Cricova Winery- The Second Largest Wine Cellar in the World

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We found out about Cricova Winery, one of the biggest wine cellars in the world, when we were visiting friends in Chişinău, the capital city of Moldova. We found out that it was just about 10 miles away from us. It was obvious that we needed to go.

There are about 75 miles (120 kilometers) of subterranean wine storage at Cricova, which makes it the world’s second-largest wine cellar. I’ll say it again: there are wine cellars extending for 75 kilometers underground. In addition to this, it is not even the biggest tunnel in the world; but, since certain tunnels are still being dug out, it is possible that one day it may be the largest tunnel in the world.

At this time, UNESCO is deliberating whether or not to include Cricova on its list of World Heritage Sites. The registration procedure for the winery was just recently started, and if all goes according to plan, they will be the very first winery on the list to be acknowledged.

Facts about Cricova Winery:

  • During the time when Nazi Germany occupied the Soviet Union, it is alleged that the vineyard harbored Jewish individuals inside of wine barrels.
  • Kazakhstan is the nation that buys the most Cricova wine and is thus the major importer.
  • The current President of Russia, Vladamir Putin, chose to celebrate his fifty-first birthday at the vineyard.
  • Yuri Gagarin, a renowned Russian astronaut, visited the cellars in 1966 and didn’t leave until two days later, when he had to be helped out owing to ingesting an excessive amount of wine!

An Underground City of Wine- 

Wine City is the name given to the underground storage facility, which is also often referred to as The Underground City of Wine. You may learn about the history of Cricova and the production process by attending one of their regularly scheduled wine tours, which take place in the city’s high-functioning city center, which is home to warehouses, bottling facilities, tasting rooms, and even a movie theater.

Due to the sheer size of the storage caverns, the trip really takes place on electric trains that are comparable in size to huge golf carts. Following your loading onto the carts, you will make your way down into the subterranean metropolis.

A sudden dip in temperature will be the first thing that you will become aware of. The temperature in the tunnels is maintained at 12 degrees Celsius (54 degrees Fahrenheit) all the time, and the humidity level is controlled to remain at 90 percent. This provides an atmosphere that is excellent for storing wine.

During the construction of the new capital city in the fifteenth century, limestone was used to cut underground tunnels. In the 1950s, they went through a transformation and became wine storage facilities.

As you make your way down the tunnels, you will see that they are called much like streets, with the names correlating to the wines that are stored in each individual tunnel.

Wine Production

The primary contributor to Moldova’s economy, wine is also the country’s most popular export. Because of the significant contribution made by Cricova Winery, this nation now holds the seventh spot on the list of the world’s most significant exporters of wine.

There is a holding period of six months for white wines, while red wines are aged in massive barrels for between two and three years.

The sparkling wines produced by Cricova are the source of the most of their fame. It is stated that locals wouldn’t even consider celebrating a big event without at least one bottle of alcohol present.

The sediments are allowed to settle in the neck of sparkling wines by storing them in an upside-down position for eight weeks and turning them 45 degrees by hand every two days. The neck is then frozen as part of a procedure called as disgorgement, which causes the liquid to solidify and allows the sediments to be extracted. Following this step, sugar is added, and the bottle is then filled with more wine. The bottle is then wired and corked, and at this point it is ready to be served. This approach, which is also known as the classic Champenoise method, is exactly the one that is used in the production of Champagne in France.

In addition, the vineyard creates a one-of-a-kind red sparkling wine that is delicious and berry-like, manufactured from Cabernet Sauvignon and flavored with blackberries and blackcurrants. Although not widely available, red sparkling wines are a favorite among residents of the area.

Wine Storage

The huge labyrinth houses not only the great art collections of prominent politicians and celebrities, but also their remarkable wine collections. For example, Angela Merkel keeps her own collection in the underground basements.

The shelves have numbers that have been allotted to the respective owners, and the staff takes great care to ensure that each bottle is in good condition.

In addition, the basement is home to a remarkable wine museum that has treasures from from all around the globe. The Jewish Passover Wine going all the way back to 1902 is the bottle that holds the title of the collection’s oldest bottle.

Wine Tastings:

We eventually got to the portion of the trip that I was most looking forward to, which was at the very end when we got to sample a few of the wines. You will be guided to the appropriate room for that tasting based on the kind of package that you have selected.

Some of the tasting rooms are rather garish, and even pompous, in my opinion.

Some were more understated, but they were still magnificent.

We went for a deal that included six different kinds of wines and a selection of regional specialties to go with them. The meal was tasty, but it was just okay overall.

I’m not usually a lover of champagne or sparkling wine, but this bottle was enjoyable. It was dry, light, and effervescent, and it didn’t have an overwhelming amount of sweetness.

I found that I loved each of the wines, so on my way out I made sure to pick up several bottles to take with me. The majority of the bottles on offer may be purchased for less than 10 euros each.

Anyone who finds himself in Moldova should definitely pay Cricova Winery a visit. I gained a lot of knowledge about the process of creating wine, and I of course enjoyed trying out all of the many kinds that were there.

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Practical Information :Cricova provides a wide variety of excursions, ranging from brief introductions and tastings accompanied by matching light appetizers to lavish dinners for VIP guests. Click this link to investigate your choices and locate the excursion that meets your needs the most.


What is the largest wine cellar in the world?

Mileștii Mici

The Mileștii Mici wine cellar in Moldova is proud to have the status of being the biggest wine cellar in the world. The landlocked country of Moldova, which is located between Romania and Ukraine, has an illustrious history of producing wine that dates back thousands of years.

How big is cricova?

The wine vaults of Cricova are the second biggest in Moldova, behind the wine caves of Milestii Mici (the largest in the world). It has a total of 120 kilometers (75 miles) of winding roads, which is much less than the 200 kilometers that MM has (120 mi).

Who has the largest wine cellar in the United States?

The Bern’s Steakhouse & Grille

Bern’s Steakhouse, located in Tampa, Florida, is a luxurious establishment that brags of possessing the “world’s biggest wine vault.” The previous week, Business Insider paid a visit to Bern’s, and while there, wine steward Chris Lewis led us on a tour of the restaurant’s facilities, which are said to house more than 600,000 bottles of wine.

Is Moldovan wine good?

The Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay from Salcuta are a great mid-level range that would do well here, particularly with a trade price of just £6.20 a bottle. In addition, Moldova is producing good value whites from more traditional varieties. Almost everything produced by Salcuta was fresh, fruit-forward, and appealing.

Where is the oldest wine cellar in the world?

Israel’s northern region

Archaeologists uncovered what they believe to be the biggest and oldest wine cellar in the Near East while excavating a 3700-year-old Canaanite palace in northern Israel. The palace was built by the Canaanites. The storage space in the basement was 5 meters by 8 meters, and it housed a total of 40 huge jars, each of which had the potential to hold around 50 liters of liquid.