Cricova's underground wine kingdom, 15km north of Chişinău, is one of Europe's biggest cellars. Some 60km of the 120km-long underground limestone tunnels – dating from the 15th century – are lined wall-to-wall with bottles.
Email well in advance to book a tour package. Options include the basic 90-minute tour with tastings of four wines (490 lei); the 'professional' (650 lei with cheese and tastings of seven wines); and the 'traditional' (1500 lei with tastings of eight wines and a big lunch).
The most interesting part of the tour is the wineglass-shaped cellar of collectable bottles, including some 19 bottles that once belonged to Nazi party leader Hermann Göring, a 1902 bottle of Becherovka from the Czech Republic, a 1902 bottle of Evreiesc de Paşti from Jerusalem, and pre-WWII French red wines.
Cricova wines and sparkling wines enjoy a high national and international reputation. Legend has it that in 1966 Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin entered the cellars, re-emerging (with assistance) two days later. Russian president Vladimir Putin even celebrated his 50th birthday here.
Getting to Cricova requires private transport, or you can arrange for staff to pick you up in Chişinău. Tours cost an extra 90 lei per person after 3pm and on weekends.