On the last full day my parents were in Moldova, we visited Cricova Winery. Moldova is known for its wine because it’s good wine, but it’s also known for being the country in which the top two largest underground wine cellars in the world are found. Milesti Mici is the largest at 200 kilometers of tunnels and almost 200 million bottles of wine, while Cricova is the second largest at 120 kilometers of tunnels and 1.2 million bottles of wine. Cricova was founded in 1952 and around that time also began to house the wine collection of various famous and rich individuals.
We joined a tour of the underground tunnels, which was on a trolley-like bus. The tunnels are colder than we expected, though we had been warned! Our guide told us about the various processes they use. We also watched a movie in a small cinema, where we got our first taste of Cricova sparkling wine (champagne). After our tour ended, we had a tasting with the large group we had toured with. We got to try several different kinds of wine and sparkling wines.
Notes and tips about visiting Cricova Winery:
- The tour and tasting takes about an hour and a half total.
- It is cold in the tunnels!! I wish I had dressed a bit more warmly.
- Our tour was in English, but we had a very hard time understanding the guide.
- Although the tasting was good, with some food, it felt very, very rushed. I really would have preferred more time in the tasting room, as it was a large amount of wine to consume in a very short amount of time.