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The tiny landlocked country of Moldova in Eastern Europe is one of Europe’s poorest. “The roads are a bone-shaking ordeal. Horses haul carts loaded with produce and people. Geese glare at outsiders,” wrote Stephen Sackur for BBC News. But there is one thing the country’s agriculture-driven economy is rich at, and that is grapes.

Moldova’s low hills, its sun-kissed plains, the flowing streams and two big rivers, and the moderate climate shaped by the Black Sea provides all the ideal conditions necessary to grow grapes. Wine is Moldova's best-known product appreciated throughout the east and the west. Once part of the Soviet Union, it is said that every second bottle of wine consumed in the former Union was made and bottled at a vineyard in Moldova.

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The underground wine cellars of Cricova winery. Photo credit: FrimuFilms / Shutterstock.com

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