WTA Guide. Ukraine: 5 Wine Destination


In the new edition of the WTA Guide. Ukraine, we are presenting a selected pool of wineries producing exclusive wines which are worthy of a place in the enotecas of the most discerning connoisseurs. A visit to them will become an unforgettable experience and a collection of bright impressions, too. The Wine Travel Awards team is confident that immediately after the Victory, Ukraine will become a mecca of tourism. In particular, wine tourism. Our indomitable optimism is the reason why the first WTA Guide issue of the new project year, started on November 1, is about Ukraine. This is a selection of short stories about Ukrainian winemakers – heroes who create history. And releases that can go down in history.

SHABO Winery & Distillery

Location: Shabo, Bilgorod-Dnistrovsky distr., Southern Bessarabia

Capacity: 18 million bottles per year

Own vineyards: 1200 hectares

Age of vines: 10-50 years

This winery, founded in 2003, is a family business of the Iukuridze family. The ancient traditions of Georgian winemaking in SHABO are connected with the more than 2,000-year wine history of Bessarabia and the influence of Swiss colonists who came to these lands at the beginning of the 19th century. SHABO produces still and sparkling wines, brandy and grape vodka. The technological level of the winery is higher than that of some European productions. SHABO’s own vineyards are located

between the Black Sea and the Dniester estuary.

Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Rhine Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Chardonnay, etc. This variety is considered a hallmark not only of SHABO, but also for all of Ukraine. After all, there are no self-rooted vines of this variety anywhere else in the world. To preserve Telti-Kuruk, the company has developed a special social program. In SHABO, the largest plantings of Telti-Kuruk are more than 40 hectares, and the age of some vines is 50 years.

Awards: more than 500 awards from Mundus Vini, IWC, etc. In 2021, SHABO, first time in Ukraine, received Decanter Wine Awards Gold for Chardonnay Grande Reserve 2015 and Cabernet Grande Reserve 2017. SHABO wines are exported to 20 countries all over the world. 

But the real pride of SHABO owners is the Wine Culture Center, one of the most famous tourist attractions in the region. Winelovers can visit the House of Sparkling Wines, micro-vinification department and other

technological premises. The attractions include two-hundred-year-old Swiss cellars, modern art objects, museums, cinemas, a musical fountain, as well as professional SHABO wine tastings. Shabsky Dvoryk Restaurant offers authentic Bessarabian and Georgian cuisine.

Wines to notice

Telti-Kuruk Reserve 2018. Aromas: acacia flowers, quince, steppe herbs, citrus fruits, and pineapple. Rounded taste with distinct mineral finish.

SHABO Cabernet Grande Reserve 2017, made from grapes from the Cru mini plots. Fermentation in oak, 12 months aging in French barriques.Elegant and complex wine.

SHABO Chardonnay Grande Reserve 2015 from a limited collection of aged wines. Fermentation in oak, 12 months aging in French barriques. Spicy, perfectly balanced and expressive.

Vaja Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Iukuridze Family Wine Heritage from the collection of the Great Wines of SHABO. Only special vintages. The Iukuridze family has been working on their creation since they founded the company. The blend of these wines

was personally selected by the founder of SHABO, Vazha Iukuridze, together with international experts and world-class consultants from the Derenoncourt company. Iukuridze Family Wine Heritage wines have a very high bottle aging potential.

Photos: Sergiy Kadulin, by SHABO Winery

Beykush Winery

Location: Chornomorka, Ochakiv district, Mykolaiv region

Production volume: 50,000 bottles per year

Own vineyards: 11 hectares

Beykush Winery is, as its owners call it, a family winery on the Black Sea coast. Many varieties are grown at the winery’s own vineyards, including the rare ones and those atypical for Ukraine. The winemakers of Beykush are also well-known for their successful experimenting with blends. The name “Beykush” is of Turkish origin and means “the king of birds”. This is also the name of the cape, in honor of which the winery took its name.

The vineyards are located on this cape, at a distance of several hundred meters from

the sea. The cape is washed on one side by Beykush Bay and on the other by the Berezan estuary. The vineyards are well blown by the winds, which protect the vines from diseases and soften the climate, especially in hot years. The soils are mainly red loams.

Varieties: Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Rkatsiteli, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Saperavi, Cabernet Sauvignon. On the experimental plots, rare whites are grown – Ukrainian indigenous Telti-Kuruk, Spanish Albariño and Italian Timorasso, as well as red Tempranillo, Malbec and Pinotage.

In addition to experiments with blending, Beykush winemakers use clay and con-

crete amphorae, which allow oxygen to pass through and do not give the aroma of the wine shades of oak. Fermentation is also carried out in small oak barrels. 

In peacetime, Beykush Winery welcomes guests: they conduct a tour of the winery

and tasting of unique wines on the open terrace with a wonderful view of the estuary

and the vineyards on the other coast. In 2019, Beykush completed the construction of a new winery building, which is a mini-masterpiece of modern architecture. Also,

Villa Beykush Wine Sunrises & Sunsets bio-eco-eno hotel has recently been opened

at the winery.

Awards: Decanter 2021: Bronze – Artania White 2020, Artania Red 2018, Kara-Kermen 2017, Artania Red 2018; silver — Arbina 2019, Chardonnay-Riesling 2019; gold — Chardonnay Reserve 2019.

Wines to notice

Beykush Kara-Kermen is a blend of Saperavi and Tempranillo, made by the appassimento method from dried berries. Aroma: figs in chocolate, cherries with rum, truffles, noble anise and a little smoke. The palate has a pleasant astringency

and rich sweetness. The wine was named after an ancient building Kara-Kermen (translates as “black fortress”), which stood on the territory of the modern city of Ochakiv, not far from the Beykush winery.

Riesling Orange (Beykush Orange Amber Wine), Beykush Amphora series — fermented and aged in a ceramic amphora — a traditional Iberian tinaja. This is orange wine, made of the famous Georgian Rkatsiteli variety. The nose is herbs, honey flowers, on the palate — honey, nuts, apricots, plums, dried apricots.

Arbina is the legendary orange from Beykush. Aroma: juicy pineapples, chamomile in honey, some pepper and spices.

Photos: Arsen Fedosenko, https://www.facebook.com/beykushwinery

Chateau Chizay

Location: Berehove, Transcarpathia 

Capacity: 1.3 million bottles per year 

Own vineyards: 272 hectare

Chateau Chizay Winery was founded 20 years ago. The vineyards are located in tMala Hora near Berehove. Grape varieties: Traminer Pink, Furmint, Chersegi, Gewürztraminer, Welsh Riesling, Muscat Ottonel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and others. French and Hungarian oak barrels are used to age wines. The winery produces still and sparkling wines (Sekts). 

Awards: Silver medals from The London Wine Competition-2021 for Chersegi, Furmint and Troyanda Karpat (The Carpathian Rose). Gold for Cabernet Franc-2018 from Odesa Wine & Spirit Awards-2021. Gold for Ice Wine Chateau Chizay from Wine&Spirits Ukraine Awards 2020. Silver from Decanter World Wines 2022 for Cabernet Franc Aged 2018. Gold from Paris Wine Cup 2022 for Troyanda Carpat 2017. 

Chateau Chizay has one of the most well-kept and beautiful vineyards in Ukraine. Wine tourism is a big thing here: the Chateau has a wonderful restaurant, a hotel, and the Museum of winemaking. Various tours and events are held in the vineyards.

Wines to notice

Furmint Aged is a dry white wine from 15-year-old vines, aged for 9 months in Hungarian white oak barrels. Citrus, vanilla, almond aroma. The taste has bright acidity, roundness, and a long mineral aftertaste. 

Cabernet Franc Aged limited batch, aged 18 months in French oak barrels. A complex aroma of dark berries, cherries, hot pepper and vanilla with hints of tobacco. Velvety tannins, pleasant acidity. 

Troyanda Karpat, aged white dessert wine, is the legend of Chateau Chizay. Variety: Traminer Pink. Aroma of caramelized fruits, nuts, honey and flowers, smoky shade. Alcohol 16%.

Photos provided by Chateau Chizay Winery

Кolonist Winery

Location: Krynychne, Bolhrad district, Odesa region, Southern Bessarabia 

Capacity: 280,000 bottles per year 

Own vineyards: 33 hectares 

Age of vines: 9-15 years

Kolonist is a family winery owned by Ivan and Alla Plachkovs, founded in 2005. Ivan’s great-grandfather was one of the Bulgarian colonists who settled in in the 18th century, his portrait is depicted on the winery’s logo. 

Colonist vineyards are located on the southwestern slopes of the hills overlooking Yalpug Lake, exposed to extra sunlight reflected from the water. 

Varieties: local — Odessa Black and Sukholimansky, international — Chardonnay, Rhine Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot. Kolonist wines are officially presented by the diplomatic corps of Ukraine. They were awarded several prestigious international competitions.

Guests are always welcome at the Kolonist winery. Wine tastings and wine festivals are often held here, pairing excellent Kolonist wines with authentic Bessarabian cuisine.

Wines to notice

Cabernet Merlot “Haut de gamme” 2016 is a dry aged red wine, fermented in oak, aged for 14 months in new French barrels. Deep aromas of dark cherry, dried fruit, mulberry, prune, coffee, mint, smoky notes, and an elegant taste with moderate tannins and a rich and persistent finish. 

Riesling 2021 is a semi-dry Rhine Riesling demonstrating bright tones of mango and white peach, notes of resin and flowers, with a fresh and light taste and a pleasant, fruity and mineral finish.

Photos: Arsen Fedosenko, Kolonist Winery

Château Edem Winery

Location: Strelki, Peremyshlyansky district, Lviv region 

Production volume: 1500 l per year 

Own vineyards: 1.5 hа

The vineyards of Château Edem Winery were planted in 2016 on the territory of the Edem Resort Medical & SPA near Lviv. Frost-resistant grape varieties from Germany were chosen for planting, as they are the ones best suited to the climate of Western Ukraine. The soils in this microzone, loam with limestone deposits, are ideal for winemaking. The first vintage was produced 4 years after the vines were planted. 

Varieties: Solaris, Muscaris, Souvenir Gris, Johanniter, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Cortis. 

Red wines are aged in French oak barrels. Despite its relatively young age, Chateau Edem already has its own success story. Wines created by the winemaker Vitaly Malanchuk have received many awards from Ukrainian wine competitions. Chateau Edem’s strong point is white wines. 

Awards: Solaris 2018 — bronze from the Uwines Awards 2019. Souvignier Gris 2019 and Solaris & Muscaris 2019 — bronze from the Wine & Spirits Ukraine 2020. 

Chateau Edem winery is part of the large tourist and wellness complex, Edem Resort Medical & SPA. Chateau Edem wines are, of course, presented in the exquisite restaurant of this incredibly beautiful hotel and SPA complex.

Wines to notice

Souvignier Gris – dry white, aromas of tropical fruits and white flowers. Harmonious taste with citrus notes and pleasant acidity.

Solaris & Muscaris – dry white, a blend with a pronounced floral aroma with shades of rose, pear, nutmeg. Balanced taste of green apple.

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/EdemResortSpa