Moldova: A Hidden Gem in the World of Wine

Explore the rich winemaking traditions and unique experiences in Moldova, a country that is making waves in the international wine scene.

Nestled between the Carpathian Mountains and the Black Sea, Moldova is a small country with a big reputation when it comes to wine. With a long history of winemaking, Moldova has recently seen a surge in independent wineries that offer vineyard tours, wine tastings, and unique accommodations. The country’s wines are gaining recognition globally, with a local vintage even winning Best Red Wine at the prestigious Concours Mondiale de Bruxelles 2022. From exploring the world’s largest collection of wine to sleeping in a wine barrel, Moldova offers a plethora of experiences for wine enthusiasts. Let’s delve into the three main winemaking regions of Moldova and discover the treasures they hold.

Codru: Where Tradition Meets Modernity
The largest wine region in Moldova, Codru, stretches across the heart of the country. Known for its fresh and floral white wines, such as chardonnays, rieslings, and sauvignon blancs, Codru’s temperate climate and limestone-rich terroir draw comparisons to the renowned Burgundy region in France. In addition to vineyard tours and wine tastings, visitors can have more immersive experiences with the local produce. At Asconi Winery, guests can stay in traditional, thatched-roof cottages and tend to their own garden-sized vineyards. Meanwhile, Milesti Mici offers the opportunity to explore the largest wine collection in the world, with millions of bottles stacked in underground tunnels carved from limestone. Codru is also home to Chişinău, the capital city of Moldova, which boasts a vibrant food scene and hosts the annual National Wine Day celebrations.

Valul lui Traian: Bold Reds and Picturesque Landscapes
Located in the southern part of Moldova, the Valul lui Traian wine region is renowned for its big, bold, and fruity red wines. Merlots, malbecs, and the local fetească neagră grape varieties thrive in the region’s rich black soil and high temperatures, complemented by the shade from the Tigheci Forests and the cooling winds from the Black Sea. To truly appreciate the beauty of the region, visitors can explore the newly created Southern Moldova cycling routes, which connect wineries, orchards, and natural sights like Lake Beleu. This 628-hectare lake is not only a great spot for bird-watching but also part of the Lower Prut UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Bicycles can be rented at various wineries and rural B&Bs, allowing visitors to combine wine tasting with outdoor adventures.

Ștefan Vodă: A Small Region with a Big Impact
Despite being the smallest wine region in Moldova, Ștefan Vodă is home to some of the country’s most outstanding wineries. Situated in the southeast, the region’s iron-rich clay soil has been recognized since ancient times for its exceptional red wines, including cabernet sauvignon, pinot gris, and rara neagră. In recent years, the white wines from Ștefan Vodă have also gained a reputation for their fruity and mineral flavors. At Chateau Purcari, the country’s oldest winery, guests can have a truly unique experience by spending the night in a giant wine barrel and waking up to breathtaking sunrise views across the vineyards. Nearby, Et Cetera Winery offers a superb restaurant where visitors can indulge in regional dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Monastery Acoperământul Maicii Domnului (Assumption of Our Lady Church) in Căușeni, a one-of-a-kind underground church that adheres to an Ottoman rule of not building churches taller than mosques.


Moldova may be small in size, but its winemaking tradition and unique experiences make it a destination worth exploring for wine enthusiasts. From the Codru region’s fresh white wines to the bold reds of Valul lui Traian and the exceptional offerings of Ștefan Vodă, Moldova’s wineries have something for every palate. Whether it’s sleeping in a wine barrel, cycling through picturesque landscapes, or indulging in delicious regional cuisine, Moldova offers a wine tourism experience like no other. With direct flights from London and easy access to rental cars, it’s never been easier to plan a trip to this hidden gem in the world of wine. So raise a glass and toast to the wonders of Moldova, where tradition and innovation blend seamlessly in every sip.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *