Wines from Ciumay
In the southern viticulture-winemaking region (in Taraclia region) is situated one of the most famous centers – Ciumay. Officially it includes three micro zones for wine production named by the place of origin – directly Ciumai, and also Borcheag and Taraclia. However, scientists of National Institute of Vineyards and Winehave drawn their attention to Cialik and Korten, situated, as well, in this region. For the greater glory of wines produced out of grapes grown in this region, first of all, had its influence natural conditions.
Manager of the ecology and vineyard-distribution laboratory of NIVandW, PHD Mihail Kiseli, describes them as follows: “Territory of the center is represented by the gently sloping hills with soft outlines, basically western and south-western exposures. Relief general characteristic is ranginess, with prevailing absolute altitudes of 120-180 m above the sea level. It is unadvisable to place vineyards on the areas where this parameter is less than 70 m and more than 300 m.
Small rivers Big and Small Salcia and Yalpug Lake have a significant influence on microclimate of the region. Climate conditions are characterized by the following criteria: sum of active temperatures makes up 3300-3400 degrees centigrade/Celsius (in Moldova, above temperatures are registered only in Trifeshti – 3400-3500 degrees). For production of 1% of sugar, vine bush requires 140-150 degrees of active temperatures. It is not difficult to count sugar content of the grapes from that territory. Daily average temperature of the warmest month (July) is plus 27 degrees; minimal temperature during winter period is minus 20,5-22,5 degrees. Since Moldovan viticulture is situated on the northern border of world till of given crop, exact estimation of temperature parameters, especially in cold period of the year, had one of the key places in our researches. Vegetation period is about 185-190 days; during this time around 220-250 mm of precipitations are dropping out. In the top-soil prevail ordinary, leached and carbonate chernozems, on loess-like loamy soils.
Total area occupied by the vineyards makes up slightly more than 5 thousand hectares.
However, for wines named by the place of origin, at present, are suitable only 190 hectares of plantations. By 2010, it is intended to plant additional 150 hectares. According to specialists, exclusively favorable soil and climatic conditions of the Ciumay center area, advantage production of high quality sweet, vintage and table wines of different sorts.
The most well-known local wines are “Cabernet of Ciumay” and “Cahor of Ciumay”.
As early as soviet time, in winemaking textbooks it was written about them. In particular, vintage wine “Cabernet” is produced by the following technological scheme: fermentation on pulp in vats or tanks with floating or sunk hats at temperature not above 28 degrees. For enrichment of must with deficient quantity of tanning agents, it is recommended to add to the pulp well ripened vines, about 1-3% of its volume. For blend wines it is allowed to use must, received after thermal treatment of the pulp. General period of aging is three years. Technology used for “Cagor of Ciumay” slightly, differs from traditional one: honored winemaker and inventor, Feodosii Kucherenko suggested to strengthening must on pulp.
These wines are produced in Ciumay since 1950s’. They were provided with corresponding documents for wines named by the place of origin. As informed General Director of the factory, Mr.Gheorghii Komanich, it is necessary to carry out their certification again, but it is impossible in present conditions. Before “Ciumay” was state-farm – factory, which included vineyards as well. During the newest period of our history, vineyards were separated off and privatized. While for certification of the wines it is necessary to certify vineyards as well.
At present, given company does not own any fruiting plantations. They activate only for two years. Those that have been used before are already old, and farmers do not care about them appropriately. Above mentioned wines require high-quality raw material. Even, during best times, mass vintages were not used for their production, only selective one. As a result, at that time, production volumes were bigger. Today, only 2 thousand deciliters of each brand are produced. However, company is not loosing confidence: in few years there will be new raw material, and it will be possible to engage, more seriously, in production of wines named by the place of origin.
Recently, we wrote about Cahors wine “Borcheag”. At the factory, situated in Borcheag village and belonging to”Grape Valley” company, also, is produced “Red of Borcheag”, which consists of Merlot (30%), Cabernet (20%) and Pinot franc or Pinot noire (50%). But, validity period of the documents on “Red of Borcheag” expired last year. Nevertheless, program of wines named by the place of origin, here, will continue.
“Around 200 hectares of new vineyards belong to the company – as General Director, Mr.Valentin Hlibciuk, is revealing – During this season 6 hectares of Merlot enter into bearing. We plan to increase the total area of plantations till 500 hectare. At present we are negotiating with local population regarding sale or rent of their land plots. The main problem is to gather all this lots in huge tracts of land. Many landowners left abroad to earn for living, this is why there is no one whom we could discuss about. “Grape Valley” Company intends to create a cooperative society, which will cultivate vineyards according to all agricultural techniques.”
During last five years, on the plantations, transmitted to farmers into private property, there was not made any tillage of the vineyards row-spacing, which, consequently, affects the quality of raw material. Therefore, the company can rely only on its own forces, by creating a raw-material base from European sorts of grape and by strengthening industrial potential. Next year, additionally to one of the oldest Moldovan wine cellar (more than 100 years old) of 50 thousand decaliters, it is planned to build two more, with total storage capacity of 250-300 thousand decaliters. “We renewed the equipment from processing department. Also, we are replacing wine-making equipment in order to produce all sorts wine by infusion on pulp during 4-6 hours, aiming to extract from the grapes all aromatic substances, as we do in case of “Muscat”, – shares his plans, Mr.Halibchiuk.
Wine factory from Taraclia, also, tried its forces in production of wines named by the place of origin. Such brands as: “Tarakliyskoe” (blend of Cabernet-Sauvignon – 25% and Pinot-noir – 75%), “Aligote of Taraklia” and “Chardonnay of Taraklia”, started to be produced at the same time, in 1995. But, as happened to other companies, they had to face problems with their production, related to transfer of the vineyards to small private traders. According to representatives of the factory, laborious work on program of wines named by the place of origin, practically, needs to be started from the very beginning, from vineyards. The wine factory, already planted around 300 hectares of vineyards, part of which entered into fruiting. Around 1000 tones of grape from new plantations can be processed during current season. But winemakers, regretfully, mention that demand for wines named by the place of origin is not significant. This is why company has stocks of wines produced in 1995-1996. On the main market – in Russia – consumers have different tastes; in the Occident, Moldovan wines are, also, not of great demand. They have surplus of production themselves. While, sales price of such products cannot be low, because, besides, direct production expenses (including cold bottling), packaging and legalization, wines have to correspond to certain requirements. It means that the price cannot be lower than 1.5-2 USD per bottle. Also, technologists of many companies insist that wines named by the place of origin need to be, not simply of very high quality (ripened for not less than 6 months), but like those, which in Soviet times were called vintage wines (ripened for 2-3 years), in order to reveal their origin.
“Acorex Wine Holding” Company, also, started to produce wine, named by the place where have been grown first vineyards of the type. “Merlot”, “Cabernet”, “Chardonnay”, “Pinot Blanc”, “Pinot gris”, “Pinot noir” and “Sauvignon Blanc” were all integrated in one group “Korten”, specifically for export deliveries to Great Britain. But for the moment, they are not planning to produce any wine named by the place of origin.