Purcari: For premium Moldovan wines
Purcari has a long tradition of winemaking. In fact, its cellars have remained unchanged since 1827. It attracts wine lovers from across the world it is one of the oldest and most famous wineries in the country. Situated in the south of Moldova, 120 km from the capital Chisinau, close to Nistru and only 30km away from the Black Sea, the terroir is favourable for grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Saperavi, Chardonnay and Rara Neagra (a Moldovan indigenous red grape variety) used both in single varietals and blends. Since 2012, Purcari also produces a beautiful Ice Wine from Muscat and Traminer grapes, hand-picked when the temperatures drop to -6 to -10C.
The underground historical cellars are curiously built in a cross shape; a reminder of the time when the production of wine in the country was controlled by the church. Here you'll see the French-oak barrels used to age award-winning blends such as Rosu de Purcari and Negru de Purcari. The cellar also has a vault that holds a private wine collection of vintage Purcari wines and other rarities from around the world.
Since 2003, the Purcari estate has been extended to include wine tourism services such as a boutique hotel with 8 charming rooms, a wine tasting room, a restaurant, two lakes, tennis court and children’s recreation area.
Chateau Vartely: Where tradition meets technology
Chateau Vartely was founded in 2008, but has already achieved so much. This young but ambitious winery has established itself as one of Moldova’s best, both locally and internationally, receiving over 10,000 wine tourists a year. We visited them for the third time recently and were very impressed not only by the wines, but also by the tourism facilities and the high standard of service. First of all, the winery is dotted with the latest German winemaking technology. The winemaker brought back all the modern techniques as well as a love for Ice wine from his studies in Germany, which the estate now produces from botrytised grapes.
Located near Orheiul Vechi, one of Moldova’s unmissable natural archaeological sites, Chateau Vartely is the perfect rural place to stay. The estate has four villas, all elegantly decorated and equipped with high-standard modern facilities, including a sauna, pool table and swings. The villas also have their own private terraces overlooking the winery and the surrounding picturesque fields and villages. In the main building of Chateau Vartely is an exceptional restaurant, specialising in Moldovan and European cuisine with a modern twist. The restaurant terrace offers wonderful views of Orhei town and the river Raut.
The cellar at Chateau Vartely has 2 tasting rooms and there is also an internationally themed room showcasing a worldwide famous collection of both Old and New World wines. The rooms are beautifully decorated with dark wood panels and candelabras creating a romantic atmosphere. Make sure you taste some of the estate’s Feteasca Alba white wines; Vartley is keen on promoting this old forgotten Moldovan grape variety that tastes of wild flowers and green apples.