Tuesday, 29 March 2016

No we are not whining.

Mar 29, 2016. Another busy day of running around. We were taking thank you cards around to some city officials, helping with English classes and trying out our BillionGraves app- worked fine on the Ipad, not on my phone, we will need to trouble shoot. Of course the pun was intended. We also found marshmallows tonight, unheard of here. Trouble is , no Rice Krispies in Moldova. As with many things, there will be an alternate choice. Oh for a can of soup- none here. So the pictures which follow are from the largest winery in Moldova, about 20 minutes out of Chișinău. We visited here on Monday morning. It has 200 km of tunnels which were carved out for the limestone blocks which are a major building material here. Why Mormons in a winery? Good question, as as soon as we think of a good reason, it will be recorded. It was very interesting and there was no tasting. This winery, Mileștii Mici, is state run and just enormous. It has 200 employees and the tour was a driving tour with stops. Hard to be here and not see some sights after all.
At the entrance of the winery, an interesting decoration. Very unique and appropriate.

Deb near one of the huge barrels. Red wine is in the oak barrels, white wine in the stainless steel drums. 

The tunnel which can be driven in. These were cut out with huge stone cutters and the blocks are used throughout Moldova for building. I guess Chișinău is called the White city because of the limestone blocks. As you can see, the tunnels are quite groovey.

The huge line of oak barrels, some empty and some full. They use 55 km of an available 200 km. of tunnels.

This is the actual wine cellar, temp about 10 C, and abut 70 m underground. At present , there were 1.5 million bottles of wine here of various ages.

Guide is to Debs left. A lot of these bottles were covered with mold, apparently that is good to preserve them. There are a number of private collections, we were even shown spaces we could rent. I do have that grape juice downstairs.

Hard to see, but a map of all the tunnels, like a maze.

Stefan cel Mare și Sfânt, the hero of Moldova. In the 1400s, he protected this land from the Ottoman empire. Every town and village has a Stefan cel Mare street and many have a statue. It means Stephen, the great and holy. Reminds us  of a good friend.

I finally found a friend, note the resemblance.

The sisters in a group. Note the neat rock wall and especially the top. 
It was interesting to see and visit. We now see where all the grapes go from the thousands of vineyards in this country. By the way, all the piațas have people selling home made wine, mostly in pop bottles- old ones. It just looks like nice grape juice. Oh for some of our nice grape juice. No  it was never fermented.

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