Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest countries, may have been one of the geographically smallest states of the former Soviet Union but it had more vineyard than any other apart from ukraine and the table grape producer uzbekistan. According to industry reports, there were still 142,000 ha/350,090 acres of vineyard in 2011, including 112,000 ha planted with vinifera wine grapes. It has real potential for wine quality and range, thanks to its extensive vineyards, temperate continental climate, and gently undulating landscape sandwiched between eastern romania and ukraine. It declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 as the Republic of Moldova with the same boundaries as the previous Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. The eastern part of the country is the breakaway zone of Transnistria (not currently recognized by any UN member state), described by the Republic of Moldova as the ‘Transnistria autonomous territorial unit with special legal status’. Moldavian is the main official language, which is very similar to Romanian and spoken by around two-thirds of the population.