I am a wine journalist. Starting from 2000 I published individual articles on subject of wine and winemaking in the government’s daily “Independent Moldova”. My page “The art of winemaking” has appeared weekly in the Logos-press’ “Economic review” since 2004.
The establishment of the contemporary Moldovan winemaking was taking place right before my eyes. I witnessed the construction of the first modern full-cycle winery, where brand-new stainless steel equipment shined at one of the best facilities of Eastern Europe of its time. It was AurVin in Vulcanesti.
I saw the rising tide of planting new vines, saw the winemaker enthusiasts dreaming to make Moldovan wine that would rival those from France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zeeland – the whole world. I heard the firsthand accounts of the “crazy” winemakers in search of the distinct style of the Moldovan wine and how they discarded literally tons of product, that didn’t live up to the dream. How they tried to announce themselves for the first time to the world markets, with their voice weak and uncertain back then. I was so happy for them, when the first medals were awarded to the Moldovan wines at the Europe’s prestigious tasting competitions.
I shared their pain and worries, when Russia struck with its first import embargo in 2006, when bottles full of good wine were being crushed by bulldozers in the landfills. When they tried to estimate the losses of the whole industry, I was the first one who voiced this terrible number – $180 million. As a journalist I alone was writing about the problems of vine-growing and winemaking during the crisis caused by the embargo.
Thanks to the support of Sergei Mishin, the co-founder of Logo-press, the editor-in-chief of its “Economic Review” and a great connoisseur of Moldovan wine, I had the pleasure and the luxury of being the only independent journalist in the business. I was able to write the way it is, not the way the paying customer wanted me to write.
I remember the first steps the country took for preservation of the quality and brand recognition of the domestically produced quality wines. As a result national brands of the 2015 vintage with the protected geographical indicator have entered the market for the first time. I find it symbolic that in that year at the spring “Wine Vernissage” I was honored with the title of “Cavalier of the Wine Vernissage”. Winemaking became the part of me. It’s not what I do anymore, it really is my life…
Knowing this about me, lots of people were asking: “Why don’t you start your own wine blog?” The proverbial last straw was when Diana Lazar, the vice-President of the USAID’s “Competitiveness Project” asked me the same question, and then, on behalf of the organization, offered to support my efforts and to help with the technical side. With deep gratitude I accepted. Thus the “Wine-and-Spirits.md” blog became a reality.
I chose to start this project because it is wrong when people living here are not aware what remarkable wines are made from the grapes born of their land, because it is wrong when people in the winemaking country consume more beer and vodka than wine. I chose to start this project because I believe that Moldova can make great wines, the wines to be proud of, and if I can do anything to change that, I will at least try.