About wine

What is wine?

Let’s start from the beginning: what is wine? According to the definition adopted by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), “wine is exclusively a drink resulting from the full or partial alcoholic fermentation of grape must.”

 

We all like to say that wine is more than just a drink. We consider it a food product. Some say that "wine stimulates literary and artistic creation." Many consider wine an artistic creation, an accomplishment often close to perfection, as any other artistic creation. Often it is meant that wine has also major therapeutic effects; therefore, wine is ... a medicine.

At least partially, all the above mentioned statements are justified, having a real life basis. But we should not forget the fact that wine is a product aimed for human consumption, and, in order to be consumed, it has to reach the consumer, and finding the consumer is done through the market, as any other good.

Thus wine is a food product, a creative incentive, a medicine, and, not ultimately, a product, a good.

Source: Blog about life and wine (in Romanian language)

Short history

From ancient times, Moldova is recognized as an agricultural and wine-producing region. Wine production is considered the most important in the country. Winegrowing and winemaking in the territory of Moldova dates back more than 4,000 years ago when the Dacians discovered the production of wine from vine. This practice was later developed during the settling of Greeks who shared their winemaking traditions with the locals, and further under the domination of the Roman Empire.

Once the feudal state of Moldova was formed in the 14th century, winegrowing rapidly developed. This branch enjoyed a special success during the ruling of Stefan the Great who imported new sorts of vine. Stefan the Great further stimulated the production of quality wines by establishing a new function of cupbearer (the person responsible for the beverage of the sovereign), whose task was to supervise the vine plantations and the winemakers, in order to guarantee the production of high-quality wine. This rule ensured an additional impulse to the development of the winemaking industry through the expansion of areas for winegrowing, improving technologies and building household cellars for wine storage.

At the beginning of the 16th century, the territory fell under the domination of the Ottoman Empire who forbade winemaking. Thus during the following 300 years, winegrowing and winemaking underwent a huge regress. However, the tradition and success of this period were revived after the signing of the Bucharest Treaty of 1812, when the region became a province of the Russian Empire. The Russian nobility took over the winemaking actives and began to grow in particular local strains, such as Rara Neagra, Plavai, Galbena, Zghiharda, Batuta Neagra, Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Neagra, and so forth. The second half of the 19th century welcomed imports of French wines and the arrival of French winemakers – this is the reason why Moldova enjoys plethora of vine. During this period, certain important winemaking regions in Moldova, such as Purcari, gained worldwide recognition and fame. The winemaking industry was flourishing, and around 1837, Moldova was producing more than 10 million liters per year.

As in the rest of Europe, the wine industry in Moldova suffered from the phylloxera attack at the end of the 19th century. Around 1906, following an abundant use of grafted plantation material, the vineyards recovered, and around 1914, Bessarabia (the territory of current Moldova) proved to be the region of the Russian Empire with the biggest area planted with vine.

The First and the Second World Wars brought the decline of the branch. Many plantations were destroyed, and the industry suffered huge losses. Only following the end of the Second World War the Moldovan vineyards began to recover. Thanks to an enormous re-plantation effort carried out during 1950-1960, the total area of vineyards reached 220,000 hectares. For the next 20 years, Moldova was the most important winemaking republic of the USSR. Every second bottle of wine and every third bottle of sparkling wine was produced in Moldova.

In the middle of 1980s, the Moldovan winemaking industry was painfully hit again. This time by the alcohol consumption interdiction policy, imposed by the head of state of USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev. The plantations were being rooted out in massive quantities, and the wine was destroyed. For Moldova this was a national tragedy. Following the independence of the Republic of Moldova from the Soviet Union in 1991, the winemaking industry began to recover, yet in a very slow and difficult manner.

Since the beginning of privatization in the middle of 1990s, the winemaking companies began investing in modern equipment, planting new areas with popular European strains. Several vine cutting nurseries were created during this period, which traded roots combined with European plantation material.

Source: CBI


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