Have you ever experienced an underground city full of bright life, tasty food, amazing history, thousands of bottles of high-quality wine and hundreds of kilometers of streets and tunnels? If not, you are invited to experience Cricova, Moldova’s best-known destination for tourism, high-quality service and an incredible wine heritage collection. Cricova caves are placed under the town that is also called Cricova and is located 15 km away from the capital city.
Wine Festival, Picture © Credits to Wine of Moldova
Cricova was founded in 1952, during the Soviet Union period. The decision where to base the wine-storage was not obvious, but quite smart. The best choice that could have been made was to reorganize the old limestone mine, whose shafts are 6-8 meters wide and 3,5 meters high. These mining tunnels are placed on the depth of 35-80 meters, that is actually a perfect place for the wine storage. The most amazing thing is that the limestone can maintain the constant temperature of 12-14 degrees and the humidity of 97-98%, which is an ideal condition for the wine-storage. It is nearly incredible, but as soon as the foundation of the winery was fixed, the production of four million bottles of sparkling wine per year was fulfilled. Today, you may taste not only the sparkling but many other wines as well and get in touch with an amazing underground life in the city of Cricova, where the wine-factory Cricova is placed.
Cricova Winery, Video © Credits to David Hoffmann
As soon as you plunge in the underground world of wines, you will be amazed by the volume and variety of national wine collections. For instance, the oldest bottle in the national collection, is the red dessert wine “European Easter”, from Jerusalem, dated 1902, that is the last one in the world out of that batch of wine.
The scale of Cricova's wine cellars is just astonishing. In the underground silence of the Cricova cellars, up to 30 million liters of wine acquire their precious and unique qualities.
Rhone 1938 , Picture © Credits to Veni from New York, USA
The wine of Cricova is recognized all over the world. In 2009, in the town of Épernay (France), the Cricova Cuvee Prestige wine won the Grand Prix, and in 2015 the classical Pinot Blanc Noir was awarded a silver medal. Thus, the French recognized the high quality of Cricova sparkling wines, which is the best praise for our wine.
In the very beginning, the Cricova wine-cellar was accessible only for working personnel and public officials. It was not available for tourists. Now, you have a terrific possibility to go deep under the ground and enjoy the subterranean streets, that are named after the wines that are available over there – Champagne Avenue, Cabernet Street, Feteasca, Aligote, Sauvignon, Riesling, Codru, etc.
Yuri Gagarin Hall or Hall with Fireplace, Picture © Credits to Cepaev
You can also see detailed all the production processes, visit a degustation room and try any kind of wine you are interested in. Alongside that, you can explore the most traditional Moldavian food. In the last four years, 160 000 people did not miss a chance to be amazed by Cricova. You shouldn’t pass by the opportunity to experience the most incredible underground city in the world.
Did you like the travel story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.