In the beginning was the Word… from the winemaking manual
Winemaking made its way into my life quite naturally. It is probably impossible to be an economic journalist in Moldova, who is employed by the government’s daily (The Independent Moldova) and not to refer to the wine industry. Indeed, in our country, viticulture and winemaking have always been considered to be a strategic industry, in which a huge number of people are involved.
I was lucky to become a chronicler of the modern history of Moldavian winemaking, which, in fact, began with renewal and revivalat the turn of the millennium. Since I am thorough in everything that I am dealing with, before going to the first full-cycle winery built from scratch, I had read a winemaking manual. This enabled me to continue communicating easily with winemakers and to quickly win their favour and respect.
The National Day of Moldavian Wine: 20 reviews for 20 years
It should be emphasized that in 2002, the National Wine Day had been established, which this year celebrated its 20th anniversary. I became the only journalist in Moldova who made reviews of all 20 celebrations. After the publication of one of such detailed reviews, Sergei Mishin, the owner and editor-in-chief of “The Economic Review by Logos-Press”, as well as a great admirer of Moldavian winemaking, invited me to host the Art of Winemaking page.
The difficult times
Thus, in 2004, I became a wine journalist, specializing in viticulture and winemaking. Unfortunately, other media outlets in Moldova could not (and still cannot) afford maintaining such employee, so until this day, I have been the only professional wine journalist in my country.
In addition, when in March 2006, the Russian embargo on the import of alcoholic beverages from Moldova had come like a thunderbolt from a clear sky, journalists ceased to be interested in this industry at all. It was quietly dying without its main sales market and under the burden of huge loans. Only one media outlet and one journalist (me) was writing about these problems and the necessity to start searching for solutions. At that time, the authorities turned their backs on the wine business, considering its owners obscenely rich. But in order to save this industry for the country, it was necessary to reach out to those who made decisions. We helped the wine producers with this. It should be pointed out that the biggest challenges are left behind, and winemaking in Moldova is reviving.
New round of development
Achieving a new level of high-quality wines demanded more attention to the latter. Consumers need to be educated about wines, and they need assistance in getting to understand them. All this required a different information outlet than a newspaper. Someone asked me, why I did not create a wine blog, and others simply requested me to do that. To cut a long story short, it was high time for creating such blog and, in 2016, with technical support of USAID, a specialized website wine-and-spirits.md was launched. Initially, I was cramped within the blog’s framework, which implied that my journalistic turn of mind would win the victory. The point is that I have been working with informational powers, and I am trying to present only verified facts to my readers. Initially, I planned to focus only on consumers, and to educate them. But I was surprised to find out that among the readers, there are a lot of people from the professional environment, to whom I should also offer something. The best assessment of my work is made when winemaking technologists state that they learn from me some things that were not told to them at the university.
The brightest trip
My job as a wine journalist involves traveling to wineries. I admire writing about them not only as tourist attractions that are alluring visitors (for example, “Vinuri de Comrat: the wine-yard, where one is eager to return”), recommending them to people, I am also writing about how they are equipped, how they are operating, and what kind of quality production potential they are possessing. For example, “Ion Luca: I want to produce wines, applying sustainable methods”, “Andrei Novac has been creating the first wine hub in Moldova” (after the release of this article, the person who had been featured in it, received calls even from Ukraine and Georgia, because the specialists from those countries got interested in the theme), “Crama Mircești that was built by Arkadiy Foshnya”, “A Visit to Vinaria Purcari”, etc.
In other countries
I am also interested in wineries in other countries. I enjoy setting off on a journey once I have made an alluring wine route, so that other wine lovers can follow me along it. After my tour of the wineries in Georgia, I wrote “The Georgian Diary”, having collected in it the nine reports featuring the real jewels of the country’s winemaking. It should be emphasized that for the purpose of achieving a better understanding of the country’s winemaking, I also wrote an article based on a scientific research into the most ancient grape wine (“The Most Ancient Wine”). All materials can be found in the subcolumn “The Georgian Winemaking”. Some people told me that they relied on my recommendations, and they were helpful to them during their journey.
I also plan to write such diaries, based on my visits to other wine regions.