Grape varieties

Discover Ukraine

Main grape varieties

Most of the vineyards in Ukraine are planted with international grape varieties. The most popular white varieties are Aligote, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Traminer. The most common red varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Saperavi. Some Ukrainian wineries successfully grow and produce wines from Tempranillo, Timorasso, Albarino, Pinotage, Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, etc. Also, with the development of winemaking in more northern and central-western regions, Johanniter, Solaris, Jupiter and other frost-resistant varieties are popular.

Local varieties began to gain popularity among winemakers only in recent years. However, there are also those wineries that have been working with them for a long time and are moving in this direction. Among the most popular white varieties: Telti-Kuruk, Sukhomlinsky white, Citron Magarach. Also, a large number of autochthonous varieties remained in occupied Crimea – Kokur, Kefesia, Ekim Kara and others.

Most popular local grape varieties

Odesa Black (Alibernet)

This red grape called Odesa Black, or Alibernet, originates from the crossing of Alicante Bouschet and Cabernet Sauvignon. This variety was created in 1948  by Tairov Institute of Viticulture and Winemaking in Odesa. Odesa Black is grown in Ukraine as well in Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary. Most winemakers claim that this variety is not easy to work with, yet when tamed it produces dark, intense and fruity red wines with distinct mint and black berry aromas and velvety jam notes.


This white indigenous grape is classified as Vitis vinifera, and belongs to a group of varieties of the Black Sea basin. It’s indigenous to Ukraine and can only be found here. It has survived the phylloxera epidemic, which knocked down most of the vineyards in Europe. Telti-Kuruk also known as “fox tail”. This variety was named so due to the unusual shape of the bunch, which really resembles the tip of a fox’s tail. 

Telti-Kuruk produces wines of a fresh and distinctly mineral character. On the nose, floral and fruity notes are clearly audible, mostly white acacia and ripe quince. On the palate this wine is round, full-bodied, with minerality notes characteristic of the terroir, and a fresh, slightly bitter finish.

Citron Magarach

White grape variety created by Magarach Institute of Viticulture and Winemaking in Yalta. The color of the wine is from light straw to amber yellow. The aroma has pronounced citrus tones with a predominance of orange and lime, with easily guessed notes of banana and pineapple. The palate is quite full and round with low acidity and a long aftertaste. Due to its good frost resistance, it is popular in Northern wine-growing regions of Ukraine.

Sukholimanskiy white

This white grape variety created in the second half of the 20th century by the Odessa Institute of Viticulture and Winemaking named after Tairov). Wines from this variety have a light golden color, rich fruity aroma with tones of pear and white flowers, light notes of nutmeg. It has a harmonious taste with notes of melon, white plum and pleasant sourness in the aftertaste.