The first day of our one-week mission to rediscover the legends behind Moldovan wine offered us over 15 different wines to taste and enjoy.
We started our day at the professional school in Nisporeni. Surprisingly, this is the home of the Crescendo wine brand.
With an annual capacity of approximately 15.000 bottles, Crescendo sure is a boutique-type winery.
A lot of talk was about the way wine is marketed and distributed to restaurants, hotels and supermarket chains, what can be done in the future, etc.
Pro tip: if you decide to buy some Crescendo wine then remember this: if the wine label is white, then the wine has aged in INOX barrels. If the label is black, then it has aged in oak barrels. Which is why the black label bottles are a bit more expensive than their counterparts.
My pick? The white label Merlot.
You will find Crescendo wines only in select restaurants in Chisinau, so if you want to try it out, better head down to Carpe Diem Wine Shop & Bar.
For lunch we were graciously hosted by Vatra, Complex Etno-Cultural.
Drop by for a traditional Moldovan meal with a view.
At the end of the day we went to see the Mimi Winery in Bulboaca, soon to be called Castel Mimi (Mimi Castle). It dates all the way back to 1901.
Important to note: “Mimi” is not a goofy random word, it comes as tribute to the founder of the winery, Constantin Mimi.
Massive reconstruction and development has been going for the last 4 years at Mimi, and in another year they are hoping to open their doors to the public. From what I have seen so far, it will probably be the biggest and most impressive looking winery in Moldova, and is located at only 40km from Chisinau.
There are many artifacts left from the Soviet Union era (and are not used in production), which will become part of their own wine museum.
The evening ended on an exciting note, our group being among the first “outsiders” to taste their Ice Wine, which is not yet available to the public.
The event is organized and sponsored by USAID CEED II, in collaboration with Oficiul Naţional al Viei şi Vinului (ONVV).