Moldovan cognac-like any other grape alcohol of non-French origin officially belongs to the category of brandy. In order not to violate international law, the term “cognac “can not be applied to such drinks, it is better to use the local name – “Divin”. In the case of Moldova, brandy is not the main product, but a co-product of winemaking. At the beginning of the XX century, the country had extensive vineyards and actively supplied red and white wine to the Russian market, at the same time in the distilleries of Chisinau and calarash began to produce strong alcohol.
After the revolution, production did not stop, especially since in 1978 the Ministry of food industry issued a decree ordering all Soviet republics to establish the production of local “cognacs”. Divin “White stork”became such an indicative product for Moldova.
Cognacs in Moldova are made according to French technology. After double distillation in copper cubes, grape spirits age in oak barrels for 3-50 years. Then they are blended, often added sugar (especially Soviet technology) and caramel to give the drink a noble amber color and soften the taste. The finished blend is kept in the barrel for at least another year, so that the alcohols “get married” – mixed into a balanced bouquet. Grapes from local vineyards are used as raw materials: Aligote, Riesling, Colombard, Uni Blanc, etc.
Types and classification of divines
Moldova uses the following brandy labeling:
- 3-5 stars-exposure time in years;
- DVM-exposure time from 6 years;
- DVS-exposure time from 8 years;
- DVV-exposure time from 10 years;
- DVFV-exposure time of 20 years.
To get a certain category, Divin must contain at least 75% of alcohols of the corresponding aging, the remaining 25% of the blend may belong to the previous paragraph (if it is a 10-year-old DVV cognac, 25% of alcohols may be DVS aged “only” 8 years, etc.).
Brands of Moldovan cognacs (names)
“White stork” is a business card of Moldova, a brand produced by all producers and not belonging to a particular winery. The right to the brand is challenged in the courts by several companies at once.
Doina is one of the best representatives of the KVINT line, the owner of many medals and awards. Exposure time is 9 years.
“Bouquet of Moldova — – an inexpensive Divin worth from 4 euros. The quality matches the price.
- KVINT is an abbreviation that stands for “Brandies, wines and beverages of Tiraspol”. The oldest winery in the region (opened since 1879), the company-the owner of the lion’s share of the market. It produces more than 20 varieties of brandy, a dozen types of wine, the same number of brands of vodka, three Calvados, one gin.
- Calarasi-Divin-production, founded in 1896, produces more than 25 varieties of cognac aged from 3 to 40 years.
- Vinimpex-located in the South of the country, has been operating since 1997, producing 5 brands of Divin.
- Vinaria Bardar-located in the village of the same name, specializes mainly in wines and Calvados, but also produces a good brandy: “Caesar” (5 years of aging), “Marshal” (7 years).
- Aroma-has been operating since 1898, although it received its current name only in 2000. It produces both ordinary and vintage cognacs aged up to 50 years.
Wine regions of Moldova
There are 4 main viticultural regions in Moldova:
- Codru (Central). More than 60% of the country’s vineyards are located here.
- Balti (Northern). It is the local vineyards that supply the main raw materials for brandy, and high-quality white wines are also produced here.
- Cahul (southern). The local climate contributes to the fact that there is a lot of sugar in the berries. Produces dessert wines.
- Pridnestrovian (in the South-East), which includes the purkar microzone. Marine climate, well suited for the cultivation of red varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet, etc.
How to drink
Divin is drunk like real cognac – in its pure form at room temperature from cognac snifter glasses. A drink is served before a meal, along with dessert or coffee. Brandy is either not eaten, or served with fruit, cheeses, and dark chocolate.