WineHandpicked by IWSC

Five award-winning Moldovan wines

With a deep-rooted history of winemaking and some of the world's largest cellars to boot, it's worth clueing up on Moldovan wine and the best bottles to try

Words by IWSC Judges

cricova wine cellar in moldova
Handpicked by IWSC
The historic 120-kilometre cellars at Moldova's Cricova winery, one of the country's award-winning producers

Moldovan wine doesn’t yet have the same recognition as wine being made by the country’s European neighbours, but vines have been grown in the former Soviet republic for thousands of years, back as far as 3,000BC.

In the early years of the 20th century, Moldova was one of Russia’s most important sources of wine, but the effects of war, as well as import bans imposed by Moscow, had a hugely detrimental effect. Now, the country’s wine industry is working hard to sell its wares around the world, with a new generation of winemakers focusing on quality not quantity.

As well as the classic international grape varieties, Moldova is rightly proud of its indigenous varieties such as red grapes Feteasca Neagra and Rara Neagra, and white variety Viorica.

The IWSC judges were full of praise for Tomai’s Negru De Tomai 2016 with its ‘intense fruit aromatics: vegetal, pepper, berry fruit, leather and black tea aromas on the nose’, while the sparkling Cricova Cuvee Prestige Brut NV wowed with its ‘fresh creamy milk notes in the billowing bubbles’.

wine fountain at millesti mici winery in Moldova
This bright and gaudy fountain is at Moldovan winery and tourist attraction Mileștii Mici, also home to the biggest wine collection in the world

Each bottle in the Moldovan wine category was separated into type, such as red, white or sparkling. They were also all judged blind by some of the finest palates in the business, including Master of Wine Sarah Abbott, sommelier and wine consultant Salvatore Castano, and buyer at Enotria&Coe Richard Lewis.

Some of the wines coming out of Moldova are first rate, and if you’ve yet to try them, you could be pleasantly surprised. Here are five top Moldovan wines to check out.


We run a tightly structured, rigorous wine tasting process. That means that each wine sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC wine judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the wine industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.


Only the best wines sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, wines have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.

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