When I think of the Eastern European country of Moldova, I see red. That is not to say that images of this country shaped like a bunch of grapes is somehow infuriating. Quite the contrary. What I see are swirling glasses brimming with bold, dark, ruby-red wine. The only thing I find disconcerting is that very few people have so far discovered this fantastic destination.
On a recent trip to Moldova with my wife Tricia, we discovered something that only wine connoisseurs know: Moldova is beginning to produce some incredibly good wine. From the traditional varietals found in Western Europe and California, to the indigenous ‘Neagra’ grapes, Moldova has placed a significant portion of the country under vine in the past few years, which, pardon the pun, is beginning to bear fruit.
The recent approval in the European Parliament of a free-trade pact between Moldova and the 500 million potential consumers in the EU has only paved the way for greater opportunities for the Moldovan wine industry. As a result, we should begin seeing more investment in the form of farm machinery, distillation equipment, bottling and real estate, which in turn should add to the ranks of the 250,000 people currently employed in the country’s wine business.
As more and more people begin to discover Moldovan wine, the country’s tourism industry will invariably grow. From ancient historical sites to its agrotourism potential, Moldova’s economy and its people are in a great position to move forward.
Cheers! Or, as they say in Moldova, ‘Noroc!’
A special thank you to the National Office of Wine and Vine, who graciously helped coordinate our familiarization trip. They’ve recently developed a new, clean website packed with information.