Educational Wine Tour in Moldova

About Tour

If you’d like to learn more about wine, why not travel to a new wine destination like Moldova, which became the most awarded Eastern European Country at different International Wine Competitions in the last couple of years. A key reason for Moldovan wines' uniqueness is that 10 percent of the country's vineyards production of grapes that originated in Moldova. They include Feteasca Neagra, Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Regala, Rara Neagra, Viorica, etc. plus blends of these varieties and international grapes.

Our educational tour will focus on three things: wine culture, wine making, and wine tastings in Moldova’s Key Wine Regions. We’ll spend a few days together combining winery visits with educational, comparative wine tastings and also explore the most picturesque sites of our sunny country. Come and enjoy the most unique experiences of meeting local wine producers and specialists, entering the houses of moldovan families and learning about our special beverages, our daily life and traditions.

Highlights:

Ø  Drive through an Underground Wine City

Ø  Dine in the only Wine Castle from Moldova, which is currently listed among the most beautiful architectural masterpieces in the world of wine

Ø  Visit the most awarded Eastern European Country at different International Wine Competitions in the last couple of years

Ø  Get accommodated in the amazing Purcari Chateau and taste wines, which are listed on Her Majesty the Queen of England wine list

Ø  Taste the famous brandies from Transnistria

Ø  Discover new varieties of grapes that originated in Moldova: Feteasca Neagra, Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Regala, Rara Neagra, Viorica, etc.

 

1 st Day

Welcome to Moldova and its Wine Heritage

April 20 st , 2021

Included highlights:

Welcome to Chisinau and Republic of Moldova. Meet your local guide and wine connoisseur. Transfer from the airport to the hotel. Accommodation in 4* Hotel from Chisinau. Special welcome dinner in a local wine bar specialized in promoting quality Moldovan wines produced by small producers from the three main regions with a protected geographic indication.  Get a professional introduction to the Moldovan indigenous grape varieties and learn how to pair them properly with traditional food. 

Included meals:
  • Welcome dinner
2 nd Day

Full Day Chisinau city tour and visit to the only Wine Castle from Moldova – MIMI

April 21 nd , 2021

Included highlights:

Explore the city's main sights on a walking tour this morning including the Orthodox Cathedral of Christ's Nativity, the exterior facade of the Presidential Palace and the Parliament building and the Holy Gates, which is known as Moldova's 'Arc de Triumph'. There's the chance to stroll in the local food market and bazaar and wander in the park around the Avenue of the Classics of Moldovan Literature, which is lined with statues and busts of Romanian and Moldovan authors and social figures. Later in the afternoon we drive to Bulboaca Village and visit MIMI Wine Castle, which is currently listed among the most beautiful architectural masterpieces in the world of wine. The story of the castle begins in 1893 when Constantin Mimi, the last governor of Bessarabia, planted the first grape vines on the place that would become legend over the years. The area of Codru, where the winery is placed, has a unique micro climate and a very good soil, as a result having intense and aromatic wines. Today the Castel Mimi winery produces classical wines like: Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, but also indigenous varieties as Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Neagra and Rara Neagra.

The biggest attraction of the winery is off course the chateau and its cellars, that are built in a very old technique, so that all year round the temperature is the same: 14 degrees C. Excursion, wine tasting and dinner in the castle.  Same accommodation.

Included meals:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
3 rd Day

Discover local traditions and royal flavors at Gogu Winery and Chateau Purcari

April 22 rd , 2021

Included highlights:

Because the best way to understand how wine is made is to visit a winery and talk to the winemaker today we will stop for a tasting to the Family run Gogu Winery. Here we will meet the owner, a trendsetter and a young winemaker who is practically revolutionizing the wines in Moldova. We will go down into the wine cellar, and see what fermentation really looks and smells like. Later enjoy a traditional lunch and get to taste their exclusive wines.

Next, arrival in Purcari Chateau and check in. Centuries-old traditions in viticulture and wine making of Purcari area formed the basis of a modern wine-making enterprise – Purcari, which is the only owner and keeper of Purcari zone elite wines production. The Purcari wine-making enterprise looks like a real chateau and it is the only place where people can get a notion of peculiar natural conditions along with the knowledge about the history, secrets and traditions of making legendary Purcari wines. You’ll be impressed by the combination of the chateau’s royal-like interiors and HI-Tech. Tour, wine tasting and dinner at Purcari winery, whose wines even now are listed on Her Majesty the Queen of England wine list

Included meals:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
4 th Day

Excellence in wines at Etcetera Winery and brandies of Transnistria

April 23 th , 2021

Included highlights:

Another adventure will be visiting the vineyards of “Et Cetera”, that were planted in 2003 in the village of Crocmaz, Stefan Voda region, with a unique micro-zone ideally fit for growing great vineyards. The winery was built in 2009 and at the moment is surrounded by more than 50 ha of vineyards, giving a picturesque view to the visitors. The owners of the winery are two brothers - Alexandru and Igor Luchianov, professionals and real amateurs of their work. Etcetera is one of the best wineries in Moldova, as in 2016 they won second price at Decanter with their Chardonnay. Wine tasting and lunch at Etcetera.

Further let’s drive to Transnistria - a breakaway territory within the internationally recognized borders of Moldova that still retains the look of a Communist state and it’s called “the last remaining Stalinist dictatorship in Europe”. First visit –to Bender Fortress: an impressive fortress built by the Turks in 16th century and the place where in 1713 Charles XII of Sweden had taken refuge after his defeat in the Battle of Poltava

End the day with a brandy tasting at “Kvint”. This distillery is one of the oldest Moldovan enterprises established in 1897 in Tiraspol which produces yearly more than 20 million bottles of wine, brandy, liqueur and vodka. These are over 70 wine and liqueur sorts and over 30 brandy sorts with age from 3 to 50 years. The brandies from Tiraspol won 3 Super-Grand-Prix, 21 Grand-Prix and over 180 gold and silver medals in international and regional tastings and contests.

Accommodation to a 4* Hotel from Tiraspol. Independent dinner.

Included meals:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
5 th Day

Sparkling and Sweet at Cricova Winery and Chateau Vartely

April 24 th , 2021

Included highlights:

Today let’s discover one of the most unique places in Europe - Tiraspol, the capital of the breakaway state of Transnistria.

In Tiraspol we set off on foot to view the numerous war memorials including those commemorating the 1992 Civil War and Trans-Dniester War, and the Supreme Court, Statue of Lenin, De Volan Park etc. On the opposite side of the central square, a monument plaza features a Soviet T-34 tank, commemorating the Soviet victory in World War II. The statue of Alexander Suvorov was erected in the central square in 1979 in commemoration of his 250th anniversary.

Continue with a visit to the world-famous Moldovan Cellars - Cricova, which is a real underground wine city with wide streets, warehouses, tasting rooms. The total length of its galleries is 120 km. The constant annual temperature of + 12ºC and 82–95 % humidity are perfect conditions for aging quality wines there. Moldova is recognized for its good wine and back in the Soviet era the country was known as the 'the vineyard of the USSR'. They've been producing wine here since the 1950s and have a number of wines that have won prestigious awards. Cricova is also well known for brilliant sparkling-wines produced by the classic French method. Tasting of sparkling wines included.

More to learn for us we find at Chateau Vartely, a modern company, that combines the latest technology in grape cultivation and processing with the passion for quality wine production. Own vineyards in the Codru and Bugeac steppe regions of Moldova guarantee the exquisite quality of wine. Its first-class wines made from both European and local varieties have placed “Château Vartely” high in the top of Moldovan winemakers and among the top preferences of consumers in Moldova and abroad. They produce a range of fine wines that have obtained a considerable number of appreciators all over the world. Enjoy a tasting of sweet wines and learn about the 4 major types of dessert wine: White and Red Liqueur Wines, Late Harvest Wines, Ice Wines, but also rich in taste ennobled wines with a touch of noble rot.

And we will bring an Aszu wine from Tokaj to top up the experience.

Dinner and accommodation at Chateau Vartely.

Included meals:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
6 th Day

Cooking in Old Orhei and playing with the glasses

April 25 th , 2021

Included highlights:

No trip to Moldova is complete without a visit to Orheiul Vechi (Old Orhei) - an Open-Air Museum Complex, which is “arguably Moldova’s most fantastic sight”. First let’s stop to a family for a cooking masterclass and learn how to prepare the traditional Moldovan pies – “Placinte”. Until the pies bake in the oven, we will visit an Orthodox cave monastery called “St. Maria Dormata” expanded and modified inside the cliffs by the monks over the centuries ago and preserved in a functional state. Coming back to our hosts we will enjoy a very special lunch, trying also the “placinte” we have made. Traditional dishes will be served with the best local wine, while the organic herbal tea, accompanied by homemade jams will surprise you with its amazing taste.

Back to Chisinau. Farewell dinner and completing our Moldovan Wine Adventure with a tasting that will teach us that a proper glass makes any wine taste better. Whether your wine is white, rose, red or sparkling, the bouquet plays a vital role in its overall presentation.  Each wine style has specific characters in terms of acidity, fruitiness, tannins and alcohol, and the different glass shapes intensify or softens those attributes. So, let’s explore Moldovan Winemaking potential and how choosing the right wine glass can enhance your wine-drinking experience. Bottoms up!

Included meals:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
7 th Day

Goodbye Moldova!

April 26 th , 2021

Included highlights:

The trip ends after breakfast at the hotel in Chisinau. Transfer to the airport for your flight.

Prices and services:

  •     All services as mentioned in the program
  •     MiniVan with A/C
  •     Professional English speaking guide at your all days

Price:

  •     Price in double room/twin:      1491 Eur
  •     Single supplement:                    239 Eur

Included meals:
  • Breakfast

What People Say

More reviews ›

Have you ever wanted to go on a culture-wine-food tour? In California? France? Italy? Please, have some imagination! Be a little adventurous and go on one in Romania and Moldova. 

It was my good luck to participate in a tour organized by Ways Travel, during which i checked out the many wonders of Romania and Moldova. 

Our group on the bus was an international gang of nine – a Belgian, a German, a Norwegian, an Australian, a few Americans of interesting ethnic alloys and me, dual Dutch and American citizen. What can I say, it was an experience just sitting on a bus with these people and hear their war stories and get initiated into the workings of the behind-the-scenes travel industry. 

Leader of our tribe was the fabulous tour guide Victoria, who speaks four languages, English, German, Russian, Romanian, one of those people who makes a simple bilingual person such as myself feel humble and uneducated. 

The trip was a symphony of history, food, drink, music and dance. Dancing with the Gypsies no less. I tell you, it was fabulous, it was intoxicating. We got history – a dizzying whirl of wars and battles and bloody strife. Of conquests and annexations, of armies rampaging through the countryside, raping, pillaging and impaling. We heard colorful tales about Dacian tribes, the Roman Empire, the Red Horde, the Saxons, the Ottoman Empire, the communist era under Ceausescu. And let’s not forget to mention good old Count Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, who hailed from Transylvania. Really, we deserved every drop of hootch we got along the way to recover from all the tragedies we vicariously suffered through. 

In Romania we loved the beautiful towns of Sibiu and Sighisoara. In Sighisoara we missed seeing the house where Dracula was born because a movie was being filmed and they’d closed it off for visitors. Fortunately, we had a liqueur and brandy tasting to cheer us up. We hadn’t had lunch yet and our stomachs were empty, which helped raise the mood quickly. 

A highlight was our visit to the home of a Roma family in Transylvania and learning more about their culture and lifestyle. (You can read a story about this on my blog here.) Not all Gypsies are beggars living in the streets of large cities. It’s always a good thing to be disabused of your prejudices and preconceived notions. 

We stayed in excellent hotels and lodges, as well as in a humble hostel run by a monastery. We ate fancy restaurant food as well as simple village fare. We saw exquisite as well as cheery architecture, visited opulent cathedrals as well as the modest underground monastery chapel in Orhei Vechi, not far from Chisinau. The vino flowing across the miles was a charming mix of the good, the bad and the holy. The holy being the wine we tasted in a monastery, blessed by the priests. Unfortunately, the blessing did not transform it into nectar of the gods, but the dinner there was quite gourmet, all prepared from food grown by the monks without chemical assistance. 

We also visited Transnistria, which is a rather unique place, as most of you will already know. It is also home to the famous Kvint brandy factory and would you believe, we went there for a brandy dégustation – seven varieties of brandy. It was very informative, interesting and intoxicating. It was also lunch time, but fortunately there was food. We eventually struggled out of there, back on the bus, across the border that is not a border, and traveled down to the Purcari wineries in the south of Moldova where we were treated to . . . you guessed it . . . a wine tasting. Of ten types of wine. Not just any old village plonk, either. No, we got to sip the wine of kings, queens and tsars. Our livers got a workout that day. 

I’m going to stop here. There was more, much more, but I don’t want to give away everything, because what you should do, really, is check out Ways Travel’s website at www.ways.md .

What a wonderful holiday. Everything was well organised and went well.

The guide, Cristina, was excellent, good English and very knowledgeable and keen that we should see every cultural and characteristic aspect of Moldova.

The visit to the Roma "family" was fascinating-not a "family" visit but a meeting with the Roma head of family in his huge house ornate and wealthy and we had a delicious home make cherry juice and had a question and answer session with him. He,Robert, is a relative of the Roma king; This was very informative as I am very interested in everyone and everything but tourists need to be interested in the Roma people and way of life otherwise input wouldn't be so fascinating!!

The visit to the "old believers" village was just great-tea from a samovar and cakes and a very pleasant woman the librarian and museum custodian.

In Gaugazia we met the Museum curator and again a fascinating insight into Gaugazian history.

Much of our enjoyment and insights was enhances by Cristina who translated everything so well.

The visits to the wineries were an eye opener and the wine tasting too. I recommend tourists who go to the Cricova winery to to wear warm clothes and a scarf as we go deep down into the underground "city" to see the stored wine.

We loved the food (and all the wine).

The trip was really organized to the fullest. Facilities, vehicle, driver and above all the guide Cristina really good! Moldova is very pleasant, especially the monasteries. We have come back indeed from a gastronomic journey a little tipsy. The wines and cuisine really good!

Thanks again!