Milestii Mici comes across like an alcoholic delusion. In every direction of the fermented dream world is bottle after bottle of wine, lining the walls and stacked high above the floor in the dank limestone caverns.
Milestii Mici is home to the “Golden Collection,” Moldova’s pride and joy and the Guinness-certified world’s largest wine collection. Situated 20 kilometers from the capitol city of Chisinau, Milestii Mici is an underground wine storage facility plunging 40-85 meters below ground.
Although the tunnel nature of the collection adds to its mystique, in fact the wine is very specifically kept below ground. The Earth keeps the wine at a constant temperature between 12-14 degrees Celsius (53-57 degrees Fahrenheit) with high humidity year-round. This steady environment maintains the wine to perfection and produces some of the most expensive aged red wine in the world.
Created in the typical Moldovan winemaking process in a factory above ground, the collection has grown to over two million bottles of wine, stretching over 120 kilometers. The collection is so large that employees often bicycle to the deepest recesses of the collection. Although the collection is massive at present, Milestii Mici has room to expand. Only half of the total length of the tunnels is presently being used.
Tours of the wine tunnels are available every day and wine tastings and appetizers in one of the traditionally decorated Moldovan tasting rooms are available in many of the various tour packages.
Know Before You Go
Located a half-hour ride from Chisinau.
- Milestii Mici: http://www.marisha.net/milestii.htm
- Travel Chisinau: Golden Collection: http://www.travel-chisinau.com/Golden_Collection_Milesti_Mici_Wine_Tour#cancellation_policy
- Wikipedia: Milestii Mici: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mile%C5%9Ftii_Mici