Winegrower and Winemaker’s Day in Ukraine Date in the current year: November 10, 2024

Winegrower and Winemaker’s Day in Ukraine Winegrower and Winemaker’s Day is a Ukrainian professional holiday celebrated on the second Sunday of November every year. It was officially established by President Volodymyr Zelensky in July 2020.

Viticulture is one of the most important branches of crop farming in Ukraine. The main viticulture regions of Ukraine have traditionally included Crimea (prior to its annexation by Russia in 2014), Odessa Oblast (province), Kherson Oblast, Mykolaiv Oblast, Zaporizhia Oblast, and Zakarpattia Oblast (in other words, the south and west of the country). About 46% of Ukrainian grapes, more than 90% of which are wine grapes, are grown in Odessa Oblast.

The roots of Ukrainian wine industry date back to the 4th century BC, when Greek colonizers of the Crimean coast brought grapes there and began to produce wine. From there, viticulture and winemaking spread to other regions of present-day Ukraine and neighboring Moldova, which had a favorable climate for the cultivation of grapes. There is also evidence that in the Middle Ages, grapes were grown in the north of Ukraine, mainly in monasteries.

In Zakarpattia (Carpathian Ruthenia), viticulture and winemaking began to develop at about the same time as in Crimea. In the Middle Ages, when the region was part of Hungary, King Bela IV invited Italian and German winemakers to develop winemaking here. To encourage winemakers to move to Zakarpattia, the king exempt them from tithe and taxes for ten years. At first, Zakarpattia wines were produced only for domestic consumption. Local winemakers began to sell their wines in the 14th century and to export them to other countries in the 18th century.

In Crimea, active development of winemaking began after the annexation of the peninsula by the Russian Empire in 1783. The greatest contribution to the development of the industry was made by count Mikhail Vorontsov, who planted the first vineyards near Yalta, and prince Lev Golitsyn, who started the production of sparkling wines on his property Novyi Svet and founded the Massandra winery.

Ukrainian vineyards, especially those in Zakarpattia, suffered greatly during the Second World War. After the war, Ukrainian viticulture and winemaking began to revive. In the 1970s, Ukraine had the fourth-largest area of vineyards in the Soviet Union. However, about 80,000 hectares of Ukrainian vineyards were destroyed during Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol campaign of 1985–1987.

The main winemaking regions of independent Ukraine are Zakarpattia, Ukrainian Bessarabia (southern Odessa Oblast), Dnieper Ukriane (Odessa, Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts) and, formerly, Crimea. The most widely grown grape varieties are Rkatsiteli, Aligoté, Cabernet Sauvignon, Saperavi, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Fetească, Gewürztraminer, and Isabella. In addition, an indigenous grape variety named Telti-kuruk is grown in Odessa and Kherson regions.

On Winegrower and Winemaker’s Day, all Ukrainian specialists involved in the cultivation of grapes and wine industry accept congratulations on their professional holiday and gratitude for their hard work and dedication. And those not engaged in the industry celebrate it by opening a bottle of Ukrainian wine to support domestic producers.

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Winegrower and Winemaker’s Day in Ukraine, holidays in Ukraine, professional holidays, winemaking, viticulture