Have you ever had a wine from Moldova? Do you even know where Moldova is? To be honest, I didn’t.
The landlocked, former Soviet-bloc nation is located between Romania to its west and Ukraine to its north, east and south.
And wait for it – wine is one of Moldova’s biggest exports. As a matter of fact, 25 percent of households in Moldova are in the wine business in some form, says Christy Canterbury, who' s an expert in eastern European wines and one of 10 women who hold the Master of Wine qualification in the U.S.
Even better, winemaking in Moldova dates back over 5000 years to the time of Homer’s Iliad, she says.
Here’s some other stuff that Canterbury filled us in on:
--Moldova has the greatest density of vineyards in the world.
--Over 276,000 acres of grape vines grow on 7 percent of Moldova’s arable land.
--Moldova cultivates indigenous varietals like Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Neagra, Rara Neagra, Traminer, and Saperavi
--Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and others are grown as well
--Moldova’s wine industry accounts for 3.2 percent of the gross domestic product and 7.5 percent of its total exports.
In addition, the wine collection at the Moldovan winemaking plant in Mileştii Mici is the largest in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, with almost 2 million bottles.
And the best part is the the Russians love it! And buy tons of it!
But you know what happens when the Russian people love something, right? Their President Vladmir Putin puts sanctions on it. And that’s exactly what he did with Moldova wines.
That's not such good news for Europe's poorest country, whose economy is highly dependent on agriculture and the wine industry that goes with it.
So I want you to be adventurous and drink for a cause. Go try a Moldovan wine and support the country.
Canterbury brought the wines below:
--2011 Asconi, a white wine made with Chardonnay, $15
--2011 JV Lion-Gri a dry red made from the Saperavi grape, $10
--2012 Et Cetera Cuvee Rouge a red blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Saperavi and Rara Neagra
They were wonderful, so easy to drink – and so affordable!
Hopefully Putin changes his mind soon, but until then, assist the people and go buy their wine.