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Wines in a country at war
Food and drink

Wines in a country at war

The future of the Ukrainian wine industry remains uncertain. The ability to harvest grapes, especially in the southern regions, is dependent on the outcome of the conflict

AJ Linn

Malaga

Friday, 1 March 2024, 15:43

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It's stating the obvious to say that the Ukrainian wine industry has been up against it recently. Before the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Ukraine was successfully repositioning itself as a producer of quality wine, rather than as a member of the club of ex-Soviet satellites that made cheap wine in bulk, usually too sweet for western tastes. However, the loss of about one third of vineyards due to the invasion, including some of the country's best, has been a significant setback. It has resulted in the destruction of some bodegas and the abandonment of others, and the survivors are currently living under the constant threat of collateral damage. Some wineries have already lost large amounts of their wines due to shelling, while others face logistical challenges and material shortages.

Southern Ukraine has been heavily affected by the Russian occupation, leading to disruptions in supply chains and labour shortages. The destruction of infrastructure, such as glass factories, has further compounded the challenges faced.

Despite these difficulties, there are opportunities for Ukrainian winemakers in the global market. The unprecedented support for Ukraine from the international community has led to increased interest in Ukrainian wines abroad. Local producers have noticed greater consumer loyalty to their products domestically, with a growing trend towards buying local wines.

WINE OF THE WEEK: Marco Real 2022

WINE OF THE WEEK: Marco Real 2022
  • Ukrainian wines can be found in Spain, but only from specialist suppliers, so to obtain them we need to do some Googling and pay delivery charges. More easily obtainable is this excellent Sauvignon Blanc white from Navarra, which conveys the impression of being long-lasting in the bottle. Around €10.

However, the future of the Ukrainian wine industry remains uncertain. The ability to harvest grapes, especially in the southern regions, is dependent on the outcome of the conflict. Hopefully Ukrainian wines may emerge as a major discovery in the wine world, showcasing resilience and quality in the face of adversity.

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