AN OENOPHILE’S CAVE
The easy guess would be France, but no, the Milestii Mici winery in Moldova, Eastern Europe, holds the baton (and the Guinness World Record) for the world’s biggest wine cellar. In 1969, a colossal limestone mine was transformed into a mega wine cellar, extending a whopping 200 kilometres.
Currently, only 55 kilometres of this cellar is in use to store, preserve, and mature high-quality wines. Because of the abundance of limestone in the labyrinth-like underground cellar, an 85 to 95 percent constant humidity and a temperature of 12°C to 14°C are easily maintained throughout the year.
Milestii Mici houses almost 2 million bottles of wine, many stored here for decades now. 70 percent of the wines here are reds, 20 percent are white, and the rest are dessert wines.
The tunnels of the wine cellar are so extensive that a private guided tour is only allowed if you have a vehicle, with the height restricted at 2.7 metres. The tunnels here are named just like streets to ensure efficient navigation. A tour guide is also essential as some visitors in the past have become lost trying to navigate the labyrinthine passageways on their own. With all that driving, there is an optional wine tasting session at the end of the tour.
Interior of Milestii Mici