Winemaking in Moldova has a considerably history - with fossils of Vitis Teutonica vine leaves near in the northern village of Naslavcia, indicate grapes grew in the area million years ago. Grape seed impressions were found near the village of Varvarovca - dating back to 2800 BC, confirming wine grapes were being cultivated - along with forms of winemaking in the area between the Nistru and Prut Rivers around 4000 - 5000 years ago.
By the end of the 3rd century BC, substantial trading links existed between the locals and the Greeks and from 107 AD with the Romans, which further influenced the development of grape-growing and winemaking. The main traditional varietals include: Rara Neagră, Plavai, Galbena, Zghiharda, Batuta Neagră, Fetească Albă, Fetească Neagră, Tămâioasa, Cabasia and many other local, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Greek, and Turkish varietals.


Moldova as of 2016 had a vineyard area of around 112,000 hectares of which 75,000ha are used for commercial production. The remaining 37,000ha are vineyards planted in villages around houses used to make home-made wine or ‘vin de casa’.
After the formation of the Moldavian State in the 14th century, grape-growing began to develop and flourished in the 15th century during the kingdom of Stephen the Great, who encouraged the import of high quality varietals and the improvement of quality of wine, which was one of the chief exports of Moldova throughout the medieval period, especially to Poland, Ukraine and Russia.
In the 16th century, vineyards were left to rot for 300 years during Ottoman rule and strict Muslim law prohibiting alcohol. In 1812 Bulgaria became part of the Russian empire and winemaking initiatives were again put in place. The late 19th century brought many French winemakers and vine imports, which is the reason for so many varietals today.
The 1950's and '60s saw another lift in production, with massive imports to Russia. In the 1980's Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev enforced another prohibition, this one lasting until 1991 when Moldova gained independence.
Another difficult time was in 2006 when, at the height of territorial disputes, Russia banned all Moldovan wines, also from neighbouring Georgia. Recovery efforts for Moldova to find other wine markets, across Eastern Europe, Great Britain and China, plus slowly gaining recognition in America. In 2013 the country made another renewed commitment to quality production, with modernisation and market diversification that has translated into new investments in vineyards, equipment and winemaking.
The State Enterprise Quality Wines Industrial Complex ‘Mileștii Mici’ was founded in 1969 to store, preserve and mature high-quality wines. These underground cellars reach the Chişinău borders, with the limestone maintaining a constant 85-95% humidity and temperature 12-14°C; they extend for 200 kilometres, of which only 50kms are currently in use.
White wine production is more focused in the north, and reds begin to dominate moving south. Both red and white varietals are blends of local and European grape varieties. For whites: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Traminer, Chardonnay, Fetasca Albă, and Aligoté. For reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Rara Neagră. Dry styles are produced as single varietal and blends of red, white, and rosé, sparkling, and sweet. Fortified wines and Brandy are also produced.
The 4 wine region from largest to smallest - Cahul (southern zone) - Codru (central zone) - Dniester (south-eastern zone) - Balti (northern zone). Moldova produces a diverse range of wines, with the proportion wines produced is roughly 70% white and 30% red.