Drink Up! Fine Wines of Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova
Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova – you might not know a whole lot about them, but wine connoisseurs have been aware of them for decades.
Moldovan grapevines hard at work among the poppies
Photo credit: Joanna Millick
MoldovaWinemaking is a centuries-old tradition in Moldova and the country’s rich soil and continental climate produce a broad range of exciting local varieties that are winning an international reputation. Moldovans are able to grow diverse grape varieties and produce an abundance of table wines.
On MIR’s Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova small group tour, travelers visit the renowned Milestii Mici Winery. At the entrance, you are welcomed by a fountain of bottles that continuously pour the mellow red and crisp white wines into giant wineglasses. Then your vehicle actually drives into the tunnels where the wine is stored in immense casks on each side. Later, walk along hallways of bottled wine. Milestii Mici’s “Golden Collection” of wines, made up of 1.5 million bottles, has been noted by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the largest in Europe. It is stored in the miles of tunnels excavated in the 15th century for limestone blocks to build Chisinau.
At the end of the tour, enter what looks like a medieval castle banquet room for a wine-tasting. Leave with your own bottle of Milestii Mici wine, if you so choose.
Moldova’s Milestii Mici wine cellars are located between 100 and 300 feet underground
Photo credit: Joanna Millick
BulgariaParticipants on MIR’s Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses small group tour enjoy a wine-tasting at the Todoroff Wine Cellar in the village of Brestovitsa, about ten miles from Plovdiv, Bulgaria. A prime grape-growing region, the area has produced wine since Roman times. Originally founded in 1945 and renovated in 2001, the Todoroff National Revival-style winery complex includes cellars for wine-tasting.
Bulgaria’s Todoroff Wine Cellar specializes in Mavrud, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon
Photo credit: Martin Klimenta
RomaniaIt turns out that Romania is one of the world’s largest wine producers. The Babeasca Neagra grape, an old dark-skinned variety that flourishes in Romania and Moldova, is used in nearly half the country’s wines. The name means “grandmother’s grape.” During MIR’s small group tour, Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses, travelers visit the Transylvanian village of Ganesti, known for its wine making, for a visit to a local winery, with a tour and tasting that may include wines made from Babeasca Neagra.
Visitors to Ganesti, Romania learn about the”grandmother’s grape” used in wine-making
Photo credit: Michel Behar
Travel to Wine Country with MIRYou can learn more about this region’s fine wines and take in the sights as well on MIR tours to Central and East Europe, including Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses as well as Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova. You can also book a custom, private journey that focuses on your own interests – like wine!
(Top photo: Wine flows freely at the entrance to Milestii Mici Winery in Moldova; Photo credit: Devin Connolly)
PUBLISHED: July 21, 2014