From Abrau-Dyurso to Crimea's Novy Svet - get a taste of Russia's best wines during a trip to the country's warm southern lands.
Russia is not only about vodka, but wine as well. Doubt it? Try visiting one of these vineyards in Russia's Krasnodar region and Crimea and see for yourself.
Here one can not only enjoy the scenic landscapes and enjoy a beach vacation, but also taste some of the best wines produced in the country's historic wineries - from a famous Abrau-Dyurso to Crimea's Zolotaya Balka and Novy Svet.
Probably one of the most popular spots for those interested in trying out Russia's finest wines is the Abrau-Dyurso Wine House located near the city of Novorossiysk. Established in 1870 by a decree of Tsar Alexander II at the picturesque Lake Abrau, the winery has a rich history of producing wines according to classic French technology and is known today as the leading producer of sparkling wines in the country.
Visited by more than 150,000 people a year, Abrau-Dyurso has many things to offer - not only a scenic view of the lake and nearby vineyards but also restaurants, cafes, a school of fine dining and guided tours to the four mile long mountain tunnels with wine tasting included. Those looking to relax can do it in a Champagne Spa where grapes and champagne are used to soothe and tone the body.
Dmitry, a sales consultant from Moscow, went on a tour two years ago. "It's a wonderful one-day trip destination. There is an opportunity to both enjoy the beautiful landscape as well as learn everything there is to know about wine-making in Abrau-Dyurso."
French businesswoman Cecile, from Rouen, echoes this view. "I went there a few years ago with my family. The hotel was not so expensive and the wine tour was cheap," she says. "I was also very impressed by the quality of the wine and all the investments made to improve the level of the resort and factory. Great place, great wine tasting."
Myskhako is another winery worth a visit near Novorossiysk. Its history goes back around 150 years, with continuous production even during the nearby clashes during the Second World War. It was a favorite recreation spot among the Soviet elite producing a limited series of wines of the highest quality. Today one can "travel back in time" tasting still and sparkling wines and visiting historic underground tunnels dating back to the war.
"I've been here many times," says Dmitry from Russia's Kirov. "Both on guided tours (which are always fascinating) and simply to buy wine … The wine here is amazing and cheap. Those who know it leave the place packed with boxes."
Another large winery in Russia's Krasnodar region is Fanagoria, which produces more than 20 million liters of wine products a year. The winery was named after the ancient Greek city of Phanagoria
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