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Regions

Comprehensive description of all European growing areas, their grape varieties, traditions and legal rules with maps.

Wine regions in Moldova, republic of 4 growing regions

Description to Moldova, republic of

Today's state was created in 1991 through the disintegration of the USSR. Its geographical roots lie in the historical landscape of Bessarabia (see history there). Numerous archaeological finds, such as amphorae and grape seeds, prove that viticulture has been practised here for over 5,000 years in ancient times. To the north, east and south, the state is surrounded by Ukraine. In the west, it borders on Romania, whose influence can be felt through the long common history in viticulture. Numerous legends and anecdotes testify to the ancient wine-growing tradition. One of the most famous stories is that of the storks:

Once again there was a Turkish invasion; the enemy besieged a fortress near Grodieshti. The brave defenders were running out of water and food, and the fighters were also running out of strength. Suddenly, hundreds of storks appeared in the sky, using the wind and their strong wing beats to drive the enemy to the ground. The storks threw bundles of vines from their beaks down to the defenders. The warriors were thus saved from thirst and hunger. With renewed strength, they successfully defended the home fortress and the Turkish enemy had to leave.

Since that time, the stork has been regarded as a symbol of happiness and contentment. The stork with grapes symbolises Moldovan viticulture and is included in the logo of the winegrowers' association. An independent wine culture was established in the Middle Ages by the princes of Moldova. However, this collapsed again from the beginning of the 16th century under the 300-year Ottoman rule and the associated ban on alcohol.

Moldawien - Karte mit Weinbaugebieten und Cricova

Viticulture in modern times

After the Russo-Turkish war, viticulture was reactivated from 1812 onwards. In the second half of the 19th century, many French grape varieties were introduced. Towards the end of the 20th century, however, viticulture again suffered severe setbacks and losses due to the phylloxera catastrophe. After a brief recovery, the two world wars destroyed a large part of the vineyards and wineries. Reconstruction began in the 1950s. Within ten years, 150,000 hectares were planted and the vine population grew to well over 200,000 hectares. In the USSR, Moldova became the largest wine producer, accounting for about a quarter of production. In the 1980s, however, under Mikhail Gorbachev, many vineyards were cleared again, especially in the north. Viticulture is of eminent economic importance. Wine products, fruit and vegetables are the main export items.

In contrast to the other former USSR states, the proportion of dry wines is relatively high, but there are also the traditional sweet dessert wines. The port-like Kagor has a two-hundred-year tradition. Almost two-thirds of the production comes from cooperative wineries. Well-known producers include Acorex, Aroma, Branesti, Château Vartel, Ciumai, Comrat, Cricova, Dionysos Mereni, Milestii Mici, Purcari, Romanesti, Taraclia and Trifesti. Around 90% is exported; by far the largest share (over 80%) to Russia. In March 2006, the Russian government put a ban on imports of Moldovan and Georgian wine products into effect. According to official interpretation, the ban was imposed because of alleged violations of health regulations (too high levels of pollutants). The embargo was lifted in November 2007. The high export share, however, was strongly reduced in the long term.

Wine-growing regions

The geographical and climatic conditions are very favourable for viticulture. Moldova lies on the same latitude as Burgundy. The climate is continental with high solar radiation. In 1954, after studies, Professor P. I. Ivanov divided Moldova into four agricultural zones with different climates. The northern region of Balti produces mainly white wine grapes for the production of brandy, fortified wines and simple wines. The central region of Codru, with the capital Chisinau, is surrounded by forested mountains. This is where more than half of the vineyards are located and the most famous wineries, such as the former tsar's estate Romanesti.

The 65-kilometre-long underground cellars of Cricova store the sparkling wines produced in the winery as well as an extensive historical wine collection. Among other things, excellent red wines are pressed in this region. The Cahul region in the south is climatically particularly suitable for red wines and sweet wines. In the south-east of the country, along the western bank of the Nister, lies the fourth region Purcari (also Nistreana). It is known for its ageable red wines in the Bordeaux style, such as the "Negru de Purcari" produced by the winery of the same name. Towards the end of the 19th century, Purcari wines were supplied to the English royal court, among others.

Grape variety list

The vineyards cover about 140,000 hectares. However, the Celtic varieties only cover 82,600 hectares with an annual wine production volume of about 1,600,000 hectolitres. The rest is used for growing table grapes. European standard varieties are cultivated to about 70%. Two thirds are white wine varieties and one third red wine varieties. The grape variety list of 2016 with the top 50 (statistics Kym Anderson):

Grape variety

Colour

Synonyms or Moldavian name

Hectare

Moldova red Moldova, Reka 12.375
Cabernet Sauvignon red - 8.169
Aligoté white Mahranauli 7.765
Merlot red - 7.689
Sauvignon Blanc white Sotern Marunt, Verdo Belîi 6.909
Chardonnay white Wais Noble, Waiser Clevner 4.133
Rkatsiteli white - 3.898
Isabella red - 3.468
Pinot Noir red Cerna, Pino Fran, Pino Ceren 2.366
Muscat Ottonel white - 1.859
Riesling white Rislinoc 1.701
Bianca white - 1.340
Pinot Gris white Râjik 1.208
Kodryanka red Codreanca, Kodrianka 1.143
Gewürztraminer / Traminer white Traminer Musqué, Traminer Rose 1.099
Fetească Albă white Fetișoară, Păsărească Albă, Poamă Fetei Albă 954
Magaracha Rannii red Korai Magaracs 884
Alb de Suruceni white - 780
Cabernet Franc red - 756
Muscat Yantarnyi white - 683
Saperavi red - 573
Victoria white - 565
Pervenets Magaracha white - 517
Cardinal red - 473
Alb de Onițcani white - 424
Fetească Neagră red Coada Răndunicii, Păsărească Neagră 402
Fetească Shelfă white - 372
Chasselas white - 329
Sukholimansky Bely white - 325
Riton white - 313
Arcadia white Nastea, Nastya 303
Trebbiano Toscano white - 277
Muscat d'Hamburg red - 254
Viorika white Viorica 251
Kodrinskii red Codrinski 229
Precentable white - 215
Pinot Blanc white Burgundy Veisser, Pino Belîi 210
Noah white - 200
Irsai Olivér white - 180
Bastardo Magarachsky red - 180
Cot red Cagors, Nuar de Presac 162
Negru de Yaloven red Negru de Ialoveni 141
Pinot Meunier red - 138
Yalovenskii Ustoichivyi white - 129
Pamyati Negrulya red - 123
Italia white - 118
Csaba Gyöngye white - 110
Syrah red - 87
Pölöskei Muskotály white - 83
Queen of the vineyards white Queen of the Vineyard, Rasaki Oungarias 61

Map: By Perconte - transferred to Commons by Ireas using CommonsHelper, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link
Cricova: By Cepaev - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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