Ukraine – an ancient wine country
Ukraine is the largest country entirely in Europe – bigger than France or California and twice the size of Poland. The nation has sea, Sun and mountains – everything needed to grow grapes. Winemaking in the country dates back to the 4th century BC in the Odesa region.
Since then the Ukrainian wine industry has not had an easy path. Winemaking gained popularity at the beginning of the 19th century in the Crimea and Odessa region, where Swiss winegrowers established vineyards. After the Crimean War, sparkling wines from near Yalta became popular.
During the Soviet occupation, Ukraine was the largest producer of wines in the USSR with around 2500 km2 of vines. In 1986 a third of grape plants in the country were uprooted when Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev launched a campaign against alcohol over-consumption.
Since the turn of the last century, growth in production and quality have increased rapidly. But in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea and Ukraine lost around 60 percent of its wine industry. Luckily many winemakers were able to flee to the rest of Ukraine.
Since the middle of the last decade, many small, independent wineries, aiming for high quality instead of mass production, have sprouted around Ukraine. And not only in the main wine regions of Bessarabia, the Black Sea region and Transcarpathia.Browse wine selection