Routes of life

Routes of life Wineries
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Poiana Winery

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…

Routes of life Wineries
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Asconi Winery

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…

Routes of life Wineries
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Castel Mimi Winery

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…

Routes of life Wineries
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Et Cetera

The Et Cetera winery is a slice of Moldova that is so enchanting that it is easy to feel like you’re in another world. The oasis that the Luchianov family created at Crocmaz features breathtaking views, postcard-perfect vineyards, peach orchards, fragrant lavender fields, a small but fancy winery, a mouth-watering restaurant and an exquisite hotel with swimming pool. Nina Luchianov, the mother…

Routes of life Wineries
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Purcari Winery

The Purcari winery is nestled between the Nistru River and Black Sea in a setting that only the word “idyllic” can do justice to. The estate includes two lakes, where you can relax by boating or fishing, and vineyards surrounding the château that delight the eyes. Château Purcari not only produces fantastic wines, but serves them with exquisite a la carte dishes…

Routes of life Wineries
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Chateau Cojusna Winery

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…

Routes of life Wineries
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Milestii Mici Winery

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…

Routes of life Wineries
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Cricova Winery

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…

Monuments Routes of life

Cornerstone of Chisinau

The stone block of Chișinău is located in close proximity to the Măzărache Church – it is believed to be the place Chisinau began to exist.

Poiana Winery

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.

Asconi Winery

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 Winery

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.

Et Cetera

The Et Cetera winery is a slice of Moldova that is so enchanting that it is easy to feel like you’re in another world. The oasis that the Luchianov family created at Crocmaz features breathtaking views, postcard-perfect vineyards, peach orchards, fragrant lavender fields, a small but fancy winery, a mouth-watering restaurant and an exquisite hotel with swimming pool. Nina Luchianov, the mother of the winery’s owners, Igor and Alexander Luchianov, helps ensure that the food is exquisite. As an example, she hand-makes the pastry that goes into the restaurant’s famed Bride’s Pie, ensuring that it is tender and has the perfect buttery taste to complement the cow’s cheese or onion and potato filling.

One of Et Cetera’s specialties is rabbit. You can get it cooked with potatoes in a pot or you can try the tangy rabbit liver pate. The Luchianovs grow a lot of the vegetables they serve to guests in their own garden. If you visit Et Cetera in August, jump on a bicycle and pedal over to the peach orchard to eat your fill of the succulent fruit. Coming in October means you can participate in the grape harvest. Not only will the Luchianovs let you pick grapes, but you can also crush them with your own feet, observing a wine-making tradition that goes back thousands of years.

Purcari Winery

The Purcari winery is nestled between the Nistru River and Black Sea in a setting that only the word “idyllic” can do justice to. The estate includes two lakes, where you can relax by boating or fishing, and vineyards surrounding the château that delight the eyes. Château Purcari not only produces fantastic wines, but serves them with exquisite a la carte dishes at its tastings. Two of the exceptional wines in its collection are vintages from 1948 and Queen Elizabeth II’s 1987 collection, with English labels. When you visit the winery’s underground storage area, you can almost hear the footsteps of the monks who built the cross-shaped cellars to bless the wines.

Chateau Cojusna Winery

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.

Milestii Mici Winery

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.

Cricova Winery

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.

Cornerstone of Chisinau

The stone block of Chișinău is located in close proximity to the Măzărache Church – it is believed to be the place Chisinau began to exist.