Guest of honour
The wines of Moldova, Arvinis 2018 guest of honour
This trip through Moldova promises lovely discoveries for visitors to Arvinis. This small country with a big winemaking tradition has some very close ties to the Vaud Riviera. It was from here, in 1822, that a small group of Vaud citizens left to found farming and viticulture colony on the shores of the Black Sea, in Bessarabia, a land that today is part of both Ukraine and Moldova
Vines cultivated for more than 7,000 years
Moldova – whose shape resembles that of a bunch of grapes – is a small independent republic with a population of 3.5 million. It sits between Ukraine and Romania, where Europe and Asia meet. It benefits from a continental climate tempered by the nearby Black Sea. Hills and plains alternate, with air moving through thanks to the thermal breezes that circulate between the Prut and Dniester rivers. It is at the same latitude as many of Europe’s renowned vineyards, such as the Bordelais region; Moldova’s terroir is well-suited to making high quality wines.
The country’s 1.7 million hectolitres of wine in 2016 qualified it as one of the 20 largest producing countries of wine in the world. The wine business is a key industry for Moldova: GDP (gross domestic product) and represents 7.5% of exports. It is the country with the greatest density of vineyards in the world – 3.8% of its land surface and 7% of its arable land.
Numerous native grape varieties
Vineyards today cover 112,000 hectares, of which 70% are white grapes (Rkatsiteli, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Aligoté) and 30% are red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Saperavi. Moldovian wines are most interesting when the diversity of the indigenous grape varieties is taken into account, as these are 10% of grapes grown: Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Regala, Feteasca Neagra, Rara Neagra, Plavai, Viorica, and others.