quality wines for centuries, even millennia.
- Red wine production accounts for roughly 24 percent of Moldovan winemaking. While 70 percent of production is white wine. The red wines feature international and native grape varieties.
- In a world where quality seems to come at a price, many are willing to pay top dollar for their favourite bottles.And yet, there are ways you can find good wines without breaking the bank. One of those is by looking toward Moldova as an option.
Moldova has a long history and unique terroir.
Moldova has a good share of interesting winemakers. They are experimenting with new techniques to create even more complex vintages.
If you like drinking something different every time you open your bottle, this may be right up your alley. Discover more Moldovan wines.
Why have Moldovan red wines been largely overlooked by consumers, despite their excellent value?
There are three big reasons.
Moldova nestles between Romania and Ukraine. Moldova has more European grapes than any other former state of the Soviet Union. This make is it a difficult and time-consuming task for logistics.
One reason the best Moldovan red wine is not well known here? A lack of marketing presence.
Small budgets mean you won’t find at trade fairs where big companies showcase their wares. Nor any major advertising campaigns or partnerships with famous personalities. But if you look beyond marketing hype (and get down to what matters most when it comes to wine, and taste), you will find Moldovan reds are excellent everyday drinking options.
Due to historical factors, the majority of exports of Moldovan have been sent to Russia. Although not today. Due to conflict between the two countries. In the Soviet era, the best wines were siphoned to the “Russian Wine Company” during the twentieth century.
Until recently, they did not export to Western countries much at all. Most exports to other countries in Eastern Europe, the majority once would be exported to Russia.
Moldova has turned over a new leaf. And the price for the quality is outstanding—a true win-win for consumers and producers.
The most renowned Moldovan region for red wine production has the same latitude as Bordeaux.
The first impression Moldovan red wines make, whether its made with French or local varieties, is its a dead ringer for Bordeaux. But why?
The best Moldovan reds are in the southwest, which has a similar Mediterranean climate.
The climate conditions suit red wine production well. The region benefits from an elevation of 280 to 300 metres. The summers are not extreme. There is less humidity, making it perfect for the long ripening periods needed for fine red wine. Grapes enjoy long daylight hours during summer – they have 2,500 annual sunshine hours!
The long sunshine hours allows the grapes time to ripen evenly. This creates optimal conditions before harvest in September or October when temperatures cool.
This unique diversity is partly due to Moldova’s red wine-growing regions.
The main three are protected by wine laws known as Protected Geographical Indications (PGI).
Valul Lui Traian is the most important for red wines. While Codru is the coolest (and is renowned for its white wines). Stefan Voda is the most well-known, and home to the most famous winery in Moldova, Chateau Purcari.
Moldovan wine regions are a source of complex, interesting wines at excellent prices.
The most important area for red wine grapes is in the Valul Lui Traian region.
The country’s most common red grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon (8% of grapes), Pinot Noir (7%), and Merlot (9%).
While these are classic grapes, they are not the only ones used to produce Moldovan wines. Other red varieties grown in Moldova include Saperavi, Feteasca Negra and Rara Negra. These local varietals exist from generations passing down the many generations vines. The families hold small plots of land called “patrimonial vineyards” (patrimoniul viticol).
Other warm-climate varieties grown include Pinot Noir, Syrah,Feteasca Regala, and Feteasca Negra.
A Moldovan wine receives “best red wine in the world” title in 2022
“The 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
“Fautor is the most famous wine in Moldova. That means you probably have not heard of it! But you should.” – Joe Wadsack, London Wine Fair 2022
Moldova is a source of complex, interesting fine wine at very reasonable prices.
The Moldovan wine industry has been flying under the radar of many consumers. And it is starting to change.
The quality and diversity of Moldovan red wines is there. And they compare well with other Eastern European countries like Bulgaria and Georgia. And Western countries, too.
Wine is a kind of magic, and exploring new varieties is always an exciting adventure.
Moldova’s unique climate and soil conditions is a paradise for grapes and people who like to drink them. There are so many exciting regions to discover – you will find there is always something new to enjoy.
Be one step ahead of the ever-changing wine game with these exciting red Moldovan wines.
The VIDA take on Moldovan wine:
- Moldova is relatively unknown outside the wine world. Now breaking free from Soviet export markets and finding recognition in the West.
- Make sure you taste wines from Feteasca Negra and Feteasca Regala grape varieties.
- The Fautor Negre 2017 won best red wine in the world Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (CMB)
We hope this gave you some insight into where your next favourite bottle of wine might come from! And we hope you have fun finding out!
3 Moldovan Red Wines to Try at VIDA:
- When you want to celebrate the best of times with your friends, this wine is what you reach for. A dry red with ruby reflections, it boasts a pleasant bouquet of red berries, currants, pomegranates, ripe cherries, and light touches of spice.
This wine is fruity, with nicely integrated tannins and good length. It’s perfect for any occasion.
- A dark red wine with a full body. Packed with forest fruits, spices, chocolate, and sour cherry. This is a cracking wine to pair with red meats and hearty dishes. The unusual blend makes this a generous, great everyday Fetească Neagră Tempranillo. Tasting this wine, 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.
A 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.
See all our Moldovan wines at VIDA
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