New East Digital Archive

Pick up a bottle of Siberia’s finest

Pick up a bottle of Siberia’s finest
(Image: Vladimir Vagner)

10 October 2016

When you think of New World wines you probably think of South Africa, Australia or the USA — how about Siberia?

Some hardy wine-makers are braving the cold in the Russian region, known for its bitter winters, to produce both red and white wines. What’s more, they hope to start selling them next year.

Could you soon be seeing Siberian wines on the shelves of your local supermarket? Vladimir Vagner, head of the Altai Vine wine company, is sure that the wines will be popular around the world. Such is his conviction, he even brought in French experts to find the perfect grapes that would thrive through the region’s freezing winters and balmy summers.

“Our French partners spent two years studying the climate conditions and soil, and once they made sure these were appropriate, they started choosing grape types. [...] we planted 600 saplings to see if they could make it through winter — and all but two of them actually did so,” Mr Vagner said in an interview with The Siberian Times.

Last year, the vineyard made three kinds of red wine, a rose wine and a white, in addition to an experiment with “ice wine” using frozen grapes.

In order to sell their wine, the vineyard must purchase a costly commercial licence — they’re keeping their fingers crossed for a change in legislation to get Siberian fine wine to your table.

Source: BBC