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Top 10 least known wineries from Moldova

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When Moldovans talk to tourists about Moldova, they usually tell them about the wines. And if Cricova, Mileștii Mici and Purcari have a worldwide reputation by now, there are a couple of smaller wineries that make great, tasty wines.

1. Mimí Winery

vin-mimi-feteasca

Founded by Constantin Mimi, the last governor of Bessarabia, the “mimí” winery is still located in Bulboaca. Their premium class wines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, have won awards at different international contests in Bruxelles, Bucharest and Vienna. These wines stand out due to their rich aroma and flowery taste.

2. Et Cetera Winery

Founded by two brothers, Igor and Alexandru Luchianov, the Et Cetera winery produces both world-famous varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Traminer and Chardonnay, and local varieties such as Feteasca Neagră, Feteasca Albă, Feteasca Regală and Rara Neagră.

3. Poiana Winey

The Poiana Winery is located in the Ulmu village, just near the “Codrii” forests. The wine makers are proud that their wines are totally natural, and the grapes are grown without using any pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

4. Sălcuța Winey

drumul-vinului-cabernet-sauvignon-salcuta

Each bottle of Salcuta wine contains the warmth of the Moldovan sun, the generosity of Moldovan land and yet our reverent attitude to winemaking – the cause of life for our highly skilled professionals.

5. Asconi Winery

Asconi has planted 506 hectares (1250 acres) of vineyards of various varietals. Among them varietals such as Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscat Ottonel can be found near Geamana village, in the Codru Region. The picturesque vines are situated about 40 km to the south of Chisinau and 10 km from the winery.

6. Château Vartely

Château Vartely is the the producer of premium class wine from the best European grape varieties. The classic European grape varieties used are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Traminer and Feteasca.

7. Château Cojușna

vinaria-chateau-cojusna-migdal-p

Being located in the center of Moldova, the wine-making region of Codru, within only 15 km from Chișinău, the winery possesses not only a modern plant for the production of wines and divines, but also a touristic complex in the style of a French Chateau including 4 tasting halls, cellars for wine storing and maturing, as well as a gallery of collection wines.

8. Vinăria Nobilă

vinaria-nobila-matur

Gathering experience from the US, Oleg Boboc decide ti plant his own vineyard and produce his own noble wine. This is where he got the name of the company — Vinăria Nobilă (The Noble Winery).

9. Mezalimpe

mezalimpe-vin

In earlier times, the area where where the Mezalimpe vineyard is situated belonged to Baron Dombrov, who produced wine renowned for its outstanding flavor. The vineyard is bordered by a lake system stretching to the Black Sea on one side and a forest on the other. Nearby, the Dniester River flows through a picturesque valley.

10. Brănești Cellars

The Brănești Cellars are one of tre biggest exporters from Moldova. What makes it different from other producers is that it’s leaders inisted from the start on diversifying it’s export markets and in the quality of the wine. At the moment, the company exports in countries all over the world.

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Culture

Generation C – a documentary by Moldova.org about shepherding in Moldova and Georgia // VIDEO

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At the end of January, Moldova.org presented the premiere of the documentary Generation C, a film about an occupation that was passed on from father to son – shepherding.

The documentary tells the story of Vaso and Anatolie – two men, one from the Georgian mountains and another from the south of Moldova – and displays the activity of their lives, that of their fathers, grandparents and great-grandparents. But will it be inherited by their sons as well?

Anatolie Ciobanu (his name is translated as shepherd) lives in Alexandru Ioan Cuza village, Cahul district. He has several hundred sheep and says he may run out of them one day.

Vaso Gulelauri lives in Lalisquri Village, Telavi, Georgia with his family. When he is not taking care of sheep and is not at home, he spends his time in the mountains. He has never been to the sea, because he loves the mountains too much.

In the last 20 years, the number of sheep in the Republic of Moldova has almost halved. The same thing happened in Georgia. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia had about two million sheep. Now, the figure reaches one million only.

The documentary can be watched below:

„Generation C” documentary (english subtitles)

Prieteni, astăzi publicăm documentarul „Generația C” subtitrat în limba engleză! Deci vă invităm să-l distribuiți și să-l arătați prietenilor voștri care nu vorbesc româna sau georgiana și rusa. ^_^Într-o eră a Internetului, vitezei și industrializării, doi ciobani, unul moldovean, altul georgian, ne-au împărtășit istoriile lor și ne-au vorbit despre tradiția transmisă lor de bunicii și tații lor.Pe lângă imaginile pitorești, bucuria celor doi este că încă mai pot împărtăși această cutumă cu fii lor. Dar oare vor fi cei doi oieri și ultima generație de ciobani din familiile lor? Găsiți răspunsul în documentarul nostru, „Generația C”.

Geplaatst door Moldova.org op Maandag 18 mei 2020

This text is a translation. The original article here.

Photos: Moldova.org| Tatiana Beghiu

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Economy

Coronavirus drains the wine industry

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Until the coronavirus pandemic, the Moldovan wine industry was flourishing. In 2019, Moldova exported 15,67 million decalitres of wine, while the total exports’ value reached 3,086 billion lei. Most of the Moldovan wine arrived in China, Romania, and the Russian Federation.

In a country where winegrowing accounts for 7% of total exports and 3% of the country’s GDP, the coronavirus pandemic has hit small producers hard, disrupting the plans of the big players of the industry as well.

About five wineries were forced to temporarily cease their activity, as their employees were massively infected with COVID-19.

On April 25, villages of Etulia and Cismichioi, from Vulcanesti district, were put into quarantine. That happened after four locals who were employed at Etulia Winery, which is part of Bostavan Wineries Group, tested positive for COVID-19. Next, it was decided to test all employees and their relatives for coronavirus – a total of 174 persons, out of which 77 were infected.

Source: Wine of Moldova

“Wine products are not essential”

83% of the wine produced in the Republic of Moldova last year was exported. Data for March showed that export volume decreased by 9% and export value by 11%, as compared to the same period in 2019.

According to the evaluations made by the National Office for Vine and Wine (NOVV), this year exports of wine products may decrease by 30% or even 50%, as compared to 2019.

Head of the Policy and Regulation Service in the Field of Wine Products Sector within the Ministry of Agriculture, Liliana Dascaliuc, said that exports were reduced by 20% in the first three months of 2020, although the data are preliminary. “Winegrowing will be affected in the same way as the entire agriculture, even the whole economy. Wine and wine products are not essential,” commented the expert.

Zero income

Vlada Vutcarau is the co-founder of the ATU urban winery, a family business that produces up to 40 000 bottles a year. The coronavirus pandemic and the state of emergency have reduced sales by 90%, while the tourism activity has zero income. “We are talking about huge losses. We continue to produce, but the revenues come from sales, not from production,” explained Vlada.

Facebook| ATU Winery

However, there is a positive aspect – according to the young woman – the business has moved online and “we focused on the local producer. When buying local, we invest in our people and the money stays in the country.”

88% of Moldovan companies are negatively affected by the declining demand for products and services, said a study of the US Chamber of Commerce.

So, the authorities have implemented some measures to support economic agents, including wineries. These measures include reducing the VAT rate from 20% to 15% for the hotels, restaurants and catering sector.

The co-founder of ATU winery, Vlada Vutcarau, claimed that the supporting state measures do not help them that much.

“We do not receive visitors. Therefore, we do not generate VAT. This reduction does not provide any benefit at the moment, because we do not record any income anyway. We do not have the revenue, from which to save those 5% and distribute them to salaries.”

She also believes that the measures announced by the authorities represent political games and the state avoids taking responsibility. “Maybe it can’t afford it.”

Trouble never comes alone, as the co-founder of the winery believes. This year’s drought worries her just as much. “Time will tell us what we will be able to harvest this autumn. There could be an even bigger crisis,” she said.

Source: Facebook| ATU Winery

Corn instead of grapes

On April 10, the Commission for Emergency Situations adopted Provision No. 16. One of the included regulations concerned the subsidy mechanism for economic agents: the enterprises that have totally or partially stopped their activity would be granted a subsidy in the amount of the paid income tax, along with other social contributions.

The director of the Milestii Mici winery, Viorel Garaz, wondered if the state has financial resources to subsidise entrepreneurs. “As long as the economic agents do not work at all or carry their activity to a very small extent, their contributions to the state budget are very small. If the subsidies are not paid immediately, the companies will shut down their activity and will no longer need them,” explained the specialist.

The Milestii Mici winery produced almost 1,2 million bottles of wine in 2019, out of which almost 60% were exported. Following the pandemic hit, the company recorded a 60% decrease in sales on the local market. Exports fell by 40% and, since March 8, the winery has not been visited by any tourists.

“Our plans for one year or two have been turned upside down: to extend the restaurant, to acquire electric vehicles, to plant vines, to open a network of stores. The saved money went to rent, salaries and utilities’ payment.”

COVID-19 diminished the budget for planting vines. Milestii Mici winery decided to sow 36 ha of corn instead of the Feteasca variety of grape.

Also, the winery had to terminate the contracts with several retired employees. The overall number of workers was reduced from 206 to 142. “We cannot pay the indemnity for technical unemployment to pensioners. They at least have a pension, but young people who stay at home with their children … We decided to pay them at least something,” said Viorel Garaz.

The underground galleries of Milestii Mici are located at a depth of 85 m and have a total length of 200 km. They store almost 2 million bottles, which is why it has reached the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest wine collection by number of bottles.

Challenges over time

The state of emergency in the Republic of Moldova is not the first hit to winemakers. In 2006, Russia banned the import of wines because it would not have complied with sanitary regulations. At that time, almost 80% of the total wine production was exported to Russia. Estimates showed that the embargo losses exceeded $ 100 million.

Next, in 2013, three months before signing the Association Agreement with the European Union, Russia put again an embargo on Moldovan wines.

Source: Facebook| Andrei Cibotaru

“It is a crisis that affects us all and we have to contribute by consuming more local wine. Behind a bottle of wine is an entire industry: there are vine growers, people who work in production, winemakers, people in the laboratory. Besides, there is the glass industry, the cardboard packaging industry, there are people who deal with label design and so on. Buying a bottle of wine, in fact, maintains an entire chain of several sectors,” commented the author of the finewine.md blog and wine expert, Andrei Cibotari.

This text is a translation. The original article here.

Photo: Wine of Moldova

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Important

(Update) Coronavirus: the State of Emergency will be replaced by a Public Health Emergency after May 15

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The State of Emergency in the Republic of Moldova is lifted on May 15. Starting tomorrow, the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission will start its activity with declaring Code Red in the healthcare system or a so-called Public Health Emergency on the territory of the whole country. This was declared by President Igor Dodon after the meeting of the Supreme Security Council.

According to the president, all the responsibilities regarding COVID-19 restrictions necessary during the pandemic crisis will be handed over from the Commission for Emergency Situations to the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission, which was newly created.

Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection, Viorica Dumbraveanu, emphasised the need to maintain the same public health measures after May 15, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus infection and ensure the protection of citizens, as it is declared in a press release of the Minister of Health, Labour and Social Protection (MHLSP).

Prime Minister Ion Chicu announced that the state of Public Health Emergency could remain in force by June 30, as per the request of the National Public Health Agency. “It can be even shorter or longer. We will decide according to how the events evolve,” said the head of the executive. According to him, the new state of emergency concerns only decisions and actions taken in the healthcare industry.

According to the latest official decision of the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission, the Public Health Emergency is established for the period May 16 – June 30 and encloses restrictions concerning kindergartens that will open after June 30; the markets in Chisinau and Balti – after May 31; playgrounds and stadiums – after May 31; general, vocational and university education institutions – after June 30; forests, parks, alleys, beaches for groups of more than 3 persons – after June 30; shopping centres – after June 30 (except groceries and pharmaceuticals units located in the same building), barber shops and dental offices – after May 16, outpatient medical activities – May 16.

At the same time, it is mandatory to wear protective masks in indoor public places.

The restrictions regarding regular flights, regular passenger air charters, international rail routes, regular, special and occasional road transport of passengers are still maintained until June 30, with gradual relaunch depending on the epidemiological situation.

The access of foreign citizens and stateless persons is forbidden on the territory of Moldova until June 30, with the following exceptions:

  • family members of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova;
  • persons holding a long-stay visa, a residence permit or a document equivalent to a residence permit issued by the authorities;
  • persons being on business trips, proved by a visa, residence permit or other equivalent document;
  • members of diplomatic missions and consular posts accredited in Republic of Moldova, of international organisations / missions, as well as members of their families or personnel who provide humanitarian aid;
  • passengers in transit, including those who are repatriated.

Persons who enter the Republic of Moldova during this period will have to fill in an epidemiological form, as well as a declaration on their own responsibility to comply with the self-isolation regime of 14 days in determined places. More decisions and provisions can be found here.

According to the most updated data provided by the MHLSP, there are 5553 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Moldova at the moment, including 2228 cases of people who recovered and 194 cases of death. On March 14, there were 147 newly confirmed cases, while the record number of new cases (252) was recorded just 2 days ago, on May 13.

Photo: Romania Insider

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