I’m in a vineyard in Russia – a first for me

from the road

I’m in a vineyard in Russia – a first for me


So, after an 0335 alarm call, two flights and a car journey, I’m in a vineyard region in Russia.

I’ve never been to Russia before. Over the next few days I’ll be visiting a number of wineries in a region with no official name. It’s probably best described as Russia’s Black Sea Coast.

Frank Duseigneur

My first and only visit so far has been at Chateau Le Grand Vostock. Here, French winemaker Frank Duseigneur is making some really interesting high end wines from over 200 hectares of vineyard.

For now, some pictures. But a report will follow. Tomorrow we head for Fanagoria.

14 Comments on I’m in a vineyard in Russia – a first for meTagged
wine journalist and flavour obsessive

14 thoughts on “I’m in a vineyard in Russia – a first for me

  1. “a region with no official name” – Probably Jamie means that there are no official names for the Krasnodar Krai wine regions/terroirs. In fact, there is no wine appellation system introduced legally in Russia, but lately several Krasnodar Krai wineries have been positioning themselves as ‘the Kuban Wines’ (Kuban is a semi-official nickname for the Krai, named after the region’s major river, the Kuban; to be pronounced ‘kooban’ and not mixed up with ‘Cuban’ :). At the moment, the region, however big it is, in our opinion is to be promoted internationally as ‘the New Old World’ in terms of winemaking, bearing in mind that it is this area, the Caucasus, that was the world’s winemaking cradle. Besides,in Kuban we are working on singling out separate appellations/ terroirs, like ‘the Black Sea’s littoral’, ‘the Caucasus’ Foothills’, ‘the Taman Peninsula’, etc.

  2. The climatological characteristics of the Taman Peninsula (similar to those of the W. Crimean coast, with a bit more rain during the growing season) seem quite promising for wine growing.
    Climate data from the coastal areas (Novorossiysk & Sochi) show a surprisingly high positive correlation with data from Udine (Grave, Friuli) and Bordeaux‘s right (Coutras & Sablons) and left (Merignac & Villenave d’Ornon) banks. In addition, data from inland areas (Krasnodar, Kuban) show strict statistical adherence to climate data from Verona (Veneto), Cahors and Auxerre (Chablis).

  3. Just to clarify the point: the climate of the Taman Peninsula are similare to that of the East Crimea (= the Kerch Peninsula) rather than the West Crimea, where very few vineyards are located. Regarding rains, data of the Taman quite correlate with those of the East Crimea, with a drier climate in the Crimea’s inland steppe areas where again no grapes are grown.
    Regarding the other comparisons, they are quite correct, except for the fact that Krasnodar’s climate is more continental, with winter colds in some years as low as -30 C.

  4. Mr. Pukish,
    My bad. I meant to write East Crimea (Kerch and Feodosiya), not West Crimea.
    Normal precipitation during the growing season is around 260 mm in Feodosiya, Kerch and Yalta (SE), versus 365 mm in Novorossiysk. I have no data from Taman and Temryuk.

  5. Mr. O’Connor,
    Normal precipitation in the Taman Peninsula (Temriuk Rayon is the official name of the ‘county’, while Taman is the geographical name of the peninsula whose territory fully belongs to that ‘county’) is the same as in Kerch which is only 5 km off the village of Taman. This year, though, was drier.

  6. Mr. Pushkin,
    Temryuk (Latitude: 45°16’28”27 N., Longitude: 37°22’25”97 E., Elev.: -2m) (Russian: Темрю́к) is the largest town and the administrative center of Temryuksky District of Krasnodar Krai, Russia, located on the Taman peninsula on the right bank of the Kuban River not far from its entry into the Temryuk Bay.
    Taman (Latitude: 45°12’51”85 N., Longitude: 36°43’07”03 E., Elev.: 15m); (Russian: Тамань) is a village (stanitsa) in Temryuksky District of Krasnodar Krai, Russia, located on the coast of the Taman Bay. Population: 9,297 (2002 Census).
    Source: Wikipedia
    PS: The distance (as the crow flies) from Kerch to the city of Taman is 33 km; and to Temryuk is 98 km.

  7. Mr. O’Connor,
    1. My family name is Pukish, not Pushkin 🙂
    2. I can understand your believing Wikipedia, but please believe me, for I work in Temriuk Rayon (=district) where our winery, Fanagoria (named after the ancient Greek polis of Phanagoria) is located, and almost every day visit either Temriuk, or Taman, or both.
    3. Now then: in fact, there are 2 ‘Tamans’: one is a Cossack village (stanitsa, as you put it rightly at first, but not a city) located on the coast of the Taman Bay just opposite the city of Kerch, the Crimea, Ukraine. The shortest distance between the extremity of the stanitsa of Taman and the nearest to it part of the city of Kerch is a bit more than 5 km, just the width of the Strait of Kerch.
    The second ‘Taman’ is a contracted form of the Taman Peninsula which in its turn administratively is called Temriuk Rayon (=district, county).
    4. The distance between the stanitsa of Taman and the city of Temriuk, covered hundreds of times by my car and so many times shown by its meter, is about 70 km. Surely, if you start at some remotest spot in Taman and would go to some farthest by-street of Temriuk, it may reach about 90 km.
    I’m sorry, but your source is hardly one to be relied upon.
    Should you have further inquiries, I invite you to correspond through our private e-mails, so that we do not use Mr. Goode’s blog.
    If you happen to be in Krasnodar Krai, just call on our winery 🙂

  8. Precipitation at Fanagoria terroir (Sennoi, Temriuk Rayon, Taman Peninsula), 01/04 till 01/10:
    2011 – 126 mm
    2010 – 237.2 mm
    2009 – 132 mm

    Total of active temperatures as on 29/09:
    2011 – 3,265.4 C
    2010 – 3,655.9 C
    2009 – 3,358.5 C

    Source: Fanagoria Winery’s Meteorological Station

  9. I had the pleasure to visit some popular wineries in the kuban region 3-4 years ago.
    Mostly impressed I was by the wines of Мyskhako, Le Gran Vostok and “Champagne” from Abrau-Durso. Further I have also visited ZAO APK “Gelendzhik”, which was a little bit more oldschool than the other vineries but impressed me with very nice dessert wines. Although I wasn’t so delighted by their semi-sweet or half-dry wines …
    Further i have tasted wines from KubanVino (inc. Taman Wines) and some others I can’t remember right now.

    Unfortunatly there was no time to visit “APF Fanagoria” (but i have still one bottle of their flagship wine Lermontow from 2007 in my wine-cellar) but maybe i can make it next year. Does anybody here in the forum have other suggestions for wineries i could visit? Maybe some “micro-wineries”?

    Then i have further knowledge of a swiss winemaker in the region who was just starting with his winery and then of a second who seemed quite established already and who made great wines (tasted them in switzerland 2 or 3 years ago). but then i heard of some problems linked with russian specific problems which made him leave his winery. Sad story … does anybody here know more?

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