Why go to Moldova?! Moldova is the least visited country in Europe. And yet, there is one place that sparks international interest and looks like unreal. When I’ve heard for a first time about Cricova Winery, I couldn’t believe that such a sensational site exists so close to my home country, but I never knew about it!
About Cricova Winery:
The winery is located near a town with the same name.
It’s the second largest cellar in the world and the largest also in Moldova – Mileștii Mici.
Cricova has 80 km of galleries. These galleries and many more tunnels that are not used as a cellar were created when people started digging limestone for the construction of the capital Chisinau around 16th century. The sizes of the tunnels are approximately 7m wide and 4m high.
The entrances and exits of the cellar are from the cliff over the Dniester River.
The galleries go down from 30 to 100 m below ground and hundreds of roadways are used to store wine.
Cricova became a cellar in 1954. It was probably chosen because the temperature varies only between 12 and 14 degrees all year around and the humidity stays constant at 97%. These conditions are perfect for storing wines.
Cricova Winery produces sparkling wines using the classic French method of making champagne. The winery holds over 70 silver, gold and Grant Prix awards for its wines. The winery also produces sec, demi-sec and sweet wines for exportation.
Very interesting are the large and luxurious wine tasting rooms. There is also a museum, wine and souvenirs shop.
The restaurant outside the cellar offers a nice view from its terraces. The meals are good and traditional and prices are moderate.
Curious facts / or legends:
It is said that tourist got lost there during 2 days…The legend has it that it was the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
It is said that the cellar holds 1.25 million bottles of rare wine.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin keeps his private wine collection here.
Cricova Winery produces a unique sparkling red wine named kodrinskoe made of cabernet sauvignon.
The oldest wines kept in Cricova date back to 1902.
The roadways in the cellar are named after the wine they keep – Cabernet, Sauvignon, Riesling …etc.
You can choose from several ticket prices, with or without wine testing and depend on the season and the day of the week.
It is a good idea to book your visit in advance as the place is very popular among tourists. The visit lasts around 1 hour and 30 minutes. Visiting Cricova is perfect on a gloomy day or if you want to hide from the heat in summer.
Would you visit Moldova only because of this wine cellar? Well, the good news is that even named the least visited country in Europe, Moldova has more than Cricova Winery to show you. Here are some more of its interesting sites:
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