The work of the Odessa Classic Winery became a new stage in the history of viticulture in Southern Bessarabia
The Heritage of German Settlers.
The first grapevine in this region of the Black Sea coast was planted by German
settlers from Swabia more than 120 years ago. This truly amazing story of German settlers’ living on the Ukrainian land traces its beginning back to the years when Catherine I proclaimed the Manifesto giving the right of resettlement.
As a result, at the beginning of the 19th century, they established two settlements in the southern part of the Odessa Oblast: Bazaryanka and Lebedyovka. These are their modern names. The said German settlers named them as Bazyryamka and Budjak.
It is noteworthy that the German guests took the full advantage of the given opportunity. In a few years, Bazyryamka, one of the 150 new German settlements, became the most thriving one.
Such a success was largely due to Gottfried Schulz’s family who in 1812, together with his friend Christian Müller, bought 2679 arpents of land and 63 arpents of salt pan (the land where they extract salt). These modest assets soon transformed into an advanced manufactory.
First of all, the settlers mastered the extraction of salt, the natural deposits of which were spread across the whole territory of Budjak. Later on, Gottfried’s son, Jacob, opened the first mud baths near the salt water Burnas Lagoon under the name of “Bad Burnas”
It is well known that the Schultz family also participated in the development of winemaking on that land. Gottfried was himself a fancier of dry wines. On his initiative, wine cellars were built at the mud baths, a well-known health resort by that time. Moreover, they even made a wine fountain for their visitors.
With every passing day, the pedantic Germans were polishing up the art of winemaking having achieved its highest level. They transmitted their lore from generation to generation
Wine trading was conducted far beyond Bessarabia. It is known that they treated to Odessa wines such eminent guests of “Bad Burnas” as members of the Romanov royal family, king Mihai of Romania; the head of Poland, Piłsudski, with his family, and others.
The Second World War destroyed peaceful existence of the settlers who had to leave the land, which had become their home, within 3 days.
Many decades have passed since that time, but the work of the German settlers continues its existence. The grapevine is still being cultivated, and the great Odessa wines are made by the same method. Nowadays it is the staff of the Odessa Classic Winery who has picked up the baton.