The history of cognac «Tavria», the base and the revival of Ukrainian cognac


The history of Trade Mark “Tavria” is connected with the occurrence of the first settlement of Swiss colonists, who laid Osnova - a village of wine-growers and wine-makers - in 1889 in the territory of the present-day House of Vintage Cognacs “Tavria”. The first founders of that village and the owners of the estate were Louis Gehler, Jan Jatone, Julius Mayer, and others. They all came from the families of viticulturists and wine-makers, they were the best specialists in Europe, who, by the order of the Emperor Alexander the First, were regularly invited to Russia starting from 1820s with the purpose to develop the sector – first in Odessa, and later on the sands of the lower part of the Dnieper river banks. The founders of the modern House of Vintage Cognacs introduced ancient French wine-making traditions, cherished by the descendants.

Starting from nothing, the settlers faced enormous hardship, as they were disrupted by sand storms, dry Eastern winds, during which the sands moved covering young plants, the dominance of marbled may beetles, which larvae destroyed vine, and that resulted in vast lands depletion. Huge efforts were taken to cultivate the land, plant and nurse young plants, supply water and chemicals to fight with vermin.

In the 1898 Regulations of the Dnieprovsky District Council Meeting, the farm, the wine-growing and wine-making estate Osnova was mentioned as a rapidly developing place (the total vineyard area of over 300 dessiatinas yielded up to 30,000 poods of grapes, and the wine-makers produced up to 5,000 buckets of wine).

In the collection of scientific papers devoted to the 40th anniversary of the theoretical and practical activities of V.Ye. Tairov (Odessa, 1925), there is an article of one of the founders of viticulture in Osnova – Ts.I. Jatone. The article is called “Viticulture on the Dnieper Loose Sand”. Moreover, in the article titled “Historical Overview of the Grapevine Culture in Kherson Region and Its Prospects”, the author – M.A. Sheptitskiy - expressly mentions the pioneers of the wine-growing in Kherson District – Jatone, Gehler, Mayer. The peculiarities of vineyard soil of Tavria are based on the fact that the place used to be a riverbed of Dnieper millions of years ago.

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