AN OENOPHILE’S CAVE

World Travel Magazine - - Just In - World’s big­gest wine cel­lar best dis­cov­ered on wheels

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

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