The history of the “Cricova” Associated Wine Factory begins in 1952. There was a shortage of facilities for the storage and ageing of wines at that time in the Republic of Moldova. Following long searches, two outstanding personalities of Moldovan winemaking, Petru Ungureanu and Nicolae Sobolev, suggested to use the galleries resulting from building stone extraction as warehouses for the storage of wine. Before long it turned out that the wines produced at the Cricova Associated Wine Factory and aged in the underground silence possessed exceptional qualities.
“Cricova”, rightfully referred to as the ‘Pearl of Moldovan Winemaking’, is a unique underground complex that got renowned throughout the world for both its huge labyrinths and its excellent wines.
“Cricova” is the first Moldovan company that manufactures sparkling wine by the method of the famous monk Dom Pierre Perignon – “Méthode Traditionelle”, i.e. secondary fermentation in the glass and subsequent cuvée ageing. The company’s range of products is outstanding in terms of both quality and diversity. Today, one can state with certainty that one of the most remarkable products offered by the Cricova Associated Wine Factory is the classic sparkling wine – a noble and extravagant sparkling wine.
Furthermore, “Cricova” manufactures sparkling wines obtained by secondary fermentation in stainless steel reservoirs, and the resulting sparkling wine possesses a full fruity taste and freshness. This method enables the preservation of all qualities of a re-fermented wine.
The “Cricova” Associated Wine Factory has asserted itself due to its continuous innovation trend. The company applies the world’s most sophisticated technologies in winemaking, possesses the art of manufacturing diverse wines and meets the finest tastes and requirements of the market. “Cricova” is the most valuable brand in Moldova, renowned far beyond its borders. It is the first and only company awarded the highest state distinction, the Order of the Republic. By virtue of the Law of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, the “Cricova” Associated Wine Factory has been declared the National Cultural Heritage.
“Cricova” is located in a unique place in the central region of the Republic of Moldova. The picturesque vineyards spread in the vicinity of the country’s most imposing natural and historical attractions – the natural forest reserve “Codrii” and the archaeological complex of Old Orhei. The Republic of Moldova is known to have a favorable climate with mild winters, plenty of sunny days, and the most fertile chernozem soil. Thus, Cricova winemakers are some of the luckiest ones.
At present, the company’s vineyards are the largest in the country and spread over an area of over 600 hectares. The Cricova and Criuleni agricultural farms are located in the center of the country, whereas the Găvănoasa and Luceşti farms are in the south.
The geographic diversity of the vineyards belonging to the associated factory is yet another important benefit, namely the opportunity of cultivating various varieties of vines, depending on the climatic peculiarities and the soil of the location. As a result, the company cultivates such vine varieties as Muscat, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Sauvignon and Merlot in the district of Cahul, whereas varieties such as Pinot, Sauvignon, Rkaţiteli and Aligote are grown in the country’s central region.
The associated factory has long been standing out due to its advantages of complete production cycle and own raw materials. The control at every stage of the production process, from the planting of cuttings to the delivery of the finished products, has enabled Cricova to ensure superior quality, authenticity and originality of the formula of the wines produced here.
The associated factory has benefited since its very establishment from excellent premises for the production of wines of the highest quality, due to the natural conditions and the unique wine storage facilities. Nevertheless, the company has been investing in high-performance production equipment and machinery throughout all those years.
Cricova wines begin their lives in the picturesque vineyards in the center and the south of Moldova. And although the Associated Wine Factory’s vineyards are the largest ones in the country, grapes are hand-picked in special limited weight containers, enabling thus their preservation under excellent conditions.
The originality of Cricova wines is explained by the conditions of storage in the underground cellars, where the so-called wine-making stage takes place. One has created the ideal conditions for the success of this process in the Cricova cellars, inasmuch as the average temperature is +10 … + 12°C and the relative humidity of the air is 97-98% all year round. The latter indicator is of particular importance: the higher the relative humidity level, the lower the risk of wine loss.
It should be pointed out that, unlike many winemaking companies, including ones with world renown, Cricova wine storage facilities lack artificial air conditioning or ventilation systems. A unique microclimate has been created here by nature herself, just perfect for the production and maturation of high quality wines.
The testing laboratory of the Associated Wine Factory “Cricova” JSC was founded in 1952; it is accredited by the International Organization for Standardization and operates in compliance with the global standards SR EN ISO/CEI 17025-2006. The technical competence and impartiality of the testing laboratory have also been acknowledged by means of accreditation in the national MOLDAC system.
The mission of the testing laboratory is to control all the technological processes taking place at Cricova. At the same time, in compliance with ISO 17025-2006, the goal of the testing laboratory is to ensure the quality of wine products and to continuously improve the test methods. In order to achieve those objectives, the laboratory staff strictly adheres to international standardization requirements.
The laboratory is equipped with modern equipment, and the team made up of professionals continuously contributes to raising the quality of Cricova products. In addition to ensuring the products’ quality, the staff participates in the development and implementation of new products aimed at satisfying the preferences of every market apart.