Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Massandra, winery built to extremely high specifications on the outskirts of Yalta in the crimea in the 1890s to supply Livadia, the tsars’ summer palace. Miners were imported from georgia to tunnel into the rock to excavate three layers of cool, damp cellars. Prince Golitzin (see crimea) was the first winemaker and was succeeded by the first of the Yegorov family, members of which made wine at Massandra for almost a century from 1898. The most successful wines are strong and sweet, many of them vins doux naturels as well as fortified. The modern installation at Massandra is used not for winemaking, but for ageing and bottling. Massandra staff oversee production in a number of satellite wineries from the 2,500 ha/6,175 acres of vines under Massandra control; today the produce of nine different wineries is sold under the Massandra name but the comments below apply solely to the original operation. Grapes grown on the southern hillsides and in mountain valleys are responsible for such unique dessert wines as White Muscat of the Red Stone (sometimes translated as White Muscat from Red Rock), White Muscat Livadia, Rosé Muscat Yuzhnoberezhny (South Coast), Black Muscat Massandra, Tocay Yuzhnoberezhny, Pinot Gris Ai-Danil, and Kokur Surozh.