Russia: History

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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South Dagestan is Russia’s most important ancient viticultural area although wild vines growing around the Caspian, Black, and Azov seas and the greater Caucasus were selected and cultivated long ago. There is evidence of viticultural co-operation between the native tribes living on the Black and Azov seas and the Ancient Greeks who settled along the north east coast of the Black Sea from the 5th century bc.

The next important viticultural period was the time of the medieval Khazar Kaganate, who may have brought indigenous vines from Dagestan to the banks of the Don and then—together with the Magyars—to Pannonia, modern hungary.