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April 2022 Box
WINES OF MOLDOVA
Located in the Black Sea basin, Moldova is nestled between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the east. Locals claim that the country’s shape resembles a bunch of grapes. It is completely landlocked, though only 5 miles (8km) from the Black Sea, which has a profound influence on the climate. Long, warm summers are punctuated by short, mild winters, though drought and frost may pose occasional problems for viticulture.
Its ancient winemaking roots date back 3,000 years to the Dacian era. Production flourished in the later Middle Ages under Stefan the Great (r.1457–1504), and the country turned into a bulk-wine powerhouse during Soviet times. Wine is deeply entrenched in the national identity; citizens celebrate National Wine Day in October, vines are embroidered into their folk costumes, and grapes are entwined with their legends.
There are three historical wine regions: Valul lui Traian in the southwest, Ștefan Vodă in the southeast, and Codru in the center.
The grapes are a mix of European, Caucasian, and indigenous varieties, of which 70 percent are white.