Moldova is lovingly also called the “Grape Country” – not only because the shape of its map resembles a bunch of grapes but because wine making is routed deep into the country’s history and traditions. Fossils of vine leaves near the Naslavcia village in the North of Moldova indicate that grapes grew in Moldova approximately 6 to 25 million years ago and wine making began in the area between the Nistru and Prut rivers as much as 4000–5000 years ago.
Moldova is situated in the South-East of Europe in the Black Sea basin, the place where the vine originates. The picturesque landscape is defined by rolling green hills, sunny plateaus, and small streams winding their way into the two main rivers, the Prut and Dniester. Within this beautiful landscape lay 108 thousand hectars of luscious vinyards. More than 30 different varieties of grapes originate in Moldova. Historically the vine regions are divided into Balti to the North, Codru in the central zone, Purcari to the South East, and Cahul in the South.
Moldova’s climate is moderate and shares the same latitudes as some of the best wine growing regions of France. Although the climate is more like that of Burgundy, its latitudes are very similar to the region of Bordeaux. Moldovan wines are known for their uniqueness and authenticity across the globe.
What gives Moldovan wine its special character and taste are the unique soil conditions. By their quality soils, Moldova may be compared with the richest soils across the globe, for instance the soils from the Krasnodar Region and California. Soils are the main natural asset of the Republic of Moldova, with the value of one hectare of agricultural land expressed in currency is one of the highest in Europe.
10% of the country’s wine regions still grow indigenous grapes:
Feteasca Alba – an indigenous white variety
Feteasca Regala – a white variety which is a natural cross between Feteasca Alba and Furmint
Rara Neagra – a red variety traditionally mostly used for blending with other varieties
Feteasca Neagra – a red grape variety
Plavai – a white variety that was popular in the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century
Moldova produces 70% white wines, 24% red wines and 6% table wines and hosts the largest wine collection in the world – the “Milestii Mici” collection with almost 2 million bottles. Wine making is the heart and sole of Moldova with over 40,700 hectares of vineyards being planted in villages around homes to make home-made wine, or “vin de casa“.
With a perfect climate for wine making and a reputation for producing outstanding grapes, Moldova has a well established wine industry. Over 124,200 tons of wine are produced annually with exports exceeding 67 million bottles of wine. Moldova is in the process of becoming a major European wine producing country, gaining recognition in the international wine trade with wine connoisseurs falling in love with its outstanding fine wines.