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Wine Festival in Moldova
For the second time the Wine Festival was held all over Moldova in mid-October under the auspices of President Vladimir Voronin. Since time immemorial the population of present-day Moldova celebrated the end of the grape harvest and the birth of the young wine with festival activities. In Moldova young wine is called “tulburel”. It contains plenty of vigor and joy. As usual in autumn the courtyards of village houses are transformed into miniature wineries. The freshly picked grapes are placed in the wine press and squeezed. The “ravac”, that is the first juice of unfermented wine to be squeezed out of the grapes, is poured into the waiting casks. All villagers have a cellar in or near their house in which a cask or two are kept for guests. As soon as the young wine had settled, the wine-maker invites his friends and neighbors to taste it. This is the time when one can fully appreciate the meaning of the traditional toast “Noroc”, which has a lot of meanings including hello, good luck, health, may your wishes come true, etc.
The annual festival is a tribute to all professional and non-professional wine-makers for their hard work and maintaining the old wine-making traditions of the republic. The main goal of the wine festival is to improve the image of the country on international arena, to reinforce the prestige of the national wine-making industry as well as to attract foreign tourists who could set upon some of the most exciting tourist trails to Moldovan villages, try Moldovan traditional cuisine and home-made wine, and bask in the hospitality of the local people.
The opening of the festival took place on the Central Square with a procession of wine-makers – leaders in the wine-making industry of Moldova. Big trucks and small horse-harnessed wheel carts escorted by various folklore ensembles in national costumes paraded through the downtown area and along the streets of Chisinau. Then the festival continued on the territory of the Moldexpo international exhibition center where wine-makers exhibited their best products and offered them for sale. Moldexpo hosted a number of popular folk bands and invited different Moldovan performers. The wine festival also played the role of a school of wine-tasting skills. Various Moldovan wine brands were available for tasting. A number of professional competitions among the participants of the festival were held. The best were awarded presidential honors. A big concert with the participation of Moldovan popular interpreters and a fireworks show on the Chisinau Central Square completed the festival.
Guests from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and other countries participated in the festival and had an opportunity to appreciate the high quality of Moldovan wines by attending the harvest of grapes, drinking young wine, and visiting wine cellars.
It is clear enough that the wine festival has an excellent reputation and it has already become a good tradition.
By Vlada Popushoi