Located no more than 15 kilometers from Chisinau, the Cricova winery is a must see attraction for anybody visiting the country of Moldova.
As you descend into the catacombs which are housing 120 kms of labyrinthine roadways, you will come to discover a magnificent underground “wine city”, with one of its main attractions being the private collection area. Here, heads of state (including the villain of the hour, Vladimir Putin, who also celebrated his 50th birthday in the Cricova cellar) and celebrities around the world are storing wines from their personal collections, which they can request be sent to them at any point in time.
However, the plat de résistance of the Cricova winery will never see its owner again, and, in fact, none of its bottles will ever be opened, according to the Cricova administration. It is the collection belonging to Hermann Goering.
Originally containing roughly 3000 wines, most of Hermann Goering’s collection was consumed by Soviet soldiers, after it was stolen by the Red Army in Berlin and transported to Moscow as a prize of war. The remains of the collection were then split among Georgia and Moldova, the most notable producers of wine in the former Soviet Union, with approximately 130 bottles finding their home in the Cricova catacombs.
The most notable of these bottles include a wine produced in 1902 for Easter in Jerusalem, the oldest and most remarkable one in the entire Cricova wine cellar, which can be admired in the photograph above, and a German Mosel from 1935, pictured below.
Even the lower priced wines in the collection are said to be worth over 20.000 Euros at auction, and generous offers were supposedly made, but all were rejected by the Cricova administration. We can be glad that history is thus preserved in a place for everybody to visit and see!