Moldova is a tiny country between Romania and Ukraine. Though it was geographically the smallest state of the former Soviet Union, it had the second largest area under vine only after Ukraine, its large northeastern neighbor, and was Russia’s largest source of wine through much of the 20th century. Petrified grape seeds and amphorae dating to 2,800 BC have been discovered in Moldova, proving it to be one of the world’s oldest producers of wine. White wine comprises a little over two thirds of production; imported European varieties are most prevalent for both white and red wine.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used in white wine blends, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied white wine blend, like Chardonnay, would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.