Camenca – the story of a noble region
The microzone Camenca is a noble wine terroir of Moldova, full of legends and thrilling stories. Located in the north of the country, this is a unique location: situated on the terraces of the Dniester river in the south and limited by high hills in the north, which protect it from the northern winds. Such positioning gives the Camenca zone an outstanding grape potential, particularly for white wines. It can be compared to the wine zones on the bank of the Rhein river.
Wine has been produced here for millennia. In 1703, the wife of Timus Hmelnitki, Ruxanda, settled on the estate in Rascov, where they used to make a well-known wine which was preferred by the noble families. In 1804, the domains in Camenca came into the possession of the Russian commander Piotr Wittgenstein, which was called by Lev Tolstoy ”St. Petersburg’s Hero” in his novel “War and Peace”.
After the victory in the war with Napoleon, Wittgenstein settled in this region which reminded them of the Moselle in Germany, the home country of his ancestors. Having discovered the wines of this area, the prince invited 26 German families to settle here. The Germans were quite knowledgeable about grape-growing and got impressed by the white Chasselas wine and, by implementing the best winemaking practices, they made it excellent.
Wittgenstein designed and planted vineyards oriented towards the Dniester, where he produced up to 400 tons of wine from noble varieties such as Riesling, Chasselas, Traminer, Alvarna, Pinot Noir, and others. The wine of Camenca became legendary in Poland and the province of Podolia, being considered as having healing powers.
Thus, prince Wittgenstein founded here the first sanatorium which applied treatments based on uvotherapy, by using grapes and wine. When patients left this place, they were healthy, joyful and happy.