The tiny nation of Moldova, sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, is one of the least-visited countries in the world, but people are finally starting to give it the credit it is due. The capital, Chișinău, is not a traditionally pretty European city but its communist relics, friendly people, and wonderful restaurants and bars more than compensate.
East of the capital is the breakaway republic of Transnistria, an idiosyncratic region that has retained a strong Soviet character and whose people hark back to the days of the USSR. Moldova is home to two of world’s largest wine cellars. The Cricova winery, the world’s second largest, is located in a town of the same name, and offers a fascinating insight into the country’s long and impressive viticulture. Today these are considered some of the world’s finest boutique wines, most notable of which are their ‘ice wines’, a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine.
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