To taste the wine you have to do the following: fill a glass with fine glass, bring it closer to the light, admiring the colour, and then suck the bouquet. And only after that, taste it with small sips. Crimean wine cannot be drunk like water, you have to enjoy every sip. Whoever learns this art never becomes an alcoholic.
There are some places on the peninsula where the ancient traditions of Crimean wine making are still preserved. All these places can be visited, and all the wines can be tasted. Before the extraordinary aroma of Crimean wines, even people who do not usually drink alcohol cannot resist.
You can start this fascinating process in the urban village of Koktebel. There they produce the best Crimean cognac which is also called Koktebel. Tourist groups have the opportunity to enter the Koktebel factory and taste its products. In the village there are a few brand shops where you can buy the divine drink.
After Koktebel it is recommended to go to the village Solnechnaya Dolina which is the cradle of wine making and is also very close. It is here that in 1804 the first school of winemaking and viticulture was opened. In the old cellars built by Dukes Gorchakov and Golitsyn they keep the bottles of old wines covered with the dust of the centuries. There tourists can get acquainted with the true taste of Chernyi doctor, Chernyi polcovnik and Solnechnaya Dolina wines.
The small town Novyi Svet which is 7 km away from Sudak city is considered a legendary place of wines. According to the chronicles in 1878 this place was bought by Duke Lev Golitsyn who in a short time managed to turn it into an exemplary winery and founded a champagne factory. Golitsyn’s house is preserved to this day.
In the local museum you can learn about the history of this place and the legendary drink. The wine tasting takes place in the old cellar of Golitsyn’s house, in a wonderful room with a lighted fireplace.
The path ordered by Golitsyn leads from the village to the mountain. From there you can reach the cave where one day the famous Russian singer Fyodor Chaliapin gave a concert for his friends. He sang so loudly and so passionately that the champagne came to life and the crystal glasses exploded by resonance.
The excursion outside the city of Alupka is unforgettable. There is the main mountain of the Crimea called Ai-Petri. You can climb the mountain on foot or by cable car. This trip in the air tram attracts tourists: the fifteen minutes in the air above Yalta, the sea, the rocky cliffs are never forgotten. At the top of the mountain there is an oriental market where you can try exotic dishes and homemade wine.
A little further down is Count Vorontsov’s Palace surrounded by a picturesque park. It was the count who started the Massandra wine collection. Therefore it is natural that the main tasting room of the “Massandra” factory is in the palace park. There we are offered 10 different wines served in fine glasses, including Tsar Nicholas II’s favourite wine, the port Livadia.
It is rare to find someone returning from the Crimea without a bottle of Koktebel cognac, or Massandra port. But you have to be very careful and buy the wines in the special shops because there are many forgeries of Crimean wines!
A tour of the wine places is not very expensive and lasts 6 days.