A wine culture already existed in the 4th century B.C. on the southern coast of the Crimean peninsula, from this time wine presses and amphorae were found. In the northern part, however, it only developed much later from the 11th century onwards by monks. In the Middle Ages, the Genoese, who were then the owners of Sudak, traded Crimean wines throughout Europe. Under Catherine II. (1729-1796) the Crimean peninsula became part of the Russian Empire in 1783. Her favourite Grigory Alexandrovich Potyomkin (1739-1791) made it arable and also promoted viticulture. The count imported vines from Italy, Spain and France, where the climate was very similar to that of the Crimea. Especially the soil around the city of Sudak was very fertile. Here lies the Solnechnaya Dolina (Sun Valley), aptly named for its 300 days of sunshine a year, with a large cellar of the same name. Near Yalta, Count Mikhail Vorontsov (1782-1856) had vineyards planted and a large winery built in 1820. In 1828 he founded the Magarach Wine Institute in the vicinity.
Special credit for Russian viticulture goes to Peter Simon Pallas (1741-1811), a German scientist and member of the Academy, who was brought from Berlin by Catherine II and established large vineyards in the Sudak region. He was the first to describe in detail about 40 local grape varieties. In 1878 Prince Lev Golizyn founded the still existing winery Nowyj Swet (New World) in Sudak. A sparkling wine was first produced in 1799 in the climatically favoured cities of Sudak and Alushta. However, the quantities were insignificant. Golizyn is regarded as the founder of the famous Krimskoye sparkling wine (Schampanskoje Krimskoje). By order of Tsar Nicholas II (1868-1918), he also founded the present state winery Massandra.
In the mid-1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev (*1931) initiated an anti-alcohol campaign. Through extensive clearing, the vine stock was reduced from 225,000 hectares to less than 100,000 hectares. This set winegrowing back by decades. In February 2014, conditions similar to civil war occurred. The "Crimean crisis" subsequently led to a referendum in which the majority of the population of the Crimea allegedly voted in favour of joining the Russian Federation (according to estimates, however, only around 30-50% of the Crimean population was in favour of secession, of which around 50-60% were in favour). Ukraine continues to see Crimea as an autonomous republic and part of its own territory, while Russia sees Crimea as a separate federal district. The UN declared the referendum invalid by a large majority.
The Ukraine consists of four large wine-growing regions. This is by far the largest area in the southwest around the city of Odessa with almost 50% of the total area, the peninsula Crimea on the Black Sea with about one third, the Transcarpathian region bordering Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, and the area south of the Dnieper river near the cities of Kherson and Dnipropetrovsk. The continental climate is characterised by hot summers and severe winters, with temperatures reaching over minus 30 °Celsius. In 2012, 2.4 million hectolitres of wine were produced from 78,000 hectares of vineyards. Well-known brand wines of the country are Kagor, Naddniprjanske and Tschorny Doktor. Almost 180 grape varieties are cultivated, among them mostly autochthonous varieties or varieties bred here. The grape varieties in 2010 (statistics Kym Anderson):