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Description to Crimea

Crimea is a peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea, washed by the Sea of Azov from the northeast. It is located in the south of Ukraine and includes the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Sevastopol and partly the south of the Kherson region. The Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukrainian Крим, Russian Крым, in ancient times Tauris) with its capital Simferopol (Ukrainian Сімферополь) covers 26,844 km². After the Russian Civil War in 1917, it became part of the USSR. Under Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (1894-1971), Crimea was annexed to the constituent state of Ukraine in 1954 and remained part of the Ukrainian state after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The historically important spa town of Yalta is located on the southern coast.

Krim - Landkarte

Political status

In February 2014, civil war-like conditions broke out. The "Crimean crisis" subsequently led to a referendum in which the majority of the population voted in favour of joining Russia (there was no option to remain in Ukraine, i.e. for the status quo). According to estimates, however, only around 30-50% of the Crimean population voted in favour of secession, of which around 50-60% were in favour. Crimea and parts of the Donbas have been under Russian control ever since. Ukraine continues to see Crimea as an autonomous republic and part of its own territory, while Russia sees it as its own federation. The UN declared the referendum invalid by a large majority. On 24 February 2022, Russia launched a war of aggression against Ukraine in violation of international law and recognised the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states. This subsequently led to the bombing and destruction of many cities.


Viticulture was practised in Crimea as early as the 4th century BC by ancient Greek colonists. In the 11th century, Orthodox monks introduced viticulture to more northerly areas around Kyiv. In the Middle Ages, the Genoese, who were colonial owners of Sudak at the time, traded Crimean wines throughout Europe. Under Tsarina Catherine II the Great (1729-1796), the Crimean peninsula was incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1783. Grigori Alexandrovich Potjomkin (1739-1791), who was protected by Catherine, made it arable and also promoted viticulture. The latter imported vines from Italy, Spain and France, with climatic conditions similar to those in the Crimea.

Massandra - Weingut

Magarach Viticulture Research Institute

The spa town of Sudak on the Black Sea is now a centre of wine and sparkling wine production. The German scientist Peter Simon Pallas (1741-1811), engaged by Catherine II, established large vine plantations here and described some 40 autochthonous grape varieties. In 1804 he opened the first wine press school in Sudak-Feodosiya. Count Mikhail Vorontsov (1782-1856) established a large vineyard near Yalta in 1820. He also founded the Magarach Viticultural Research Institute in 1828.

Crimean sparkling wine & wineries

Crimea is also the home of the famous Crimean spark ling wine. Prince Lev Golitsyn produced the first sparkling wine on his Novy Svet (New World) estate near Yalta in 1878 after the Crimean War (1853-1856). Nearby is also the Solnechnaya Dolina (Sun Valley) area with 300 days of sunshine a year and a winery of the same name. In the 1890s, the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II (1868-1918) commissioned Golyzin to build the "most beautiful vineyard in the world" near the village of Massandra for his own use only, as well as to develop the southern coast for the production of sweet wines.

Today's viticulture

In 2014, Crimea, the second largest Ukrainian wine-growing region with 31,000 hectares of vineyards, was annexed by Russia. The state of the wineries and vineyards in the areas occupied by Russia is currently unknown.

Map: by Martin Kraft - derived from map, CC0, Link
Massandra: by SilvioMartin - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
Source: WIKIPEDIA Crimea and viticulture in Ukraine.

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