My dear travelers and lovers of unusual trips, today we continue our adventure in Moldova. In the previous post, you had the opportunity to get acquainted with the beauties of the capital of the Republic of Moldova – Chisinau. If by some chance you didn’t have time to read the post or you want to remind yourself with some interesting information, take the opportunity and read the post at the following link.

What have we learned so far about Moldova? We know that it is a country of good wines and exceptional food, and that is why many say that Moldova is the new great destination for wine and food tourism in Eastern Europe. Today we will prove it and I will take you along with me along the wine roads of Moldova where we will get to know some of the famous wineries in this unusual country of Eastern Europe.

At the very beginning of this post, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Invest Moldova Invest Agency and the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Moldova for the kind invitation and the incredible experience to get to know the Moldovan culture and customs better.

Sparkling wine has a special place in Moldovan cuisine. The country produces large quantities of classic white and rosé sparkling wines, as well as red sparkling wines that were originally introduced in Moldova. The most famous sparkling wines are those produced in the Cricova winery. Famous brands of Moldovan sparkling wines are Negru de Purcari, Moldova, Chisinau, Cricova, Muscat spumant, National, Nisporeni, etc. They are made from a wide range of European grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Menu, Sauvignon, Aligot, Traminac Rosé, Muscat Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. The local variety Feteasca Alba, which is also used in sparkling wines, has been cultivated in Moldavia since the time of ancient Dacia.

During my visit to Moldova, I visited the 3 most famous wineries: Cricova, Castel Mimi and Chateau Vartely, today we will visit the wine cellars together and learn more about Chateau Vartely and Cricova wineries, while we will spend a small break in an interesting rural environment with beautiful landscapes – Butuceni.

Chateau Vartely winery officially appeared on the market in 1996 and established itself as a leader on the national wine scene. A few years later, in 2004, the company Chateau Vartely was founded, which has already gained numerous international awards, and in 2008, a tourist complex was opened, equipped with all the latest world standards for the needs of visitors to the Chateau Vartely winery.

The winery is located only 50 kilometers from Chisinau. The total area of ​​the Chateau Vartely vineyard is 550 hectares, and it is located in the Codru and Bugeac zone. It is believed that the vintage grown in this area is bottled in more than 4.5 million bottles annually.

Where does the name Chateau Vartely winery come from? The name Vartely itself comes from the name of the city of Orhei, which in Hungarian means “place for a fortress”. The Chateau Vartely brand was developed and launched in 2004. The slogan of this winery is “Wine with love for you”, because every noble wine that is produced in the Chateau Vartely winery has a part of the heart and dedication of the people who work here.

As a person who loves wine, I can only say that this trip was an extremely new experience for me, especially because I saw an unusual blend of modern and traditional at Chateau Vartely winery. My observation was confirmed by eminent winemakers who also consider Chateau Vartely to be an unusual winery that combines the latest innovations in grape growing and processing technology with a passion for producing top quality wines.

The excellence and outstanding quality of Chateau Vartelly wines has been recognized through numerous medals and recognitions awarded at the most prestigious international competitions such as: Mondial de Bruxelles, Mundus Vini, Vinalies Internationales, Decanter, International Wine & Spirits Competition, Sakura, Citta del Vino, International Wine Challenge and others.

After this exciting tour of the Chateau Vartely winery, which was a combination of a classic tourist tour with the use of modern technology and a picturesque presentation of the unusual story of this winery, the team from the Invest Moldova Agency decided that it would be best to take a break in one of the most beautiful rural areas in Moldova – Butuceni .

One of the most popular places in Moldova is the tourist area called Old Orhei, which is located on the Raut River. It is a national heritage of the Republic of Moldova, located approximately 60 km from the capital Chisinau, this zone includes three villages: Butuceni, Morovaja and Trebujeni. Orhei Vechi is an archaeological and historical complex consisting of the newly opened Arheological Museum, an ancient rock church, a new church and several private old-fashioned hotels – inns in a very rural traditional style, located in the villages of Butuceni and Trebujeni. Old Orhei is a beautiful quiet and wonderful place with beautiful landscapes and rich history that brings tourists to discover the ancient roots of Moldova.

Butuceni is a very small and lovely village that is located next to the rocks and belongs to the Old Orhei complex. Of the three villages, Butuceni is the closest to Old Orhei. That is why today it is the most visited tourist destination. This quiet and interesting village attracts tourists because it preserves the true Moldavian tradition with its striking colorful houses, narrow streets and amazing nature. There is no household in Butuceni that does not engage in agriculture and animal husbandry because tourism is only a part of their income.

I had a great experience with the Butuceni Eco Resort Restaurant and Museum, where I learned a lot of interesting information about this picturesque place and had the opportunity to peek into the authentic Moldovan tradition, culture and history with an amazing gourmet trip with wonderful meals and the famous warm Moldovan hospitality. The exterior appearance of all the houses in Batuceni looks very charming because they remind you of your grandparents’ house in the countryside.

If you come to this part of Moldova, don’t forget to stop at Butuceni Eco Resort where you can really relax after a long hiking tour. I’m sure you will be delighted by the taste of traditional Moldovan zama soup, mamaliga with meat and a glass of good wine. Once you try the local Moldovan cuisine, be sure that you will fall in love at the first bite. In this place you are provided with a wireless WiFi internet network, so you will be able to share the experience with your family and friends through the many applications that make our life modern.

In Old Orhei, you feel as if you have left the modern city life and stepped into a rural idyll, a real nirvana isolated from the influence of the outside modern world. Staying in the middle of monumental stone constructions, cave monasteries and all other archaeological reserves, you will have the opportunity to peer into history to the ancient roots of Moldovan culture and national identity. Visit Orheiul Vechi and discover its significance and incredible history.

Finally, I left you one of the most famous tourist attractions for lovers of refined alcoholic beverages – wine. The wine cellars of Cricova Winery are the second largest wine cellar in Moldova, after Milestii Mici (the largest in the world). This amazing winery boasts 120 kilometers of labyrinthine roads located at levels from 30 to 100 meters underground. Tunnels have existed under Cricova since the 15th century, when limestone was quarried for the construction of Chisinau. In the 1950s, they were turned into a wine cellar.

Half of the tunnel is used for wine storage. The roads in the Cricova winery are named after the wines they store. This “wine city” has its own special warehouses, wine tasting rooms and other facilities underground. It descends as much as 100 meters below ground level and contains over a million bottles of rare wine. The oldest wine dates back to 1902 (see the picture below). The temperature stays at around 12 °C all year round, which is the perfect temperature for wine, but I was always bundled up with my winter jacket, which I didn’t part with during my entire trip through Moldova.

The largest importer of wine from Cricova is Kazakhstan. It used to be Russia, but that changed in 2014 when Russia imposed an embargo on Moldovan wine in retaliation for Moldova taking steps towards joining the European Union.

Cricova winery produces sparkling wines according to the classic French method, which was supposedly invented several centuries ago by the monk Dom Pierre Pérignon – “Methode Champenoise”. Cricova makes a unique sparkling red wine, kodrinskoie-sparkling, made from Cabernet Sauvignon and marketed as having a “rich velvety texture and flavors of blackcurrant and cherry.”

The “Grand Cellars of Cricova” house a varied collection of wines, The National Oenotec. The unique exhibits (“Jerusalem of Easter” vintage 1902, the liqueur “Jan Becher” vintage 1902) together with other 158 brands from Burgundy, Moselle, Tokay, the Rhine, are in the collection of the establishment as well as of Moldova in general, comprising nowadays a total of about 1.3 million bottles.

However, the pride of the Oenotec are, first of all, the wines bearing the name “Cricova”, which brought the winery a collection of national and international tasting awards. As of 2008, the collection consists of over 70 silver, gold, and Grand Prix awards.

However, the pride of the Oenotec are, first of all, the wines bearing the name “Cricova”, which brought the winery a collection of national and international tasting awards. As of 2008, the collection consists of over 70 silver, gold, and Grand Prix awards.

My dear travelers, we have come to the end of this second special travelogue in the autumn season about Moldova where we had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the wine of this small unusual country with a big heart. Today’s travelogue would not be possible without the selfless help of the Invest Moldova Agency and the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Moldova in cooperation with local partners who allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of Moldovan culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried my best to convey to you my impressions of this unusual experience from Moldova.

I would like to especially thank the staff of BERD’S Chisinau MGallery Hotel for their warm welcome and hosting me in their hotel. The stay in their hotel was exceptional, where I felt the warmth of my own home!

Time always flies when a person is having a good time! A person is rich in soul if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad that I always manage to find partners of my projects who help me to discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis of COVID-19.

I am honored to have the opportunity to cooperate with companies that are the very top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual country in Eastern Europe in a completely different way.

How did you like my story about Moldovan wine, culture and heritage? Have you had the chance to visit the magical Republic of Moldova so far?

If you have any question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write me below in the comments. Of course, as always, you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT ME page. See you at the same place in a few days, with some new story!

With Love from Moldova,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by the Invest Moldova Agency and the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Moldova as well as other local partners. This post is my personal and honest review of the destination experience.

SHARE THIS POST
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
4 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Elisabeth
Elisabeth
1 month ago

Moldova is an unusual country and I heard that it is a country of good quality wine and delicious food. I believe that it was difficult for you to come home sober! Of course, all that aside, I like your travelogue about Moldovan wineries and I’m looking forward to your next travelogues from Moldova, since really no one has written about that country so far with any additional information!

Florian
Florian
1 month ago

Dear Marko, wonderful travelogue and lots of details as always! I love that I can always learn something new and interesting on your blog. Since you have now been to the country of wine, your next destination should be a country of cheese to complete the idea of perfect hedonism!

Marcel
Marcel
1 month ago

Lieber Marko, ich gratuliere dir zu einem so wunderbaren Reisebericht aus Moldawien! Wie Sie bin ich ein großer Weinliebhaber und wollte schon immer eine thematische Weinreise für mich organisieren und einige Weinrouten eines bestimmten Landes bereisen. Moldawien scheint mir interessant, aber ich mache mir derzeit Sorgen über die instabile politische Situation in Region… Haben Sie sich während Ihrer Reise nach Moldawien sicher gefühlt? Da sie die ersten Nachbarn der Ukraine sind, ist es sicher, dorthin zu reisen?