Cricova ( Cyrillic Крикова , Russian Krikowo / Криково ) is a small town in the Republic of Moldova about 15 km north of Chișinău . The city has a population of 14,500 (as of January 1, 2006) and belongs to the municipality of Chișinău .
Cricova wine collection
Cricova is known for its underground tunnel system with one of the largest wine collections in the world. Often referred to as an underground city due to its size and importance, it is a tourist attraction comparable to the champagne cellars of Champagne . In the underground labyrinth with a 120 km long tunnel system, only half of the tunnels are used for wine storage. There are tasting rooms in one part . The underground streets are named after the wines that are stored in them: Cabernet Sauvignon , Merlot , Chardonnay . In earlier years, in some places even today, limestone was mined here .
Today around 1.25 million bottles of wine mature at a depth of up to 100 m and an area of around 53 hectares . The Cricova winery houses one of the most extensive wine collections in Moldova . Since the end of the Second World War, part of Herrmann Göring's wine cellar has been stored here, the rest is in the Crimea . Here is the only surviving specimen of Mogit David's Easter wine from 1902. The storage of bottled wines goes back to a decision by the winery administration on August 18, 1954. In 1967, the Cricova Winery Collection became the Official Collection of the Republic. At that time it comprised 465 types of brandy , liqueur wines and wine.
Selected Cricova wines were delivered to the Czech Republic , Slovenia and Hungary in 1958 . At the international wine fairs of Ljubljana and Budapest , the Cricova vintage and varietal wines Fetească Alba and Aligoté won silver medals.
The production of sparkling wine , analogous to the Méthode champenoise, is characteristic of the winery . Cricova is the only Moldovan winery and one of four wineries in the Commonwealth of Independent States that has been practicing this process since 1956.