Transnistria (also known as Trans-Dniestr, Transdniestria, Pridnestrovie, and Pridnestrovskaia Moldavskaia Respublica) is a breakaway territory located mostly on a strip of land between the Dniester River and the eastern Moldovan border to Ukraine. Population is approximately 550,000 people. Since its declaration of independence in 1990, and especially after the War of Transnistria in 1992, Transnistria has been governed de facto as the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR), an unrecognized state which claims the territory to the east of the river Dniester, the city of Bender and its surrounding localities located on the west bank. The modern Republic of Moldova does not recognize the secession and considers territories controlled by the PMR to be part of Moldova’s autonomous region of Stînga Nistrului (“Left Bank of the Dniester”). Transnistria’s sovereignty is unrecognized by any United Nations member state and it has no diplomatic relations with them. However, Transnistria is recognized by three other entities of similar disputed status: Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Russia has diplomatic representation in Transnistria, but without diplomatic relations and recognition.

Despite the lack of international recognition, the reality is that Transnistria operates as a viable, independent, industrialized country. Transnistria has its own currency, phone system, customs, police force, military, and a clearly civic society with a low crime rate.

The KVINT Cabernet I have from Transnistria lists alcohol content at 9-13%. Labeling is entirely in Russian. I have not tasted the Cabernet, but did taste, in Tiraspol, the Capital, the KVINT Merlot (?????). The wine was a beautifully produced dry red, thoroughly enjoyable.

Viticulture and winemaking have existed on the banks of the river Dniestr since before Christ. After formation of the Moldavian Principality in 1359, high quality European varieties of grapes appeared in landlords’ and monastery estates. And Moldavia began to export its wine to Ukraine and Russia. The Tiraspol Wine & Cognac Distillery “KVINT” has its own vineyards. In the Dubossary region alone the area under vine exceeds 400 hectares (2011). Grape varieties include Cabernet, Merlot, Sauvignon, and Aligote (a white variety). Although an accomplished winemaker, KVINT is best known for its brandies, reputed to be some of the best in Europe. KVINT offers tours of its brandy and winemaking facilities daily.


Transnistrian KVINT Cabernet

Robert would appreciate any information on wine production in countries and autonomous regions not listed. You may contact Robert here.