Purcari Winery is located in the south-eastern part of the country and is the oldest wine estate in Moldova. Because of it’s proximity to the Black Sea, it has a unique ecosystem ideal for growing the grapes, especially for red wine. Vineyards in the this area of the country were first planted around the 12th century and primarily cultivated by the monks from a monastery in the area. In 1827, Emperor Nicholas I of Russia granted Purcari the status of the first specialized winery in Bessarabia. Purcari won its first gold medal at an international exhibition in 1878 at the Paris World Expo.
After World War II, the winery opened again and continued to produce quality wines. Today, there is a small hotel and fine restaurant. We visited with my host sister and did a tour and wine tasting. When we visited there were only a few other guests and we were able to get a tour in English. We had contacted them in advance but had not heard back, thankfully it turned out they had received our message. The grounds were very peaceful and we were given plenty of time to enjoy the wines after the formal tasting with our guide.
Notes and tips about visiting Purcari Winery:
- While further from Chisinau, the winery is located in a gorgeous part of Moldova (though I may be biased as I live fairly close to here).
- Compared to some of the other wineries in Moldova, the tour is not quite as interesting (in comparison to Cricova, with it’s huge underground tunnels), but the tasting was good. We do wish we had ordered dinner to go with our tasting, but didn’t realize it would be prepared while we toured and ready when we arrived in the tasting room.
- The winery is known for its red wines, though we did also taste one white wine.