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Massandra

Famous state winery of Ukraine on the edge of Yalta on the south coast of the Crimea, It now covers about 2,500 hectares of vineyards with several satellite operations. Near the village of Massandra had Count Mikhail Vorontsov (1782-1856) built the Alupka Castle and had vineyards built, for which he added new grape varieties for the Crimea, among others Aligoté. Cabernet Sauvignon. Pedro Ximenez and Sémillon Imported. Prince Lev Golitsyn owned the winery nearby Nowy Svet (New World), where he produced sparkling wines and the glory of the Crimean champagne founded. Inspired by Worinzow, the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II (1868-1918) commissioned Prince Golyzin in the 1890s with the construction of the "most beautiful winery in the world" near the village of Massandra, as well as with the development of the south coast for the production of sweet wines, This had the sole purpose of providing the Tsar summer residence Livadia with wine.

Massandra Palace - front and back

Georgian miners drove deep cellars into the rocks; On three levels there are seven tunnels each with ideal storage conditions (13 to 14 ° C and 90 to 95% humidity ). From the year 1897, the first wines were produced by Count Vorontsov and Prince Golitsyn Château d'Yquem tried to copy, and later Madeira. port wine. sherry and Tokaj, climate and ground were excellent for the grape varieties of the great role models, but the wines developed an independent character. Even under Prince Golitsyn in 1898 Alexander Yegorov was appointed as responsible for Massandra. He survived the Russian Revolution of 1917 and in 1936, in spite of his pre-revolutionary past, again became head of the winery. His grandson Yuri Yegorow is (according to his 1937 executed by the intelligence service NKDW father Dimitri) today in the third generation, head of the wineries.

In 1922, the wine stocks of all the palaces of the Czar of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Livadia were brought to Massandra by order of Stalin and remained there under lock and key. It resumed production with strict quality control as in the tsarist period, so that today there is only a brief gap in the holdings in the 1920s. In November 1941, the German invasion of the Crimea began. But already in September, Yegorov had evacuated the contents of the cellar to three different places. When the famous Yalta Conference took place there in February 1945, the wine was already back on the old place. Today, at the winery traditionally still largely (but not exclusively) sweet wines from different Muscatel varieties and Saperavi produced, some of which are also spoken.

The ideal climatic conditions yield grapes with extremely high sugar content, The barrels are made of oak wood from the surrounding forests. The vinification methods are very similar to those of Madeira, port and sherry. Under the ideal storage conditions, wines are produced that can last over a hundred years and even more. The already founded by Lord Golizyn "Massandra collection" will continue. Every year, around 10,000 bottles are added, some of which only reach the market after decades. In 1990 took place at Sotheby's in London one auction, in which wines (in edible condition) were auctioned off until 1880. Specialist wine merchants still offer wines back to the beginning of the 20th century. At Sotheby's, a Sherry vintage was auctioned in 2001 for $ 43,000. A wine appreciated by Tsar Nicholas II in Port wine style is Kagor which was served on special occasions.

Left picture - Palace Front view: By A.Savin - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Link
Picture right - Palace Back: GPL , Link

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