The regions of wine industry in Ukraine corresponds to its viticulture regions situated predominantly in close vicinity to Black Sea coast in Southern Ukraine as well as around Tisza valley of Zakarpattia Oblast.
A wine culture existed in today's Ukraine already in the 4th century BC at the south coast of the Crimea. Presses and amphoras were found from this period. Wine cultivation in the northern part of the country (around Kyiv and Chernihiv) however only started in the 11th century by monks.
Under Empress Catherine the Great (1729–1796) in 1783 the Crimea became a part of the Russian Empire. Count Mikhail Vorontsov planted the first wine gardens in 1820 and established a large winery near Yalta. The viticulture research institute Magarach was founded then in 1828. In 1822, with the approval of Tsar Alexander I, Swiss winegrowers from the canton Vaud established a colony at Shabo (French: Chabag). They later founded daughter colonies on the Dnieper and in Crimea. Wine from Chabag was displayed at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago and received a medal of recognition.
The founder of the famous sparkling wines is prince Lev Golitsyn, who for the first time manufactured Russian “Champagner” after the Crimean War (1854 to 1856) on his property Novyi Svet near Yalta. Later, under the last Tsar Nicholas II (1868–1918) the predecessor of Massandra, today's state winery, was founded. During Soviet times Ukraine with 2,500 km2 (965 sq mi) was the largest supplier of the wines in the USSR. It came to a disaster in 1986: about 800 km2 (309 sq mi) of the vineyards were destroyed, when Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev started a campaign against the over-consumption of alcohol in USSR. Since 2000 the production as well as the export of the wines has increased rapidly.
After the annexation of Crimea, Ukraine lost not only 17 thousand hectares of vineyards, but also wineries that provided 60% of wines.
Main vine-growing regions
- Southern Ukraine: Mykolaiv, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, and Odessa Oblasts as well as such regions like Crimea (Balaklava, Massandra) and Bessarabia (Budjak)
- Zakarpattia Oblast (Carpathian Ruthenia)
Production of sparkling wine like Sovetskoye Shampanskoye ('Soviet Champagne') is increasing. Most of the sparkling wine is produced around large cities like Kyiv, Bakhmut, Lviv, Odessa and Kharkiv. Most of the production is based on Pinot blanc, Aligoté, Riesling and Feteasca.
- Magarach Wine Institute near Yalta with possibility to sample some of their 20,000 different wines derived from 3,200 vine species.
- Winery Massandra.
- Konstantin Frank, a notable Ukrainian-American viticulturist and winemaker, who was responsible for developing the thriving viticulture and wine industry of New York State, using his experience of growing the European Vitis vinifera varietals in the colder climate of Ukraine.
- John Worontshak
- Gander-Wolf, Heidi (15 May 2014). "Once a Swiss Winegrower Colony CHABAG in Russia, Now a Modern Wine-Culture Center SHABO in the Ukraine" (PDF). Swiss American Historical Society Review. pre–print. Retrieved 25 May 2020.