Moldova, wine producing country
Updated: Feb 14, 2019
Moldova has the biggest density of vineyards in the world – 3.8% of the country’s territory and 7% of the arable land. With 150k vineyard area, Moldova's vineyards are about the size of Australia's vineyards. That's pretty impressive if you ask us.
Soils and temperatures
Moldova has rich soils. Other than grapevines, also cherry, walnut and plum trees are spread across the landscape as soon as you travel 10 min out of town. The agriculture is seen everywhere, both for commercial and home-made production. This can be explained by the favourable soils, fragmented and wavy relief, broken up by water streams which end up into the two big rivers, Prut and Dniester.
Moldova's climate is very favourable for grapes to grow that matches the latitude of Bordeaux and Burgundy. The summers are warm and long, with temperatures averaging about 20 °C. In the winter the temperatures can sore to -10 °C, but it is relatively mild and dry.
Changing direction to the west
In 2004, Moldova's export of wine was about 90% to the eastern markets including Ukraine, Romania, Belarus, mostly relying on export to Russia with over 40%. In 2014 the total number has reduced to only 31%. (ref: read here) Import bans of 2006 and 2013 imposed by Moscow have been a big blow to the Moldovan biggest export market forcing the industry to seek new partners.
The landscape is changing and Moldova is trying to re-invent and position itself on the Western market ready for new export markets. This movement has accounted for the wine industry to up the quality of wines and to enter a very crowded and competitive European market.
Feedback so far
Investors are taking notice. For the past decade there has been an investment of over €300 million in land, production equipment and technology (ref: FT). Also critics and wine lovers are positively viewing the future of Moldovan wines
"It is a great privilege for me to visit Cricova today. The legacy of winemaking from the 15th century is being carried on in this extraordinary underground facility with 21st century technology. People in this region have practiced winemaking for centuries, back to the early times with the Romans. So, this winery is really a reminder of how Moldova’s rich history is tied to its promising future."
(Cricova, December 4, 2013)
John Kerry (US Secretary of State)
"As a wine producer, Moldova has much going for it: the same latitude as Burgundy, varied and wine-friendly topography, and a climate tempered by the Black Sea (…). Wines are becoming drier and better made."
Hugh Johnson & Jancis Robinson (The World Atlas of Wine, 7th edition, completely revised & updated)
"I welcome the interest of your country for viticulture and the reforms you have carried out in this area. I can definitely say that some of the Moldovan wines are comparable to some French wines in terms of gustative and visual qualities."
(Chisinau, February 16, 2014)
Jean-Marie Aurand (General Director of OIV)