Town in Bessarabia (Moldova Republic) / POP.14,500
Cricova, Bessarabia, Moldova Rep.
> The underground "wine city", 120 km of tunnels.
> Over 1 million bottles of wine are kept here.
> Several international Silver, Gold and Grand Prix awards.
> Vladimir Putin celebrated his 50th birthday there.
15 kilometres north of Chisinau, the capital of Bessarabia (Moldova Republic).
The wine cellars of Cricova is second largest wine cellar in Moldova, after Milestii Mici (largest in the world). It boasts a mere 120 kilometres of underground labyrinth; tunnels have existed under Cricova since the 15th century, when limestone was dug out to help build Chisinau. They were converted into an underground wine emporium in the 1950s. This "wine city" has its warehouses, tasting rooms and other facilities underground. It goes down to 100 metres below ground and holds 1.25 million bottles of rare wine. The oldest wine dates back to 1902. The temperature is maintained at about 12 °C all year round.
Cricova is one of the very few wineries in the world that produce sparkling wines in accordance with the classical French method, purportedly invented centuries ago by the monk Dom Pierre Perignon. Cricova makes a unique sparkling red wine, kodrinskoie-sparkling, made from cabernet sauvignon stocks and marketed as having a 'rich velvet texture and a blackcurrant and cherry taste'.
Legend has it that in 1966 astronaut Yuri Gagarin entered the cellars, re-emerging (with assistance) two days later. Russian president Vladimir Putin celebrated his 50th birthday there.
Places to visit in Cricova, Bessarabia
The Grand Cellars of Cricova
...house a remarkable collection of wines – The National Oenotec. The unique exhibits ("Jerusalem of Easter" vintage 1902, the liqueur "Jan Becker" vintage 1902) together with other 158 brands from Bourgogne, Moseley, Tokay, Rein, etc. However, the pride of the Oenotec are, first of all, the wines bearing the name "Cricova", which brought the winery a collection of national and international tasting awards. As of 2008, the collection consists of over 70 silver, gold and Grand Prix awards.
Concerts & Festivals in Bessarabia
You are 10 minutes from Chisinau that offers a whole range of entertaining opportunities.