Wine regions in Russia

Russia is definitely NOT the first country that comes to mind when one thinks about wine. However, there are several regions in Russia, where the climate matches those in the  French and Italian provinces, and wine-making is actually quite well-developed.

 

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Публикация от Fanagoria.62 (@fanagoria.62)

The most important wine making regions are in Crimea, Rostovskaya Oblast and Krasnodarsky Krai. Here one can find wines that may give the best French champagne and merlots a run for their money.

 

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Публикация от Дмитрий Флех (@dmitriy_flex)

Some history

Although the process of making alcoholic drinks from grapes was not unheard of in Russia, it was thanks to Peter the Great, who also founded Saint-Petersburg in 1703 that wine making became a thing.

The main centers of wine-making back than were located in the lower reaches of the river Don and in Caucasia.

 

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Публикация от Винодельня «Солнечная Долина» (@sunvalley1888)

In the lower reaches of the river Don, the climate is very similar to that in the Champagne region in France, which is considered to be the cradle of sparkling wines.

 

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Публикация от Энофил🍷Гурман🧀Книголюб📖 (@bobby_wineandbooks)

The first sparkling wine in Russia was produced in the middle of the 17th century in a village called Tsimlyanskaya. Despite being rather popular amongst the Russian elite; for example, it was mentioned in a poem by one of the most popular Russian poets of all time Alexander Pushkin “Evgeniy Onegin”, it was never recognized officially. However, the winery in Tsimlyanskaya has remained functional ever since.

Russian Champagne – how come?

Did you know that Russia is the only country in the world, except for the Champagne region in France that can call some of its sparkling wines “Champagne”? And it’s all thanks to the efforts of the Grand Duke Lev Golitsyn.

 

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Публикация от @winejustintime

The Grand Duke Lev Golitsyn had grown up in France and was a big fan of Champagne. He believed that it could also be produced in Russia, since the Southern regions of the country had been cultivating grapes for many years and made wine as good as any other. Although he was Russian, funnily enough, did not speak Russian when he took over production at the Abrau Durso winery near Novorossisk and Novy Svet on the Crimea coast. That probably made it a bit difficult to explain to the locals back then exactly what was expected of them.

 

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Публикация от Абрау-Дюрсо (@abraudurso_samara)

At the end of the 19th century, Golitsyn’s winery produced 60 thousand bottles of sparkling wine. He spent many years perfecting its recipe and production technique until finally, he  managed to produce a sparkling wine, which could rival the best French champagnes.

 

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Публикация от 💎Natalya Gumennik💎 (@natalya_gumennik)

And that it did! In 1900, his sparkling wine won the Grand Prix of the World Expo in Paris. It was phenomenal to win such an important prize and overtake all the French contestants. This also gave the factory the right to proudly call their sparkling wine Russian Champagne, and later, Soviet Champagne.

Krasnodarsky Krai

(Krasnodar region)

This is probably the most famous and productive wine region in Russia Grapes such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marsan and Rosin thrive perfectly here, enjoying a climate very similar to that in France. The Cabernet produced in this area is internationally recognized, as well as the “Vintage Cagor” and “Saperavi”.

 

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Публикация от Радио801 (@radio_801)

Variety wise, Krasnodar has a wide selection that includes dry or sweet, red or white, sparkling or still wines. Their tastes are very well-balanced, without any bitterness or high alcohol content.

Abrau Durso occupies a special place in this line. It’s a name of a village, whose winery produces high quality wines that are renowned all over the world.

Guided tours to this winery are available,which include wine tastings.  

 

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Публикация от Винный Маркет (@city_wine_club)

Rostovskay Oblast

(Rostov Region)

 

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Публикация от Виновайн (@vinowineru)

Wine-making in Russia started in this region. It was here Peter the Great invited foreign winemakers to share their technologies with Russian producers. Moreover, the village Tsimlaynskoe is situated in this region. Rostovskaya Oblast has the river Don running through it, and has a perfect climate for making elite wine.

 

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Публикация от ЯгненокЪ (@yagnenok_lavka)

Rostov wines are actually quite difficult to come across in a regular supermarket in Russia, and you definitely won’t find them abroad. But if you’re curious as to their taste and quality, your best bet would be to visit the region and its wineries. Among the recommended wineries to visit are the “Chateaux Elbuzd” and “Villa Zvezda”.

Crimea

 

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Публикация от Свадебный Стилист ❥ Ярославль (@kate.surova)

Wine-making in Crimea has a long history indeed. Wine making here predates the creation of the Russian Empire. Long before the Vikings popped in and decided to stay, the locals already knew how to cultivate grapes and make wine.

 

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Публикация от Винный магазин “Массандра” (@massandra39)

The most famous wine making factory is “Massandra”. Their wines are considered to be one of the best in the world.

If you’re more into sparkling wine, then “Novy Svet” will certainly interest you. This wine factory was founded in 1878, and today releases 18 sorts of sparkling wine and Champagne.

What wine to take home

 

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Публикация от Abrau-Durso (@abrau_durso)

If you’re trying to decide which wine you should take back home as a sweet reminder of your Russian wine tour,  “Soviet Champagne” should definitely be your first choice. It’s a brand well known abroad, with a wonderful taste palette.

 

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Публикация от Винная Лавка (@winestoretmn)

Secondly, think about wines from the“Raevsky” winery. For example, its Pino Moore 2011, which has gained recognition amongst the most sophisticated critics. It’s an elite brand of Russian wine.

 

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Публикация от 🍇Russkoe vino🍷18+ (@russkoevino)

Also, bruts of “Abrau Durso” could be a nice souvenir or a present for your friends. They are not too expensive and have an interesting fragrant taste.

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