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“Very interesting tour of a unique wine cellar - the wine is also very good!”
Review of Cricova Winery

Cricova Winery
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3 Excursions in One Day Cricova Winery, Curchi...
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Cricova
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed April 4, 2013 via mobile

We visited Cricova as part of a day tour of several sights and it was very enjoyable. Taking a small train down in to the cellar it seems like an underground town with street signs and everything! The streets are lined with giant barrels and the tour includes an explanation of the sparkling wine making process.
You can see all the different private rooms there where people hold private receptions as well as the area where private collections are stored. There are some very old bottles, including the workd's oldest bottle of wine and Herman Goering's private collection which was confiscated from him.
finally the wine tasting itself is very generous with 1 white, 2 red and 1 sparkling. The measures are generous and there are plenty of re-fills.
A good bottle of wine is available in the shop for 4-5 euros.

3  Thank Steve_Amy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"sparkling wine"
in 26 reviews
"underground city"
in 9 reviews
"electric train"
in 6 reviews
"wine collection"
in 10 reviews
"tour guide"
in 11 reviews
"wine making"
in 5 reviews
"million bottles"
in 7 reviews
"impressive wine cellar"
in 3 reviews
"tasting room"
in 5 reviews
"per bottle"
in 3 reviews
"traditional food"
in 3 reviews
"great tour"
in 6 reviews
"small train"
in 3 reviews
"bring a jacket"
in 3 reviews
"dress warmly"
in 2 reviews
"electric cart"
in 2 reviews
"under ground"
in 2 reviews

168 - 172 of 334 reviews

Reviewed December 26, 2012

I was lucky enough to be invited on a tour so I can't say how much it cost or how easy it was to arrange, although we went on Boxing Day and only arranged it on Christmas Eve.

We drove in two cars (six of us) to the gates where a guide got in one car (not sure what she'd do if the cars were full!) and a bloke stood in front of the cars and wrote down the number plates. Again, I was baffled as to why; I suspect they had been told to do it fifty years ago and hadn't questioned it since.

My wife, an interpreter, had to translate for me and advised the guide as much. She, the guide, seemed to take it with a degree of ill-hidden annoyance: it would add a few minutes to the tour, which was clearly an inconvenience for her.

We drove into the complex and kept driving - all the 65km of tunnels are driveable. However after driving a few hundred metres we got out for some facts and figures, as we stood by some big but nondescript barrels, and after barely a kilometre we were ushered out again into a rather small laboratory/bottling plant. We walked past several hundred bottles of racked champagne and then back, after some more cursory facts, past the single champagne bottling machine. Very ineteresting, but I doubt it could handle a fraction of the 3.5 million decalitres they say is down there (not all of which is champagne, of course, but still..)

Thence to a very nicely constructed tourist area (all this about 60-80 metres underground) which houses several thousand bottles of wine, including private collections. I'm sure I could have swiped one of the bottles ear-marked for Vladimir Putin despite the guide saying there were cameras (I didn't see any and she was in a hurry to get us finished so she was round the corner).

Again, not the entire output by any means and it's a shame that they didn't take us to the real works. Very nice in as far as it went but no sense of the true scale of things.

Then we saw four rooms all designed in different styles (traditional, underwater (!?), hunting lodge, board room) before going into a tasting room where there were 4 wines to taste.

She wasn't exactly garrulous as a guide, giving instead the impression that we were a nuisance. My questions - do you use plastic corks or screw tops, for example - were met with disdain and what appeared to be the party line answer.

In short it was fascinating but could have delivered a lot more both in terms of what they show - quality and quantity - and how they deliver it.

Why then is it four stars? Because I have nothing to compare it with and it was an experience worth doing (remembering I wasn't paying).

2  Thank Gordon_Bennett_NZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Was visiting Chisinau for business. Our host took us to Cricova for a private tour and tasting. It is truly a unique experience to drive down subterranean roads, complete with lights and street signs. The wine operation is impressive. Our guide was fluent in several languages, and a very knowledgable purveyor of the local and regional vino. The wine was not spectacular, but it was certainly sufficient to have with the meal.

We dined in one of the underground rooms. The backlit windows in the various themed rooms did a good job in masking the fact you were sitting some 80M below the surface.

Walking through the catacombs, seeing the stashes of wines of several notorious historical figures was great. The host arranged for a parting gift from the congenial stash - which was bottled in my birth year - meaning it is several decades old...

1  Thank Mathum M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2012

Great fun. You need a car, but you don't want to be driving. Our hotel in Chisinau organised a taxi for the day at a reasonable rate, including a morning trip to Orhei Vecchi and a 3pm tour here. The tour itself is quite interesting - driving through the underground wine vaults. When you get to the National Wine Collection, there are some collections, including oddities such as Goebbels' and Putin's personal wines and wines from the 'famous' cold war international wine exchange. The tasting is where it gets fun. We were shown to a tasting room which had a deep sea theme - like something from Disney World. Along with another small group, we were seated around the table and given seven wines to taste (full glasses). Luckily there were also platters of heavy food to soak it up. Once we had tasted, it was a free-for-all with the remaining contents of the bottles. There came a point where the previous calm reserve of the room full of strangers descended into drunken multi-lingual banter and singing. Hilarious fun. One guy was driving and making use of the spitoon. He tried in vain to continue discussing the relative merits of the finer whites we had sampled - take a taxi. The best bit was that all of this was less than USD 30!

The wines were good, especially the reds. The Shampagne is forgettable.

You need to book in advance. www.cricova.md (click on feedback > tours). They speak enough English on the phone to get by.

5  Thank craig_2159
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 2, 2012

My husband and I were in Chisinau for only one night and I saw this place advertised in a brochure in our hotel room and I thought it would be the perfect thing to do the next afternoon before our flight to Bucharest. The woman at reception called us a cab and sent us on our way, only to find out when we arrived that you need a reservation for a tour. The one woman working there was extremely rude to us and my husband just wanted to give up and leave but I didn't want to take no for an answer after we had come all that way (only a half hour cab ride, but still) so finally the other woman took pity on us and said that if we came back in an hour and a half, she would find an English speaking guide. You can't walk around by yourself (as I tried to suggest) because it is huge and you need to take the trolley cart around.

The restaurant on the property was closed so our cab driver took us to a restaurant close by where no English was spoken and the menu was only in Romanian, we ended up ordering food via cell phone with the waitress' English speaking brother. We proceeded to get tipsy on delicious, inexpensive local wine before heading back for our tour which ended up being led by the nice woman who took pity on us. They charged us extra and the tour was only a half hour with no tasting but the space is really cool and it was worth it. We got some really cool photos inside and it was neat to see all the wine collections stored for people around the world and the dining areas were nice too. Overall, it was a fun experience and we bought a few more bottles of delicious wine like we had at the restaurant.

Thank Tracy I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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