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Next Stop, Moldova

By: Leif Pettersen

Moldywhatnow? Oh, you haven’t heard of Moldova? Not to worry. Being Europe’s least visited country (just 9000 international arrivals in 2011), Moldova is accustomed to blank stares whenever its name comes up.

Alas, scanning headlines for Moldova usually yields reports on poverty, dizzying political hijinks and its status as the unhappiest country on Earth. So, it’s not uncommon for eyebrows to shoot up when people hear that not only are Moldova’s sunshine, rainfall and forest soils ideal for wine grapes, but recent developments are rapidly fostering what could be the next hot wine-lovers’ destination in Europe.

With Moldova’s stalwart vineyards like Purcari, Cricova and Milestii Mici finally shaking off the shell shock of the post-USSR collapse of their distribution system, and the recent legalization of small-volume wine production, the region’s wine-making booster rockets are igniting.

Having exhaustively toured Moldova in the past for Lonely Planet guidebook research, after a 3-year break I was curious, even a little excited, to see what the country’s tourism sector had cooked up to invigorate its wine industry.

Read more at AOLTravel.

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