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Russian floods ‘destroy’ state winery

Devastating flash floods have claimed more than 170 lives and entirely destroyed at least one winery in the Krasnodar region of southern Russia, local industry members say.

Flooding on the coast in Krasnodar

During the evening of 7 July, record levels of rainfall caused flooding in the Krasnodar region on Russia’s Black Sea Coast, with the town of Krymsk being almost completely wiped out by the flooding.

Initial reports from the wine industry suggest that at least one winery has been destroyed.

‘We are hearing that the Krymsk state winery has been erased from the face of the planet. In addition the largest bottle producer in the area was also badly damaged and has not been operational since Saturday,’ Pavel Titov, director of the Abrau Durso winery, about 50km from Krymsk, told Decanter.com.

With the area still dealing with the aftermath of the flooding it has not been possible to confirm the Krymsk state winery situation.

Titov told a press conference in Moscow this week that the Abrau Durso estate itself had suffered only superficial damage.

‘We have been very lucky as vineyard damage was minimal. All employees of Abrau are accounted for, a couple of cars got swept away, but were subsequently recovered,’ Titov said.

According to Nariner Bagmanyan of the Moscow-based business information company Asti Group, some estates in the Krasnodar region – the centre of Russia’s wine industry – have lost ‘up to 10% of their vineyards’.

Leading producer Chateau Le Grand Vostock, based in Krasnodar’s Krymsk district, has also reportedly suffered severe vineyard damage.

A significant percentage of the region’s vineyards had already been destroyed or severely damaged by an unusually harsh and long winter. ‘Everybody was on the brink of a wipe-out,’ Titov told Decanter.com in February 2012.

As the disaster subsides, producers are helping with the aid effort for the homeless residents of Krymsk.

Written by James Lawrence

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