If there is one thing that Russia can offer to the world, it is a long and rich history full of excitement, political intrigue, colorful culture, and a people with an indomitable spirit. All of these elements can be found in even the quickest lesson about the history of wines from Russia.
First off, remember that there is a difference between Russia and the Soviet Union, a fact that many people from outside of that area often forget, thinking that they’re the same thing. In reality, the regulation of the making of Russian wines has had its own ups and downs, following the history of Russia’s being a part of the Soviet Union. During the time of the Soviet Union, wines from Russia were often bottled and packaged under strict supervision of the government, causing many vineyard owners to send their product to other areas of the country for bottling. This of course would interrupt the wine’s natural fermentation process; many wine connoisseurs know that a true winemaker looks over his product from the planting of the grapes until the filled bottles are sent away for others to enjoy. There is no part of the winemaking process that is less important than another, and for a vineyard owner to have to send his product to someone else to bottle was just a slap in the face for many!
After the end of the Soviet era, this meant that many who produced Russian wines were without bottling equipment and the like. Also, because supplies were so difficult to get, many winemakers made their product from imported concentrates and juices, and the end result was by far some of the most inferior wine that anyone could ever taste, if they could even be called wines!
However, today Russian wines are enjoying a newfound popularity. As merchants are becoming more readily established, vineyard owners are once again finding their crops to be plentiful and bottling facilities readily available. Also, because of the tough economic times in years past, many of the wines from Russia are made without chemical and pesticides. As the growers could not afford these things, they learned how to care for their crops without them. There are also virtually no chemicals or enzymes used in the fermentation or bottling process either; from start to finish, these wines are pretty much tended and harvested without any outside interference. This means that many who are searching for true organic wines may find the answer to their situation in these fine Russian wines; by circumstance or by choice, they are typically some of the most natural, purest wines available in the world.