Codru Geographical Indication Region

  • Starting point: Chișinău
  • Overnight: yes - Mimi Castle, Tudor Winery, Crama Mircești, Chateau Vartely
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Nr. of wineries: 15
  • Total distance: approximately 750 km, up to 14 hours by car. Day 1 - about 100 km, up to 2 hours by car. Day 2 - approximately 350 km, up to 6.5 hours by car. Day 3 - about 230 km, up to 4 hours by car. Day 4 - about 70 km, up to 1.5 hours by car. Distance calculated connecting wineries and main locations, without traveling to all the points of interest mentioned on the route.

For wine lovers who have more time available, we propose to venture on a route that includes 14 wineries located in the Codru wine region. IGP Codru is located in the central part of Moldova, covering an area of about 60 thousand hectares. The region is known for its majestic forests – forests, hills and a mild climate. The Codru region hosts the largest cellars in the world and is the most suitable area for growing white grapes. You will need about 4 days to complete this comprehensive route loaded with unique experiences and unforgettable moments.

Tourist attractions of the route

Segment: Chișinău - Castel Mimi (Day 1)

  • Length:about 100 km distance
  • Travel time:up to 2 hours
  • Transport:by car

The Mihai Sava operation is named for a man who is so passionate about vintage making that he turned his house and yard in the Pojogana Hills into a small winery. The vineyards’ beauty and the operation’s mom-and-pop size and authenticity have been attracting a growing number of visitors. Mihai was so intent on producing...
The Mihai Sava operation is named for a man who is so passionate about vintage making that he turned his house and yard in the Pojogana Hills into a small winery. The vineyards’ beauty and the operation’s mom-and-pop size and authenticity have been attracting a growing number of visitors. Mihai was so intent on producing some of Moldova’s best vintages that he studied wine making in Anjou, France, in 2011. The owners of small operations there suggested he pair wine making with hosting tourists. Those who visit Mihai’s operation love taking a stroll on the winding paths near the winery. As lovely as the scenery is, the best part of visiting the winery is tasting his products. Bianca is his pride. Mihai produces Moldova’s only bottled version of this vintage, made from grapes with the same name.

Milestii Mici boasts the world’s largest collection of wine. Two million bottles are stored in 55 kilometers of underground caverns that excavators carved out of the limestone to sell for building material. Milestii Mici’s contention that it has the world’s largest wine collection is not an idle boast. The Guinness Book of Records has certified...
Milestii Mici boasts the world’s largest collection of wine. Two million bottles are stored in 55 kilometers of underground caverns that excavators carved out of the limestone to sell for building material. Milestii Mici’s contention that it has the world’s largest wine collection is not an idle boast. The Guinness Book of Records has certified the claim. Twenty-five thousand tourists a year visit the Milestii Mici caverns.

If you want a culinary destination that’s in a lovely country setting, but not hours away from the city, consider the Asconi Winery, less than 30 minutes’ drive from Chisinau. Its traditional gastronomic attractions included grilled eggplant salad, baked pepper stew, cowpeas and pies to die for, filled with potatoes, cabbage or cheese. There’s also...
If you want a culinary destination that’s in a lovely country setting, but not hours away from the city, consider the Asconi Winery, less than 30 minutes’ drive from Chisinau. Its traditional gastronomic attractions included grilled eggplant salad, baked pepper stew, cowpeas and pies to die for, filled with potatoes, cabbage or cheese. There’s also chicken soup with homemade noodles, with sprinklings of the parsley-type plant called lovage and sour cream, and homemade borscht, or beet soup. Guests can wash these delights down with a Sol Negru Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or a rosé. To get the most out of your Asconi chill-out, prolong it by staying in its quaint cottages from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening. Before you leave, try Ice Wine and a piece of apple or sour-cherry pie. Delish!

Castel Mimi’s name comes from the imposing castle that one of Moldova’s larger-than-life figures, Constantin Mimi, built on his wine-growing estate. Mimi, the last governor of Bessarabia and the head of Romania’s central bank, played a major role in Moldova becoming a world-class wine producer. He actually learned his craft for years from wine masters...
Castel Mimi’s name comes from the imposing castle that one of Moldova’s larger-than-life figures, Constantin Mimi, built on his wine-growing estate. Mimi, the last governor of Bessarabia and the head of Romania’s central bank, played a major role in Moldova becoming a world-class wine producer. He actually learned his craft for years from wine masters in France.Restored after more than a century, the castle is a symbol of Moldovan ingenuity, grit and hard work — because Mimi faced many obstacles in achieving his wine-growing success. The current estate owners have preserved the history and traditions that Mimi started.  You can see the castle’s magnificence up-close by touring its scores of rooms.If you’ve worked up an appetite, you’ll find fabulous lunch and dinner selections at the Bufnita Alba Restaurant. And to keep your enjoyment going, stay at the winery hotel.  The restaurant offers what the management calls retro-modern fare. This means the food is based on traditional recipes, with care taken to preserve the flavor that grandmother put into her creations, but the place settings and ambience are modern.The Bufnita Alba gets all of its vegetables from the castle garden or nearby farms. In addition to these pristine vegetables and scrumptious entrees, the menu includes incredible pâtés, sausages and cheese spreads.The desserts are a delight as well. One is baba neagra, a soft, warm, black cake served with cream and homemade green walnut liqueur that you won’t soon forget. A lot of groups hold events such as birthdays and weddings at the Castel Mimi these days, so you would be well advised to book your castle tour, lunch or dinner, and hotel stay in advance.

Segment: Castel Mimi – Tudor Winery (Day 2)

  • Length:about 350 km distance
  • Travel time:up to 6.5 hours
  • Transport:by car

ATÚ, located on a road connecting Chisinau International Airport to the capital, is Moldova’s first urban winery. The boutique operation, opened in 2016, specializes in limited editions of 1,000 to 3,000 bottles of each variety it makes. The owner, Victor Vutcarau, believes small production runs ensure every drop is perfect. Guests say the food he...
ATÚ, located on a road connecting Chisinau International Airport to the capital, is Moldova’s first urban winery. The boutique operation, opened in 2016, specializes in limited editions of 1,000 to 3,000 bottles of each variety it makes. The owner, Victor Vutcarau, believes small production runs ensure every drop is perfect. Guests say the food he serves with his wine is fabulous, too. ATU focuses on wines made from grapes grown exclusively in Moldova, including Viorica, Fetească Albă, Feteasca Neagră and the rare red Codrinschii. Visitors delight in the gigantic murals on the winery’s walls, which artists created when ATU hosted an urban festival. They also are delighted about Victor’s eagerness to talk about ATU’s founding and the qualities of his various vintages.

A member of Moldovan royalty, the merchant and diplomat Manuc Bey, founded the Hîncești Winery in the early 1800s.After he died in 1817, his family modernized the wine-making operation, which was included in the property he bought for a mansion in Hîncești. The winery has played a prominent role in Moldovan vintage production ever since....
A member of Moldovan royalty, the merchant and diplomat Manuc Bey, founded the Hîncești Winery in the early 1800s.After he died in 1817, his family modernized the wine-making operation, which was included in the property he bought for a mansion in Hîncești. The winery has played a prominent role in Moldovan vintage production ever since. After World War II the Soviets seized the family’s estate and converted the winery into a state operation. If you visit, check out the restored mansion, which is listed in Moldova’s register of architectural treasures. Today the Hîncești Winery continues to draw on its two-century-old heritage to make some of Moldova’s best vintages.

A special place next to the wineries included in this route is the famous Manuc Bey Mannor - a true castle with a winter garden, watchtowers and a well-maintained park.


Manuc Bey is a French-style castle with a winter garden, guard towers and a well-maintained park. Designed by Alexandru Bernardazzi, it was built during the second half of the Nineteenth Century. A recent renovation ensures that its dazzling architecture will captivate a new generation of visitors.

Following the cultural-historical immersion, lovers of thrills can make a stop at the zip linein Hincesti to fill up on adrenaline before trying new wine experiences.


In addition to the wineries that impress with selected wines and tasty dishes, in Hancesti you will also find a zip line, which is also the tallest and longest zip line in the country. A young man from Hâncești, passionate about active rest, put into action in his locality a new method of organizing excursions....
In addition to the wineries that impress with selected wines and tasty dishes, in Hancesti you will also find a zip line, which is also the tallest and longest zip line in the country. A young man from Hâncești, passionate about active rest, put into action in his locality a new method of organizing excursions. During the experience, tourists can admire the view of the park from above, so they manage to combine a dose of adrenaline with a trip to the heights.

If you are passionate about history and eager to learn more about the culture of the Moldovan people, when you are in Hâncești, go to the Museum of Ethnography and History in Ciuciuleni.


The Ciuciuleni Museum of History and Ethnography exhibits authentic objects from the 16th and 17th centuries. XII-XIX, most of them being gathered even by the locals. The museum has 12 rooms where you can find collections of traditional crafts, tools and military and religious objects. The museum offers you an extra opportunity to get acquainted...
The Ciuciuleni Museum of History and Ethnography exhibits authentic objects from the 16th and 17th centuries. XII-XIX, most of them being gathered even by the locals. The museum has 12 rooms where you can find collections of traditional crafts, tools and military and religious objects. The museum offers you an extra opportunity to get acquainted with the rich Moldovan traditions."

You should definitely visit Hâncu Monastery - a sanctuary where you can enter the calm and detached atmosphere of nature.


The Hancu Monastery is in a picturesque setting at the base of the Codri Ravine, next to springs where the Cogalnic River originates. A warrior and member of Moldova’s royalty, Mihai Hancu, built the monastery for his daughter, who wanted to become a nun rather than marry one of her father’s military allies. The monastery...
The Hancu Monastery is in a picturesque setting at the base of the Codri Ravine, next to springs where the Cogalnic River originates. A warrior and member of Moldova’s royalty, Mihai Hancu, built the monastery for his daughter, who wanted to become a nun rather than marry one of her father’s military allies. The monastery is a prime example of the Moldovan Architectural Style that flourished between the 14th and 19th Centuries. The complex’s two churches were built in later styles. In addition to the monastery’s lovely setting, visitors like its rich history, which includes tales of invading Tatars burning it to the ground and Russians vanquishing the Tatars, then restoring the structure.
  • Distance from Chisinau: 55 km
  • Visiting hours: Monday – Sunday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Type: Monastery for nuns

Nicolae Tronciu takes pride in saying that he operates one of Moldova’s smallest wineries. His idea is to make small batches of excellent vintages that reflect the passion he puts into his product. Founded in 1997, the Tronciu Winery obtains its grapes from the modest-sized, two-hectare vineyard that Nicolae planted.  The Tronciu family likes entertaining...
Nicolae Tronciu takes pride in saying that he operates one of Moldova’s smallest wineries. His idea is to make small batches of excellent vintages that reflect the passion he puts into his product. Founded in 1997, the Tronciu Winery obtains its grapes from the modest-sized, two-hectare vineyard that Nicolae planted.  The Tronciu family likes entertaining visitors with terrific wine and lots of stories. Adding to visitors’ enjoyment is fresh-baked bread that Nicolae’s wife, Galina, makes in an outdoor oven.

If you wanted the perfect vineyard setting for a movie, you need look no further than the Poiana Winery. And in fact, a famous film was made here — Romanian-born director Emil Loteanu’s 1976 epic about gypsies, “O Șatră Urcă în Cer.”. It doesn’t get any better than sipping on an extraordinary glass of wine...
If you wanted the perfect vineyard setting for a movie, you need look no further than the Poiana Winery. And in fact, a famous film was made here — Romanian-born director Emil Loteanu’s 1976 epic about gypsies, “O Șatră Urcă în Cer.”. It doesn’t get any better than sipping on an extraordinary glass of wine while taking in the magnificent views of Poiana, which is in the heart of a forested area. Many wineries contend their products are world-class, but Poiana can prove it. Its vintages have won many international competitions. One reason may be that it grows, harvests and processes its grapes in a traditional organic way. The picking is done by hand with much love and care. Hard work, but worth it. As you might guess, the Poiana’s food is as exceptional as its wine. Rather than going on and on it, we’ll let you come see for yourself.

On the way to Tudor Winery, you should stop at the Conacul Mierii (Honey Mannor), a guesthouse that in addition to accommodation also offers natural honey tastings for young and old, as well as other activities that will take you out of your daily routine.


If you love honey, and are curious about how bees are raised, you will adore the Conacul Mierii – or Honey Mansion – inn. Surrounding the inn are fruit trees that burst into bloom in spring and dozens of brightly painted boxes containing bee colonies. You will find the area quiet, except for some soft...
If you love honey, and are curious about how bees are raised, you will adore the Conacul Mierii – or Honey Mansion – inn. Surrounding the inn are fruit trees that burst into bloom in spring and dozens of brightly painted boxes containing bee colonies. You will find the area quiet, except for some soft buzzing. Your hosts, Victor and Ana Ciolacu, work daily with the bees to produce the sweetest and healthiest honey you will ever find. They love to tell their guests – including curious little ones – about the bees’ everyday lives and how they produce honey.

Another point of interest worth visiting on this route is the Ceramica-Triboi center, a pottery workshop that gives life and color to the clay, but also to the delicious dishes.


At the “Ceramica Triboi” Center you can participate in a pottery master class with master Zaharia who learned this art 30 years ago, but also his son Adrian, who is committed to combining old pottery traditions with modern and minimalist trends. In Ciorești you can admire the collection of handicrafts, buy or order a personalized...
At the “Ceramica Triboi” Center you can participate in a pottery master class with master Zaharia who learned this art 30 years ago, but also his son Adrian, who is committed to combining old pottery traditions with modern and minimalist trends. In Ciorești you can admire the collection of handicrafts, buy or order a personalized clay creation. The center also has a restaurant where visitors can enjoy delicious traditional dishes.

Tudor Aghenie inherited his wine-making passion from his family, which has been producing exquisite vintages for six generations. He loves showing guests his operation and having them taste his wine. Recently he decided to offer visitors a country-living experience as well. He built rustic wooden houses along the edge of woods near his vineyards where...
Tudor Aghenie inherited his wine-making passion from his family, which has been producing exquisite vintages for six generations. He loves showing guests his operation and having them taste his wine. Recently he decided to offer visitors a country-living experience as well. He built rustic wooden houses along the edge of woods near his vineyards where visitors can enjoy the sounds of birds and crickets and breathe the clean air. Each house is decorated with traditional Moldovan carpets and towels. And each has an oven for cooking sarmale -- cabbage stuffed with pork, tomatoes and sauerkraut – and little cakes called plăcinte. Tudor’s wine cellar contains thousands of bottles for guests to choose from, and the meals that go with the accommodations are yummy.

Segment: Crama Mircești - Chateau Vartely (Day 3)

  • Length:about 230 km distance
  • Travel time:up to 4 hours
  • Transport:by car

Arcadie Foșnea, who honed his wine-making skills in Germany, has achieved his dream of creating his own winery in his native village, Mircești, in the heart of the famed Codru grape-growing region. The start-up is not only producing terrific wines but also improving villagers’ lives. Mircești Winery is the settlement’s only employer, with 15 full-timers....
Arcadie Foșnea, who honed his wine-making skills in Germany, has achieved his dream of creating his own winery in his native village, Mircești, in the heart of the famed Codru grape-growing region. The start-up is not only producing terrific wines but also improving villagers’ lives. Mircești Winery is the settlement’s only employer, with 15 full-timers. When the harvest and production seasons roll around, employment climbs to 35. A proponent of wine tourism, Foșnea plans to create even more jobs by opening a restaurant with a terrace that overlooks the countryside and an eight-room hotel.

A point of interest away from Mircești Winery is Bahmut Club - a tourist complex located in the heart of the woods that offers multiple experiences and services.


The Bahmut Club is a good jumping-off point for hiking through the Plaiul Fagului nature reserve. In summer it also offers outdoor movies, jazz evenings and soul-soothing bonfires. A good way to get to the resort from Chisinau is by train. It stops right at Bahmut village.

In addition to great wine, Brănești Cellars boasts Moldova’s third-longest storage cellar and an underground restaurant made of stone. The cellar is in a cave more than 70 kilometers long and, in places, 60 meters deep.  The restaurant is part of the Stone Age tourist complex, which includes a hotel, banquet hall, wine spa, tasting...
In addition to great wine, Brănești Cellars boasts Moldova’s third-longest storage cellar and an underground restaurant made of stone. The cellar is in a cave more than 70 kilometers long and, in places, 60 meters deep.  The restaurant is part of the Stone Age tourist complex, which includes a hotel, banquet hall, wine spa, tasting rooms and the storage cellar. In addition to stone, the candle-lit restaurant is made of wood and wrought iron. It serves scrumptious traditional Moldovan food. If you want to enjoy Brănești Cellars’ atmosphere and hospitality for more than a day, the area around the winery includes an array of rustic country inns.

Near the Branești Cellars is the most visited place in the Republic of Moldova - Orheiul Vechi. A true natural monument near which there are dozens of tourist guesthouses where you can stay overnight, participate in cooking workshops, but also in other easy adventure activities such as hiking, bird watching, horse-drawn carriage rides or bicycles, or even kayaking and paragliding.


Orheiul Vechi is an area full of mystery, legends and breathtaking landscapes. Located only 45-50 minutes away from the capital city of Chisinau, Orheiul Vechi is a must-visit destination for those looking for history, authentic architecture, beautiful landscapes and local culinary traditions. The River Răut meanders among rocks and coquettishly decorated villages, the most attractive...
Orheiul Vechi is an area full of mystery, legends and breathtaking landscapes. Located only 45-50 minutes away from the capital city of Chisinau, Orheiul Vechi is a must-visit destination for those looking for history, authentic architecture, beautiful landscapes and local culinary traditions. The River Răut meanders among rocks and coquettishly decorated villages, the most attractive for visitors being Butuceni and Trebujeni, both marked by the astounding development of tourism in the recent years. Any weather is good for visiting, although in summer, especially in the month of June, when the Descopera Festival takes place, Orheiul Vechi is particularly charming.

The Museum of History and Ethnography in the city of Orhei was established in February 1969 and has the status of a National Significance 20th century historical and architectural landmark. One of the most famous exhibitions of the museum consists of an inscription indicating the number of Bessarabians participating in the war and those killed...
The Museum of History and Ethnography in the city of Orhei was established in February 1969 and has the status of a National Significance 20th century historical and architectural landmark. One of the most famous exhibitions of the museum consists of an inscription indicating the number of Bessarabians participating in the war and those killed in combat. You can also see weapons used in World War II.

On the way to Chateau Vartely, visit the Museum of History and Ethnography in Orhei to explore numerous exhibitions, a special place being reserved for victims of Stalinist repression.


The Orhei area’s main claim to fame is that over the centuries it has been home to several fortresses. In fact, Orhei is Hungarian for “place of the fortress.” Chateau Vartely’s owners wanted a winery name that reflected the area’s fortress heritage.  So they chose Vartely, the Moldovan term for “place of the fortress.” Just...
The Orhei area’s main claim to fame is that over the centuries it has been home to several fortresses. In fact, Orhei is Hungarian for “place of the fortress.” Chateau Vartely’s owners wanted a winery name that reflected the area’s fortress heritage.  So they chose Vartely, the Moldovan term for “place of the fortress.” Just 45 kilometers from Chisinau, Château Vartely boasts impressive architecture and sits on a hill with a breathtaking view.A courtyard sprinkled with wine-making relics is the perfect setting for savoring a cold glass of wine on a hot day. The winery also has an excellent restaurant. If you want to prolong your visit, then stay overnight. Chateau Vartely put some thought into the lodging. There are three types, one representing the homes found in the north, another the homes in central Moldova, and the third the homes you see in the south. If you want to experience the charms of homes in all three regions, then stay for three nights, each in a different type of design.

Segment: Vinăria Cricova - Pomușoară Dulcișoară (Day 4)

  • Length:about 70 km distance
  • Travel time:up to 1.5 hours
  • Transport:by car

Moldova has earned a worldwide reputation as a producer of fine wines, and a key contributor to that fame is the Cricova winery. The huge underground limestone caverns where Cricova’s traditional and sparkling wines are stored have become almost as legendary as the quality of the beverages. The caverns draw about 50,000 international visitors a...
Moldova has earned a worldwide reputation as a producer of fine wines, and a key contributor to that fame is the Cricova winery. The huge underground limestone caverns where Cricova’s traditional and sparkling wines are stored have become almost as legendary as the quality of the beverages. The caverns draw about 50,000 international visitors a year. The government has recognized them as one of Moldova’s top tourist attractions by declaring them a national cultural heritage. You can see the caverns by arranging a guided tour, or by attending events such as the Underground Wine Festival, Sparkling Party or Must Fest.

Chateau Cojusna is just 15 kilometers from Chisinau, so it’s an easy day trip from the capital. If you go, visit their wine collection. The chateau stores 175,000 bottles in the cool confines of its underground caverns. Most are dessert wines, including Marsala, a variety that is hard to find in Moldova these days. Chateau...
Chateau Cojusna is just 15 kilometers from Chisinau, so it’s an easy day trip from the capital. If you go, visit their wine collection. The chateau stores 175,000 bottles in the cool confines of its underground caverns. Most are dessert wines, including Marsala, a variety that is hard to find in Moldova these days. Chateau Cojusna gives its tastings in a room that conjures up the Middle Ages, giving visitors the impression they have traveled back through time. So if you want to feel like a knight while tasting the choice wines that only kings drink, visit Chateau Cojusna.

What do IT, design and winemaking have in common? This question can be answered by the Lupascu family, where Geo, an IT professional, and his wife Victoria, creator of a women's clothing brand, managed through a lot of work and enthusiasm to launch in 2017 a winery right in their household from Cojusna. Although they...
What do IT, design and winemaking have in common? This question can be answered by the Lupascu family, where Geo, an IT professional, and his wife Victoria, creator of a women's clothing brand, managed through a lot of work and enthusiasm to launch in 2017 a winery right in their household from Cojusna. Although they are still small, the family of entrepreneurs managed to renovate the old cellar where they can receive guests all year round. They even have a restaurant with dishes designed by a famous chef. Pomușoara Dulcișoară Winery has an unexpected history behind it, but also many plans for the years to come.