Even after the US sanctioned Crimean winemakers following Russia’s annexation of the peninsula, foreign suppliers and Russian investors continue to enter the market.
Russian agricultural company Zolotaya Balka’s new wine production facility in Sevastopol is using equipment from a number of Italian companies. A spokesperson for one of the firms, Bertolaso, confirmed in a media interview that it had signed a contract directly with Zolotaya Balka and supplied equipment to the Crimea-based company in late 2018.
Russian businessman Artem Zuev took control of Zolotaya Balka in 2016, when he acquired the winery as a gift for his socialite wife Snezhanna Georgieva. The winery is owned on paper by three other individuals. The director general of the winery, Elena Kostenko, is the majority owner of a Sevastopol medical clinic, according to corporate disclosures.