Visiting the World’s Largest Winery
Visiting The World’s Largest Winery
Milestii Mici in Moldova is the World’s Largest Winery. This blog post contains everything you need to know to plan a visit. Moreover, this is a definite bucket list experience, and one of the best things to do in Moldova!
Please Note: This Page may contain Affiliate Links to tours, accommodation, products and transport. I may receive a small commission if you use the link, but this will cost you no extra.
About the World’s Largest Winery
Milestii Mici has the world’s largest underground wine cellar, which stretches for 250km. In 2005, the winery was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records, for having the largest collection of wine in the world (over 2 million bottles), known as the “Gold Collection”. The photo below shows a map of the underground wine cellars. Previously, the underground cellars were a limestone mine. However, they were converted into wine cellars in the 1960s. The cellars are 40-85ft below ground.
The Republic of Moldova has coined the title of ‘country with open doors in the paradise of wine’. This is because wine production is the basic job of Moldavians. The Moldavian winemaking process dates back thousands of years and is rich in tradition. Rumour has it that Queen Elizabeth II is a regular customer of Milestii Mici wines, apparently ordering 1000 bottles of red per year. Milestii Mici was the biggest producer of wine in the Soviet Union. One in every two bottles of wine consumed in the Soviet Union was produced in Moldova. The grapes used in the wine production are from the local villages.
Firstly, to visit the winery you should stay in Chisinau, Moldova. Chisinau has an airport and can also easily be reached from Romania and Ukraine. For more information on visiting Chisinau, check out the blog post below.
Secondly, you can visit the winery; on a day tour, via taxi or by booking transport through the winery. Milestii Mici is 18km away from Chisinau. To clarify, you need transport to take you through the tunnels on the tour, therefore a taxi can take you on the tour. Also, a tour guide will join you to provide you with the tour information. You’ll need an extra seat in your taxi for the tour guide. Tours have to be booked in advance, which you can do on their website. Find the link to the website below.
Best Moldova Tour
I went on a full day tour with Best Moldova which visited the winery in the morning and Transnistria in the afternoon. I highly recommend this tour, as I got to see and do everything that I wanted to in both these places. Moreover, to find out more information on the tour I took click on the button below. Also, to discover more about visiting Transnistria, check out the blog post linked below as well.
Touring the World’s Largest Winery
Our tour met at the Best Moldova office in Chisinau, we then drove to the winery. We then arrived at the winery and had some time outside the winery to admire the beautiful water fountains. Later, we then began the tour. A tour guide from the winery joined our group on the bus to take us around. The guided tour lasts for around 1 hour.
Firstly, we drove around the wine cellars. Only around 35 miles of the cellars are actually in use. However, the rows of wine cellars have ‘street’ names to avoid visitors becoming lost in the underground cellars. The streets are named after varieties of grape such as; pinot, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. The cellars are maintained at a temperature of 12-14℃ and a humidity of 85-95%. This allows the conservation of the natural bouquet of wines. 70% of the wine produced and stocked at Milestii Mici is red wine, 20% is white and 10% dessert wine. Milestii Mici produces 1 million bottles per year.
Later, we got off the bus to walk around some of the ‘Gold Collection’. Admiring the wine collection and seeing the room where the official tastings take place. We also saw the wine banks, which are similar to safety deposit boxes in banks, but have wine within them instead. These can be hired for €150 per year, and have to have at least 50 bottles of wine stored within them. The oldest wine stored here is from 1969, most of the wines are from the years of 1986-1991.
Finally, you can book a wine tasting to round off your tour of the winery. Appetisers are served alongside the wine tasting, which takes place in a traditionally decorated tasting room. Previous wine tastings I have done have let you try just a drop of wine. However, this is not the case in Moldova. At this wine tasting our group was given 3 litre jugs of wine! We were able to taste dessert wine, red wine and white wine. They provide a bowl in the middle of the table for you to spit the wine into if that’s how you wish carry out the tasting. I drank the wine though!
There were two musicians playing during our tasting, one playing the accordion and one playing the violin. They came over and asked each of us on the tour which country we were from, and then played a tune from each of the countries.
A Final Note
Above all, this was an incredible experience unlike any other winery tour I have done before. Also, Moldova has a National Wine Day in October each year, with celebrations. Therefore, this would be the best time to visit and try the wines. Moreover, it is such a unique place, with amazing wine and definitely deserves a visit! I hope this post helps you plan your trip to Milestii Mici.
- A Guide to Visiting Popeye Village
- Top 10 Things to Do in Edinburgh
- 10 Reasons To Visit Moldova
- A Guide to 72 Hours in Malta
- Volunteering with Animals in Moldova
Albania Animals Belfast Belgium Bender Bosnia and Herzegovina Bucket List Experience Bulgaria Canada Chisinau Croatia Day Trip Denmark Eastern Europe Edinburgh Europe filming locations Finland France Game of Thrones Greece Hungary Malta Moldova Monaco Montenegro North America northern ireland Poland Portugal Romania Scotland Slovenia Solo Travel Spain Sweden Tiraspol Transnistria Travel United Kingdom USA Volunteering