The triangular island of Sicily is not just the largest island of Italy but also of the entire Mediterranean. Virtually ever race of people that was linked in the past to the Mediterranean has left its traces behind on Sicily. The landscape and the lives of the Sicilians and of the surrounding islands is influenced by the volcanoes and the sea. More than 80% of the area consists of mountains, mostly of volcanic origins.
Recently much effort has been invested in the area around Odessa and Nikolajev, close to the Black Sea, and around
Dnjeprpetrovsk on the Dnjepr, to replace the old but highly productive varieties of grapes with better quality new ones such as Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon. The sparkling wines from the Crimea, of which in reality most come from Moldova, were a household name. The current economic uncertainty of the Ukraine leaves littlepositive that can be said at the moment.
During the time of Perestroika the Russian government carried out a policy of dissuading people from their wide-scale problem of vodka drinking. The wine industry was subsidised and consumption of wine (instead of vodka) was encouraged. Enormous wine plants or Kombinats produced an never-ending flow of syrupy, full-bodied, and often heavily oxidised white and red wines, ranging from somewhat on the dry side to extremely sweet. These wines were produced in the Black Sea region, around the Sea of Azov (Krasnodar), the Don basin, Stavropol, and the Crimea, and also utilised imported bulk wine from Bulgaria, Moldova Hungary, and Algeria.
These foreign bulk wines were blended with wines from native grapes which lost their own identity.
Given the current uncertain economic situation in Russia and the significant lack of funds, it is impossible to give a clear picture ofthe current state of the Russian wine industry.