A BRIEF TIMELINE BEFORE THE FEBRUARY 24, 2022 INVASION
From a Soviet industrial wine powerhouse pumping out high end Sovetskoye Shampanskoe to a modern company crafting sparkling Ukrainian emblems of fun and celebration.
4th Century BCE
Evidence of wine production in Crimea and along northern Black Sea coast.
The name "Ukraine", meaning "native-land” or "border-land" first appears on maps.
Bakhmut established as border settlement.
Prince Lev Golitsyn bought an estate in Novyi Svit to revive Crimean winemaking, which was destroyed during the Crimean War. In 1882, his factory started producing sparkling wines in the traditional method of bottle fermentation.
To the East, in the town of Bakhmut, engineer Edmund Farke started constructing alabaster factories. The extraction of gypsum for the thriving factories created the 60-acre cave system 236 feet underground – a unique microclimate.
1920’s – 1930’s
Soviet leadership encouragement of Ukrainian culture and nationalism in the 1920’s gives way to terror in the 1930’s as Stalin’s forced collectivization kills millions by starvation during Holodomor or the “Great Famine”
From 1924 until 2016, Bakhmut was called Artemivsk (Ukrainian)/ Artyomovsk (Russian), named after the Russian revolutionary and Stalin ally Fyodor Sergeyev, better known as Comrade Artyom.
German occupation of Ukraine in World War II. Some Ukrainians see Germany as savior from Soviet oppression, others fight with the Soviet army.
In January, 1942 Nazis killed over 3,000 Jews by trapping them into the gypsum caves. “The Wailing Wall” memorial is at the murder site at Artwinery.
Soviet central planners identify Black Sea belt to increase vineyard area.
Soviet oenologists determined the microclimate (constant temperature range of 12-14 ° C and stable humidity 88-90%) of the underground gypsum caves of Bakhmut ideal for sparkling wine production.
Ukraine becomes the largest supplier of wine for the Soviet Union. Most wine is sweet and mass produced in accordance with a quantity-over-quality philosophy.
On his birthday in 1950, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin commanded the establishment of Artemovsk Winery to create Soviet sparkling wines (Sovietskoye Shampanskoe) in the labor-intensive Méthode Traditionnelle to match the French. The entire production process occurs 236 feet underground in the gypsum caves.
Between 16% and 30% of all Ukrainian vineyards are destroyed during Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol campaign 1985-1987.
Delicate and superb, Artemovsk wines quickly became the hardest-to-find sparkling wine in the Soviet Union. Reserved for high-level party workers and foreign dignitaries, it was off-limits and unavailable to ordinary citizens.
Ukraine officially declared itself an independent country on August 24, 1991 and on December 1, 1991 over 90% of Ukrainians (including 56% in Crimea) voted for independence in a countrywide referendum.
Artemovsk winery starts creating sparkling wines under its own brands – Krym and Artemivske.
Political tensions and upheaval grow between factions looking East towards Russia and factions looking West towards Europe.
Artemivske, named after Artemis, the Greek goddess of nature and fertility, became, not only the number one selling sparking wine in Ukraine, but also the first Ukrainian brand recognized throughout the country.
Ukrainian winemakers enter the world market and create wine tourism sites at home, showcasing Ukraine’s contributions to the history of wine.
Increased export demand and a 2007 production equipment modernization, saw the creation of the premium brand Artwine, and the ultra premium brand, Soloking.
Over 50 Ukrainian winemakers make wines from 180 grape varietals.
Artwinery’s annual production tops at 19 million bottles. Exceptional grape harvest in Artwinery’s Crimean vineyards.
Russian invades Ukraine and annexes Crimea. Until 2014, Crimean vineyards produced 57% of grapes used in all Ukrainian wines.
Artwinery losses its Crimean vineyards -some are even destroyed as they become a battlefield. Altogether, Crimea produced 70% of grapes used in Artwinery’s annual production.
Russia-backed separatists and the Ukrainian army fight 12 miles from Bakhmut, the signs of war are omnipresent in Bakhmut.
Artwinery switchs to grapes from the warmer southern regions of Mykolayiv, Kherson and Odesa. Annual production down to only 10 – 12 million bottles. Name change from Artemovsk to Artwinery in fall, 2016.
August 23, 2021
30th Anniversary Ukrainian Independence
Artwinery rounded out its offerings with its fun Bubble Fruit wines and special packaged products to honor Ukraine’s heritage.
More than 100,000 Russian troops are in place at the Ukrainian/Russian border.
Artwinery opens its newest Artwinery Champagne Bar “Bubble Space” in Mariopol to great fanfare in December, 2021 and introduces its new flagship wine Artwine 60 Brut Nature.