This month Winerist is thrilled to welcome a new Moldovan winery on our website, Purcari. In the spirit of celebrating Moldovan wines, and promoting them internationally after the Russian wine embargo, showing that Moldova can produce premium wines, we are awarding Purcari our Top Winery of the Month status. And here is why.
Purcari has a long history of winemaking tradition, with its cellars remaining unchanged since 1827. The cellars are are among the oldest and most famous in Moldova and it attracts wine lovers from all-over the world.
The winery is situated in the South of Moldova, 120km from the capital, Chisinau, close to Nistru and only 30km away from the Black Sea. Here, the terroir is favourable for grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Saperavi, Chardonnay and Rara Neagra (a Moldovan indigenous red grape variety) used both in varietals and blends. Since 2012, Purcari also produce a beautiful Ice Wine from Muscat and Traminer grapes, hand-picked when the temperatures drop to -6-10C.
Since 2003, Purcari estate has been extended to include wine tourism services such as a boutique hotel with 8 charming rooms, a wine tasting room, restaurant, two lakes, tennis court and a children’s recreation area.
On our recent visit to the winery in July 2013, we enjoyed the tranquility and the views of the vineyards and the small lake, enjoying a glass of wine. We took a tour of the estate with Mr Aurel, a devoted employee who has been working for Purcari for over 40 years. He is such a great character! He knows every single inch of the winery and is a real encyclopedia when it comes to the history of the place.
We were given a visit to the underground historical cellars, which are curiously built in a cross shape. Mr Aurel explained that the cross is reminiscent of the times when the production of wine in the country was controlled by the church. Here you can see with your own eyes, 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.
After the great tour, we sat down for a vertical wine tasting of 10 wines. We were really impressed by the quality of the wines! Who would have known that Moldova is capable of producing such fine premium wines?
Purcari produces c. 500,000 bottles of wine a year, which is relatively modest among its peers. After tasting their wines, their motto may as well be ‘quality, not quantity’. Wine tasting packages start at €14 for 3 wines up to €32 for 10 wines.
Our verdict: Purcari indeed delivers not only on the quality of the wines, but also on natural beauty and customer service. It is the perfect place for a day away from Chisinau.
Written by: Tatiana Livesey, Winerist Co-founder.