“Moldovan wine cellars are unique in the world”

Dr. Ernst Madlener discovered the Republic of Moldova 12 years ago. Meanwhile the Austrian is one of only 17 Moldovan Honorary Consuls worldwide. Furthermore the professor at the Management Centre Innsbruck is the Chairman of the Austrian-Moldovan Society. In an emotional interview the Honorary Consul took us to a fascinating world. Expect the unexpected – Part II

A country with such a diverse influence must have a special cuisine.

Moldova has a delicious cuisine! Even the Russian part of the population, which forms with the Ukraines 40% of the total population, has adopted the Molodvan cuisine. Raw fruits and vegetables are high quality products. Moldova can’t afford pesticides, which is definitely a pluspoint. Tomatoes taste like tomatoes, cucumbers taste like cucumbers. The Moldovan exchange students in Austria, who in fact really like it here, don’t like our vegetables very much. You can bet on it, fruits and vegetables are better in Moldova. The main advantage of the Moldovan cuisine is that they picked the best dishes, no matter if Russian, Bulgarian or Turkish. On of the curiosities is that for Moldovans elder is poisonous. Often I give sparkling wine made of elder to my Moldovan friends. In the first moment they are shocked. On the other side Moldovans produce rowanberry jam, which I have never tried though!

Delicious dishes go along with superb wine…

The Republic of Moldova is a wine country and the fourth largest wine producer in Moldova. Each Moldovan tries to press his own wine and offers the selfmade product in private wine tastings.

Which is the most impressive place in Moldova?

The wine cellars are a must-go! Every guest in the country should have seen them, because they are unique in the world. The most famous ones are Cricova and Milestii Mici. Cricova, a statal wine cellar, is a cultural and national heritage. It has about 80 km of walks, all of them underground and built in rocks. There are streets like the Cabernet or Sauvignon Street, even lorries can pass there. The degustation rooms are of such a splendour, with marble, with statues. We do not talk about 100 sqm but of thousands of square metres. I was also impressed by the hospitality in Moldova. One time Moldovans trust you – and that can be in no matter of time – they are very, very open and hospital.

Can you give us insights in the Austrian-Moldovan society?

We started with student exchanges, which, however, was like a one-way street. Hardly any Austrians could have been motivated to study in Moldova. Nowadays we are in charge of 30 students in Austria. They study at tourist colleges, at universities or at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. Ten Austrian sudents have done or are doing their work experience in Moldova. Four more students are preparing right now for their stay at the economy university in Chisinau. We also supervise Austrian entrepreneurs in Moldova. Good contacts are very importnat and we have them. We do social work, too. Thus we organised a huge donation of medicine. Additionally we take care of Moldovan prisoners in Austria.

What are the aims of the Austrian-Moldovan Society?

My ambition is to invest in the education of young people. I even allocated scholarships privately. There were also repayable scholarships, but I have never been disappointed. I suppose it is better when we can win Austrian companies to invest in Moldova. A company with 30 to 40 employers can sustain the same number of families and this in the long term.

Is it possible to support your organisation?

Everyone is invited to get the membersip of the Austrian Moldovan Society. We are grateful for each help. Now we are planning an agricultural project in Moldova with the Viennese organisation “Confines”. The approach is, that we want to give Moldovans an incentive to stay in their country. We are at the beginning of this project and it is open for everyone. In fact, we need people who can go to Moldova for a the time of the projects.