Most known for it’s vodka and challenging winters, Russia’s wine regions aren’t plentiful, but are expanding. The climate itself isn’t forgiving as there are many regions that are frankly too hostile for viticulture. However, Russia placed 11th in the world in 2014 for vineyard locations to watch under cultivation. To challenge the high-production spirit industry in Russia, the wine industry has attempted to market wine as a healthier drink of choice in comparison to spirits due to their approachable alcohol content. Wine has been cultivated in Russia for thousands of years, and also underwent the Phylloxera epidemic. It survived though and has since won awards for it’s sparkling wine. One of the wines it was famous for was Soviet Champagne, or’ Sovetskoye Shampanskoye’. This was in part a focus of production after famine overwhelmed the Soviet Union in the early 1930’s – the Soviet government voted to increase the production of sparkling wine in hopes of creating its own champagne industry. Much of the focus was placed on quantity over quantity in order to meet the high demands of production. Sparkling wines are still a go-to wine in Russia, but recently up to 80% of the market has contained semi-sweet and sweet wines. Most of Russia’s vineyards are located in the North Caucasus region where many vines are covered in soil during the winters to ensure they are ready for ripening and harvest during the hot, dry summers.
144.5 million (2018)
17.1 million sq km (6.602 million sq mi)