Manuc Bei and the story of Hâncești
Manuc Bei was an Armenian merchant, who is said to be the richest man in the Balkans, who had properties in all the Romanian Country including a manor of all beauty in Hâncești, in the center of Moldova.
Its fulminating story and its ascension begin in 1803, having the role of a cupbearer at the court of the ruler of the Romanian Country, Constantin Ipsilanti (1802-1806). The position of cupbearer was of great honor and influence in the state, thus obtaining the title of Bei – prince of Moldova – as a reward for repairing the Danube fortresses and supplying the army with pails and wine.
Manuc moves to Bessarabia and chooses to build his mansion on the Hâncești estate, where the lands were suitable for grape-growing, and close to Lăpușna valley, from where the most famous wines of the time originated. Thus, on the estate’s lands following grape varieties started to be grown: Merlot, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Alligote, Chardonnay, Riesling, Saperavi, Feteasca alba.
Manuc Bei succeeded, including due to the wine produced in Moldova, to become a triple agent at that time: Turkey, Russia and the Habsburg Empire. Its enormous richnesses were hidden in the underground labyrinths and have not been discovered until today.
The Hâncești winegrowing area continues to flourish through its white wines, with beautiful vineyards sitting on regions’ hills hosting a lot of wineries.