Stakhovsky Wines: “I completely fell in love with the culture of wine!”


Ace & W by Stakhovsky – author’s wine from the legend of Ukrainian tennis.

The 2018 vintage from the Ukrainian tennis star includes “ACE by Stakhovsky” Merlot, “ACE by Stakhovsky” Saperavi and “W by Stakhovsky” Traminer.

How it started…

As an elite tennis player, Stakhovsky was convinced that alcohol had no place in sporting life. Perhaps his views about the role of alcohol in professional sport were coloured by his ambivalence to alcoholic beverages, but that all changed when Sergiy was offered to play the French Team Championship for the Bordeaux team, Villa Primrose.

The year was 2010 when he arrived for the first match as the new guy in a team of seven. He was invited to a team dinner in the club restaurant on the first night. From the very beginning, the atmosphere around the table was warm and jovial and they had two bottles of red wine on the table.

All of his teammates were from France or Belgium and he noticed their faces light up when the bottles were brought in. At that time Sergiy couldn’t speak much French, nor did he have a clue about wine so he couldn’t understand their enthusiasm.

When they offered Sergiy a glass of wine he politely declined and for this grave offence earned himself the nickname ‘Crazy Ukrainian’ (crazy being a synonym of teetotaler in Bordeaux). He admitted: “I cannot say that I started to like the taste of wine straight away, but I completely fell in love with the culture of wine!”

In 2011 he started to buy wines “en primeur” (buying wine from barrel in volume) and initially thought that all he wanted in life was to have a nice collection of wines. Sergiy had the privilege of visiting some of these incredible wineries and he was simply blown away by their artistry, their love and their skill. He was taught about production, innovative approaches and some of these kind souls even allowed him to see the back of house without any limitations!  Sergiy assures that these experiences were foundational and have led him to where he is today.

Stakhovsky believes that the key person in the “wine origin story” is Alexis Atteret. Alexis’s grandfather was an excellent tennis player and the founder of CVBG (one of the biggest wine traders in Bordeaux). Alexis decided to go his own way and dedicated his life to photography and graphic design. He is the person behind all the ACE by Stakhovsky and W by Stakhovsky labels. Alexis was a friend even before his wine project but since he started on this journey Alexis has become an irreplaceable member of the team.

In 2015 he was presented with a rare opportunity: to rent a wine plot with existing vines on it. From that moment, his goal has been to produce high quality wines with an affordable price tag.  As a first step, he made some changes to the winery: replanting, replacing and irrigating the land. It took his team three years before they tried the first run.

The results were good but not as great as he had (in hindsight, very optimistically) expected. They decided to experiment with French Oak barrels and they were able to purchase some vintage barrels from a Grand Crus producer in Saint-Julien.

As a result of this, the 2018 vintage is a complete product. He is extremely delighted to be able to achieve the initial goal – quality affordable wine.

The vines grow near Muzhievo village in the footsteps of the Carpathian Mountains. One of the best wine regions of Ukraine. First vine plots were planted here before the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Winery is elevated from 100m to 200m, which delivers a perfect drainage for our vine plots. The terroir is predominantly limestone. Protected from cold fronts by the Carpathian mountains, it is still part of the Pannonian Plain which brings warm air from the west. Oriented to the southwest, the plots have plenty of sun, in combination with 650mm of rainfall totals and with 3300C-3500C combined active temperature, give our wines a unique taste.

High-tech equipment from Italy, Germany and France allows processing grapes in a gentle mode. The foundations of stability are laid in the process of qualitative processing raw materials and optimal fermentation conditions.

Once in the bottle, the wine has a potential to mature and age properly while breathing through a one-piece natural cork.

Wine bottles are protected with an aluminum capsule.

«Ace by Stakhovsky» – break time!

«W by Stakhovsky» – time to win!

White wine “W” 2018 is very light, with the aroma of white flowers, citrus and tropical fruits.

Cherries, wild berries, and fragile vanilla can be felt in Merlot. The wine has a good structure and a pleasant aftertaste. Saperavi has a rich aroma with notes of pepper, leather, spices and chocolate.

The team of Stakhovsky wines is constantly improving the quality of soil and vines considering the climatic peculiarities of the region.This area is unique for the cultivation of white grape varieties but also allows the production of exquisite red wines with special structure.