The family winery Father’s Wine was born out of a great dream of my father, Volodymyr Buyachek, a well-known businessman, patriot, and philanthropist from Ternopil Region. Dad always liked to learn something interesting and extraordinary, and he was never afraid to become a beginner in a new field. He was a pioneer by nature and he liked to succeed, where others were afraid to try their hand. This is exactly what happened with winemaking in his life.
During 2009-2010, my father planted an experimental vineyard near the house. I remember planting a lot of varieties – probably half a hundred. Those were both technical varieties that are intended for wine production, and table grapes. After all, at that time, we did not understand which of them would crop well in Ternopil Region. As a rule, we planted popular varieties. At the same time, as concerned technical varieties, we did not have any mass ones such as Chardonnay, Riesling, and Cabernet. Given that our region is climatically atypical for winemaking, more attention was paid to certain indigenous grape varieties, such as Dublyansky. In addition, we were focusing on grape varieties that are common in Germany and Austria. These countries are closer to us territorially, in terms of heat and rainfall.
Later, we made our first attempts to create wines – it should be emphasized that our attempts were very different, we possessed no perfect technology, and sometimes, we were relying on advices from books and tips based on our own intuition. Due to such experience, our family has come to understanding that winemaking in Husiatyn is worth developing, but we need to delve into some particularities, which are characteristic of certain varieties, styles, etc.
Over time, we realized that our region is ideal for making white and rosé wines. The temperature is sufficient for them to grow, the grapes do not gain much sugar, respectively, the style of wines is very elegant and light. Having gained the necessary experience, we found out, what our favourite varieties should be, and we realized that these wines had a strong potential and promising prospects. Thus, we decided to plant a larger vineyard.
In 2018, our father’s life ended abruptly. After the father’s death, my brother, my mother, and I decided that we wanted to continue his work. Although, to tell the truth, before that we did not delve too much into winemaking: the volume of production was insignificant, and my father thought that it was his hobby rather than business. However, we realized that my father’s dream had to be implemented.
That’s how the family winery Father’s Wine was born. In the same year, 2018, Ukraine passed a law for small winemakers, which simplified the system of applying for, and obtaining, a license. Shortly, we submitted the necessary documents, because at that time, with our volumes and equipment, we were ready for such step. We passed this stage rapidly and received a license for small winemakers. Since 2019, we have officially entered the market and are selling wines: on our own – at festivals, in restaurants, etc. Last year, our production volume reached 15,000 bottles.
On a separate note, I would like to broach the particularities of our wine production. We may say that the production process starts right in the vineyard, which means that we spend a lot of time and effort caring for the grapes. In Ternopil Region, we observe a significant disadvantage for growing these plants – excess moisture. This causes many diseases. Therefore, grape varieties should be monitored, and treated in a timely manner.
Fermentation of wines takes place in our wineries. We have Italian, Slovenian, and Bulgarian professional equipment. Incidentally, temperature control during fermentation and storage of wines is very important for both wine and fermentation. This is one of the key aspects in the production of our wines.
We have been aging wine in oak barrels, and we are using both Ukrainian and French barrels. Now, we have started experimenting with aging wine in Italian clay amphorae. This neutral capacity ensures a very good wine development due to micro-oxidation. We also practice aging in bottles. After all, for red wines, in addition to aging in oak, aging in a bottle is very important. This is necessary for products that are ready for use.
Today, the range of wines produced by Father’s Wine includes “Pink Square” from the American grape variety Jupiter. We are the only ones in Ukraine to use it in winemaking. This is a rosé wine, very fragrant and light. “Pink Square” is absolutely different from the wines familiar to us.
In addition, we have the German grape variety Johanniter from the Riesling family: fragrant, with good acidity. Bright wine comes out of it, I should say. We also use Muscat Ottonel. Both white and semi-dry wines, as well as oranges and pet-nats are made from this grape variety. I should definitely mention Helios and Dublyansky – the grape varieties for white wines, but so far, we are just waiting for them to crop in our vineyard.
We sell wines with delivery throughout Ukraine. Our products can be also bought at Wine Time supermarkets and small wine-focused stores, located primarily in western Ukraine. Next summer, we plan to receive guests at Father’s Wine, and organize tours for them. We are already arranging a tasting room for our visitors.
It is worth noting that our wine is distinguishable not only due to its taste and quality, but also due to special labels. The main line of labels, developed by the Kyiv-based creative agency R Agen-cy, has won five design awards. Recently, these labels gained another award – Red Dot: Best of the Best for wine packaging. We are the first wine brand in Ukraine to have gained this award. On the back of the bottles, there is a special field of a heraldic form, and a set of stickers is included. Anyone can create a family coat of arms and give a bottle to their beloved ones.
The label for aged wine was developed for us by the specialists of BBDO, a worldwide advertising agency network. It depicts a symbolic image showing the presence of a man during all processes of winemaking. No less attractive is the line of labels for non-aged wines: on such labels, designers have unconventionally depicted the traditional Ukrainian ornaments. Our customers like this approach, because it contributes to the identity and enhances the feeling that these wines are ours – born in Ukraine.
I presume that the prospects for craft wine in Ukraine are very optimistic, because there are few producers in the country, and, as a rule, these are large producers. However, the reputation of domestic wines among Ukrainians is, unfortunately, weak. In my opinion, this situation can and should be changed. It is up to us. By our example, it is noticeable that upon expiry of three years of express contacts with the consumers, the Ukrainians’ opinion about Ukrainian wines has undergone significant changes for the better. I believe that a new wave of Ukrainian wine positioning will begin with small winemakers. Now, numerous craft industries emerge, and they are very flexible, they do not use standard approaches; rather, they find their own varieties, presentation, and styles. That is why we are now facing the very beginning of Ukraine’s great wine-making future.