Down in the south of Moldova in the city of Vulcănești you can find a treasure. Only 200km’s from Chisinau, near the Ukranian border, the KaraGani Winery has it’s place. A name rather new on the Moldovan wine map, but not one to be missed that’s for sure.
The tradition of winemaking in the Cerven family comes all the way from their găgăuzian ancestors, an ethnic group with turkic roots that settled in the area. As the craft for wine was passed down over 4 generations, the wife Lora and husband Gheorghe took their passion a few steps further, developing it into a business. Although they started producing their wine for the public only 2 years ago, they have already gained various recognitions and awards at local and international wine contests.
Each year their produce only 10.000 bottles for public consumption which can be purchased in a few shops across the capital, in Comrat and also directly from them at the winery. The production process can be seen during an excursion as they take you through the whole process and a visit in autumn guarantees you to watch and even participate in their production.
Besides winemaking, they also offer a peek into Găgăuzian traditional life in their own self made museum which consists of objects gathered throughout the years of their families. From pictures of their relatives, to old irons, lamps, Găgăuzian furniture, handmade carpets and a trunk full of grandmother’s wedding dowry will leave you impressed and gasping for more stories.
Winetasting at KaraGani is a must and the basic tasting package comes with 3 wines, including one white, one red and one rosé. While you’re enjoying the wines, Lora or Gheorghe will tell you various stories about each wine and their history. The price for the excursion which includes the wine tasting of 3 wines costs only 150 lei (~7 euros) and it lasts for 1 hour.
For those wishing to immerse themselves deeper into the Găgăuzian culture, Lora offers the option of tasting their national cuisine with delicacies like homemade cheese, gozleme and their famous lamb dishes – kaurma, shurpa, etc. Such experience lasts 3 hours and it costs 25 euros, including the excursion and the wine tasting of 4 wine types. Master classes are also available for those that wish to learn both their cooking and winemaking crafts. Such options need to be discussed and booked upfront at least 1 day before your arrival.
Visiting such a small winery will be something memorable as you get to experience the authentic Moldova – a local family producing wine in their own yard. And how does their wine have a Găgăuzian accent (as they state in their company slogan) will be something that you will have to discover by yourselves.
To book your visit, get in touch with them at least 1 day before your arrival through their KaraGani Winery page or at the number: +373 69124996