Wineries revived ahead of Sochi Olympics

Russia's Krasnodar region has gained international fame for being home to the upcoming 2014 Olympic Games. What’s more, Krasnodar is set to become Russia's main wine making area.

While Sochi is preparing to host the Olympic Games, local wine producers are limbering up for a competition of their own: this area is known locally for its fine wines.

But now, it’s hoped that the 2014 games could help uncork that secret to a wider audience.

“The region has great perspective for developing agricultural tourism. Because there’s the Black Sea, fertile soil – and all of that has to be developed,” says wine maker Jean-Guy Arrive.

It was the role of the recent Wines and Spirits exhibition in Krasnodar to help realize that potential.

The event attracted industry pros from France, Italy, and Germany – proof that progress is being made.

That knowledge is filtering its way down to places like Chateau Tamagne.

Even though this is a quiet time of the season, visitors are welcome to taste the wine, and even play their part in making it.

Chateau Tamagne’s wine-grower Vera Stroynova says that “everyone can walk around the vineyard with scissors and take part in collecting the crops, because it’s right next to Chateau.”

Despite its French name, the winery is located in the Taman area in Southern Russia.

Right next door is a massive Soviet-era winery, which has been recently remodeled by a private company. Its new owners installed Italian and French machines to improve technology.

The company aims at both the mass market and collectors. So here you can see giant stainless steel containers side by side with wooden barrels for exclusive brands.

But locals say quality grapes and state-of-the-art equipment are not enough to make good wine.

A technologist from Southern Wines Company, Andrey Lapikov, is certain: there is more to it than that:

“Wine is a living product, and you have to put your soul in your work to improve the quality.”

With this sort of dedication, the thousands of visitors who will stream here for the Olympics should be in for a treat.