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Knights of the Vine RUSSIA


Bespoke Champagne

Everybody we know drinks champagne at Christmas. It is not difficult to find French champagne in any wine store or supermarket in Moscow. Laurent Perrier, Veuve Clicquot, Moet & Chandon, Ruinart… and all of them at ruinous prices. We have come up with a way to enjoy champagne (well, ‘Shampanskoe’), and in a very special way – with your own label.

If you would like to order your own exclusive bottles of champagne, with a bespoke design on the label, it can be done by going to the web-site of ‘Fullservice Print’ ( Send an email with your required text, and their designer will come up with a suggested image. You can choose the type of paper you want; for example, gold foil or embossed type. Once you have confirmed the design and specifications, you need to pay 100% in advance. From placement of order to delivery takes about 14 days. Please note that the minimum order is for 120 bottles. Prices are given below.

The History of ‘Shampanskoe’

Type of ‘Shampanskoe’ Quantity of bottles Price per bottle
Semi -sweet, semi-dry, dry, brut 120 276
Semi-sweet, seami-dry, dry, brut 504 210

Russian ‘champagne’ is a fairly recent invention. Two names are intimately connected with its birth. Prince Lev Golitsyn, was founder of the magnificent New World wine estate on the Crimean coast before his death in 1915. This would be the site of Soviet champagne- making efforts.

Anton Mikhailovich Frolov-Bagreev, an aristocrat and chemist, was hired by the estate of Abrau-Durso in 1905 to introduce the latest scientific methods into champagne production. Although his participation in the revolution of 1905 led to Siberian exile, Frolov- Bagreev's expertise proved so important for the fatherland that he was back in the Crimea by 1906. Frolov-Bagreev spent the next fifteen years improving the quality of Russian champagne.

In 1934 he developed a production system that allowed for fermentation of the champagne in reservoirs, rather than in bottles as before. This allowed for mass production, making champagne a drink for the masses. Anastas Mikoyan, People's Commissar of the Food Industry, helped Frolov attain his dream of popularizing the drink after the war. For several years, champagne was even sold on tap in food stores next to the fruit juices.

Today, virtually all Russian (Sovietskoye) Shampanskoye is made from imported bulk wine. Abrau Durso is one of the only remaining authentic producers of Russian sparkling wines made from Russian-grown grapes, at least for their most expensive wines. The only other is Tsimlanskoye in Rostov region near the Volga, which produces an excellent, sweet red sparkling wine, made according to ‘Cossack’ methods. Sparkling wines from both wineries are available at stores and supermarkets in Moscow.

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