Since ancient times, the cultivation of the vine was the main occupation of many nations. This activity is not limited to the processing of grapes for food purposes, it has led to the development of a real culture in this area. Nowadays, the countries that have preserved their traditions manage to attract a large number of tourists who want to try delicious and unique wines and find out where they are produced. Modern tourists often look for opportunities to leave their crowded and polluted cities and spend time in more secluded, quiet and wild places. And this is exactly what countries with developed wine tourism offer.
Wine tourism is a form of tourism aimed at visiting wine producers and wineries from different regions of the world in order to combine the pleasure of tasting with the discovery of the local way of life, the environment and cultural events in the region. The tourist environment, represented by winemaking economic agents who have tasting rooms and the possibility of organizing excursions, can be an impetus for the overall development of tourism.
Currently, the major winemaking countries understand that in addition to receiving profit from their core business, they can also attract important financial resources by building tasting rooms and opening their wine cellars for visitors. Another important factor for the development of tourism can be the building of accommodation facilities near wineries, as well as the organization and promotion of special trips and programs.
In fact, wine tourism refers not only to wine, but also to the art of its creation, the vineyard, the grapes, the methodology used in the production process. Every vineyard, every wine cellar and every bottle of wine has its own story. A story that we can learn by visiting, tasting and feeling. Here the tourist discovers the path of wine from the vine to the bottle.
Wine tourism in Moldova
In recent years, there has been a significant development of wine tourism in the Republic of Moldova, promoted by investment in winemaking and consumer demand for such personalized and specialized trips.
The centuries-old tradition of wine making is reflected in the history and culture of our country. In Moldova, one can find many tourist sites of great interest, including the wine sector, which represents our national pride and is considered a real brand of Moldova. The wine routes that start from the capital cover almost the entire territory of the republic and all the wineries of the country.
The Republic of Moldova has 112 thousand hectares of vineyards planted with more than 50 types of technical varieties. Wine-making in the country is divided into 3 historical wine regions: Valul lui Traian (southwest), Stefan Voda (southeast) and Codru (center), intended for the production of wines with protected geographical indication. The cultivation of grapes in the Republic of Moldova corresponds to world trends, there are growing both Western European and Caucasian varieties, as well as local ones. 70% are white varieties, and 30% are red. The authenticity and uniqueness of Moldovan wine is ensured by local varieties, which make up 10% of the acreage. These are: Feteasca Albă, Feteasca Regala, Feteasca Neagră, Rara Neagră, Plăvai, Viorica, etc.
The share of the wine sector accounts for 3.2% of the gross domestic product of the country, 7.5% of the total Moldovan exports, and more than 250 thousand citizens work in local 140 wineries. Moldova has the highest density of vineyards in the world, 3.8% of the country's territory and 7% of arable land.
Over the past few years, in Moldova, tourism began to develop at a tremendous pace. Only in 2017, the number of foreign tourists was 50% higher than in 2015. Agro-pensions have registered three times more visitors than two years ago, and the number of wineries that provide travel services has doubled.
In 2018, the 3rd World Conference on Wine Tourism was held in Moldova. Our country was chosen on the basis of a competition of tourist offers. Moldova has overtaken countries such as Spain or South Africa, which has a much more developed wine-making infrastructure.