Viniculture, wine festival opens in Taman, Azov coast

KRASNODAR, August 7 (Itar-Tass) — A viniculture and wine festival “Taman Grapevine-2011” opened in the known village of Taman, the Temryuk district, on the coast of the Sea of Azov, on Saturday. It is the beginning of the grape harvesting in the region.

About 50 grape-growing and wine-making companies participate in the festival.

Taman is the grape heart of Kuban (the Krasnodar Territory), district administration head Ivan Vasilevsky told Itar-Tass.

Though the weather was not always favourable for winegrowers, and the air temperature shifted the grape ripening time for a week, the organizers offer ripe grapes, the first this year, to all to enjoy it, he noted.

A fair of farm produce and an exhibition of best wines opened at the festival. All are invited to taste wines at the public garden named in honour of Cossack chieftain Golovaty. Sport and entertainment events are organized there. More than 5,000 spectators gathered to see a performance, in which craftsmen participate. The festivities will end with a ceremony to honour best winegrowers and present diplomas and gifts to them.

The Taman Grapevine is a favourite event for local residents and guests. This time, about 20,000 people have gathered for the festivities.

Grapes were grown on the sunny Taman land more than 2,000 years ago. At present, viniculture remains the main sector in the Temryuk district. Taman accounts for 70 percent of the grapes grown in Kuban. The area of vineyards total 18,000 hectares, where more than 110,000 tonnes of grapes are gathered annually. Taman produces 75 percent of Kuban’s wines. There are 18 wineries that produce more than 140 varieties of wines.

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