The worst cold in Russia’s south for the past twenty-five years caused a disaster for the country's vineyards, which is comparable to the damage inflicted by the anti-alcohol campaign initiated by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the Argumenty Nedeli weekly newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The temperatures, which plunged to minus 25 degrees Celsius (minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit) in February, destroyed over a half the vineyards on the Taman Peninsula and the Krasnodar Territory.
The consequences of the disaster may be far worse than the damage caused by Gorbachev’s anti-booze drive in 1985, when vineyards were destroyed across the Soviet Union.
Gorbachev’s anti-drinking campaign severely affected vineyards in the Soviet republics of Ukraine and Moldova but left Russian vineyards almost untouched, with only 30,000 out of 200,000 hectares destroyed during the campaign.
The current damage, however, is far worse and it will be years before Russian vineyards recover.
The cold may push up wine prices and create a shortage of young wines, considering grapevine harvests were also destroyed in the Caucasus, the Crimea and Moldova.