From the beginning of this year, the European Union has opened its internal market in full for wines from Moldova – since Russia tried once again last September to dissuade, through embargo, its former “little brother” on its path towards Europe. At ProWein 2014 in Düsseldorf, Moldovans aim to show the progress in wine quality they have made in recent years. With a press conference, five master classes at stand B50 in Hall 6 and two more at Meininger’s booth (Hall 6 K60), this year’s appearance in Düsseldorf by this traditional wine country will be the largest by far. The motto is: "Wine of Moldova - A Legend Alive".
For centuries, wine has shaped the region between Romania and Ukraine more intensively than for most other countries. In Soviet times, the Mini-Republic, covering just 33,843 square kilometres) produced half the wine consumed in the giant red empire. However, after the political changes, production and sales fell drastically. Today the area devoted to wine production in Moldova, a country the size of North Rhine-Westphalia, still encompasses 112,000 hectares – more than the entire vineyard hectarage of Germany. Moldova’s attractions include the largest wine cellars in the world, with over 200 kilometres of labyrinths, the result of extensive limestone quarrying; the largest wine collection of the world, with more than two million bottles in historic Milesti Mici; many Orthodox monasteries and unspoiled nature reserves.
In the vineyards, which are being gradually restructured, manual labour is significant. More than 250,000 people in Moldova live from the vines and their final product. Although in the past, well-known international varieties such as Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were most planted; recently there has been a return to the old indigenous varieties such as Feteasca Alba, Rara Neagra and Feteasca Neagra. These will be the focal point of two of the five master classes, presented by the British expert Caroline Gilby MW at Moldova's booth at ProWein 2014: March 23 at 3.00 pm and on March 24 at 12.00 pm. On the first day at 1.00 pm and on Tuesday at 10.00 am under the heading "A Legend Alive" Gilby will show famous blends and varietal wines from Moldova. The topic of the tasting on March 24 at 10.00 am will be wines from the newly formed Protected Geographical Indications of Codru, Valul lui Traian, Stefan Voda and Divin. Two additional tastings led by Dr. Rolf Klein will take place on March 23 at 5.00 pm and on March 24 at 3.00 pm at the stand of Meininger publishing house (Hall 6 K60) and these will complete the presentation of this small and upcoming wine producing country at ProWein 2014.
At a press conference on Sunday, March 23, at 11.00 am in room 225 at the North Entrance of the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre, Agriculture Minister Vasile Bumacov and Dumitru Munteanu, President of the newly founded institution "Wine of Moldova" will explain, together with Caroline Gilby MW, what is behind the slogan "A Legend Alive” and what plans the Moldovan wine sector has for the coming years. Although 72 percent of Moldovan wine production still flows into CIS countries, exports to EU countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Scandinavian countries, and Germany, as well as to China, Canada and the U.S. are growing. This development gives reason for optimism for a country that is among the poorest in Europe but can still be truly proud of its long wine tradition.