Yuri Uzunov graduated from Praskoveya College of Viticulture and Winemaking, specialisation – Winemaking technology, in 1985. In 2002, he graduated with honours from Chursin Stavropol Institute, specialisation – Technology of fermenting productions and winemaking.
He has been working for Fanagoria since May 1980 – as a workman, then wine cellar master; since November 2002, he works as Head Oenologist.
Uzunov has been in charge of the upgrading of the tank depot. He supervised the installation and commissioning of the cuvelites, white wine producing facilities; France-made (Bucher Vaslin) grape processing equipment; cold bottling line of the productivity of 12,000 bottles/h; Extractis for continuous production of red wines; reconstruction of the crushing and pressing plant, and the 6,000 bottles/h sparkling bottling line.He was responsible for the construction of the brandy spirits cellar (1.6 million l), and reconstruction of the brandy spirits distillation facility (with the installation of a copper alembic).
Yuri Uzunov was a co-author of Red Glade bitter liqueur; Signature, Cru Lermont and A Hundred Shades wine extensions. Fanagoria premium wines and distillates are prizewinning champions of many national and international tasting competitions.
John Worontshak, Fanagoria’s international winemaking consultant, is an Australian-born Londoner. His winery visits are scheduled a year in advance, like those of world-famous musicians. Simultaneously, he consults about a dozen wineries, located in Mexico, South Africa, Israel, the UK, Turkey, India, and Russia. Over his 36-year-long career John, as he put its himself, “jumped over the hemispheres, catching up with grape harvesting seasons,” – because grape harvesting in the Southern hemisphere happens in April – May, while in the Northern hemisphere it occurs in September – October.
John Worontschak has been a regular panel member at the International Wine Challenge, London. He says he needs a wine judge’s experience to stay tuned for the changes and wine style developments, and to influence these changes by awarding the world’s best wine samples.
John was born in Adelaide, Australia. Upon receiving a Bachelor’s degree on winemaking at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales he worked as a junior winemaker in Australia’s main winemaking region, the Barossa Valley. Since then, John’s life has been connected with winemaking. In 1985, he set off to what happened to be a five-year-long internship at several wineries scattered across continents: in Australia, the USA (California), and France (Alsace and Burgundy).
Since 1990, John lives in England, where he found a winemaking consulting company. He has contributed to development and international acknowledgment of the British winemaking industry by consulting and making wine for Harvest Wine, a cooperative uniting 13 English viticulteurs. Since 1993, John has been consulting wineries located in many countries of the world. His first professional destination was Czechia, shortly followed by Australia, Canada, the USA (California and Texas), Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, China, France (Provence, Bordeaux, Alsace, and the Loire Valley), Germany, Spain (Valencia and La Mancha), Italy (Friuli, Tuscany, Campagna, Sicily, Sardinia, and Trentino), Portugal, Romania, Hungary, Moldova, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Israel, Turkey, Serbia, Russia, India, and South Africa. John Worontschak works as Head Oenologist for Denbies Wine Estates, the UK.
Valentina Popandopulo graduated from Krasnodar Polytechnical Institute, specialisation – Winemaking technology, in 1976.
Since 1980, she has been working for Fanagoria (then – Fanagoriysky Wine State Farm) – first as a quality engineer, then microbiologist and head of laboratory, head winemaker, and finally as Deputy CEO on Science and Quality.
Valentina Popandopulo is known to be striving for the implementation of new scientific achievements. She was responsible for the licensing, certification and state registration of the winery’s products. She supervised the introduction of the wine-treatment technology based on physico-chemical and biotechnological research ensuring long guaranteed wine stability, technology of decontamination of residual toxicants from grape derivatives with yeast bio-sorbent widely used for the production of grape juices for children’s nutrition (attested with 7 authorship certificates and patents for invention). Her initiatives have contributed a lot to the improvement of the quality of the produced wine and secured consumer safety of the produce.
Valentina Popandopulo is our highly respected colleague, unceasingly engaged in the upbringing of the national culture of wine consumption and consumer enlightenment. She was a co-author of Fanagoria bitter liqueur.
Ludmila Bondar graduated from Krasnodar Polytechnical Institute, specialization – winemaking, in 1987. Upon graduation, she came to Fanagoria in the context of the Graduate Placement program, usual for higher schools in the Soviet time. Her first jobs were Juice Cellar Engineer, and Wine Cellar Shift Engineer. In 1996, she was appointed Distilling Shop Shift Engineer. In 2000–2006, she worked as Head of Distilling Shop. Starting from 2006, she headed the team that produced vodkas Phanagor, Antique, and bitter liqueur Fanagoria, and for a short while was responsible for the production of sparkling wines.
Since 2007, when the first brandy spirits were laid for maturation, Ludmila has been in charge of Fanagoria’s brandy production. She is responsible for the entire production cycle: from wine distillation to maturation to the production of blends, and for the production of our grape marc vodkas (Chacha) and bitter liqueur.
In 2001, Roman graduated from Technical University in Chişinău, Moldova, specialisation – Technology of fermenting productions and winemaking, qualification – Engineer.
Roman Tcaciuc began his career in 2001 as a trainee at Cricova-Acorex (later, Acorex Wine Holding). Over 12 years, he had been promoted to a line manager, cellar master, production engineer and head winemaker.
Since 2012, he has been working as Red Winemaker for Fanagoria Estate Winery.
Roman was a co-author of the wine, A Hundred of Red, Saperavi Fanagoria 2015, the first-in-the-history winner of a platinum medal at the Decanter 2017 tasting competition.
Alexander graduated with honours from Technical University in Chişinău, Moldova, specialisation – Technology of fermenting productions and winemaking. He also obtained graduation diplomas of the Economic Faculty of Techniccal University in Chişinău, and Agrarian and Technical College, specialisation – Food productions mechanic.
He began his career at the blending cellar of Lion Gri JV as a workman, and soon was promoted to the position of a foreman and shift supervisor. In 2004, he worked as production engineer and cellar master for Igristye Vina JSC, St. Petersburg. In 2006, he worked as production engineer of Vengerskie Vina LLC. In 2007–2009, Alexander returned to Igristye Vina JSC, where he assumed the position of a section foremaster, and head production engineer. In 2009–2013, he was headed the sparkling and oaked wines cellar at Kuban Vino LLC.
Since 2013, Alexander Beryozov has been working as Head Sparkling Master for Fanagoria Estate Winery. He was responsible for the launches of classic, Charmat and young sparkling wines; the construction of the yeast station and the Sparkling Cellar. Over the past years, Fanagoria sparkling wines have more than once been acknowledged ‘best wines of the year in Russia’; méthode classique wines have become champions of several international competitions; Blanc de Blancs Brut has for three years in a row been awarded silver medals at Chardonnays du Monde, France; young sparkling wines have also become widely recognized.
Alexander takes a special pride in the base white brut, that has become a bestselling wine and one of the best price-to-quality offers at the Russian market.
Tatiana Golovacheva graduated from Praskoveya Agricultural College, Stavropol region, specialization – Winemaking; then – Chursin Stavropol Institute, specialization – Technology of Fermentation and Winemaking Industries. Her first work was Head of Laboratory at the winery in Levokumsky, Stavropol region. To Fanagoria Estate Winery, she came in 2000. Her career record is as follows: analytical chemist, brandy production engineer, wine cellar leading engineer, and, finally, white winemaker. She considers the championing wines Cru Lermont Chardonnay, A Hundred Shades of White. Chardonnay Fanagoria, and Cru Lermont Sauvignon Blanc her main professional achievements. Her colleagues assert that Tatiana is the best performer of malolactic fermentation in premium white whines (which is very difficult!). The white winemaker works together with the viticulturists, and is also a master of blending of white wines. When being asked of a hobby, she frankly acknowledged that she devotes all her time to the beloved work and to upbringing of her two kids. “I have no other hobby,” Tatiana says.
Nikolai was born in the Astrakhan region to a family of chartered agronomists. He says: “As far as my parents succeeded in their professional career as agronomists – they are quite popular in their sphere – I also decided to become an agronomist; however, I was more interested in horticulture and viticulture than field husbandry.” As a teenager, he was an area champion in table tennis. Upon graduation form a secondary school with a silver medal, Nikolai entered Kuban State Agrarian University, Faculty of Fruit and Vegetable Growing. After graduating from the University with honours, Nikolai Moroz came to work for Fanagoria – first as a foreman, then viticulturist agronomist, nursery agronomist, and – since 2014 – Head Agronomist/Viticulturist.
Nikolai says that the agronomist’s work is similar in all sectors of agriculture, with certain differences in the work with the protected soil: “You must spend a lot of time outdoors: when it’s dusty and terribly hot in summer, and when it’s cold in winter. Many people believe that in winter, agronomists are idling away their time – but that’s not the case for wine-growing. As soon as you have finished your harvest, you will have to begin an inventory taking, then to store up the grafts – and that’ll last for entire winter: pruning, repair works, etc. I think that the most difficult thing in any trade is to be able to organise oneself and identify one’s priorities.”
Nikolai’s favourite wines are Krasnostop Zolotovsky, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. In his free time, he takes up gardening – he has about 65 fruit trees in his own orchard.
Denis has been with Fanagoria Estate Winery since 1997. He began as a worker in the bottling cellar, then in the wine production cellar. In 2004, he was appointed Head of Bottle Warehouse. In 2006, he became Bottling Cellar Engineer. While working at Fanagoria, Denis studied by correspondence: first at Novorossiysk Industrial College, specialization – Production Equipment Manager; then at Yeisk Sea Fishing College, specialization – Fermenting and Winemaking Industries Engineer. Later he graduated from Moscow State University of Technologies and Management, specialization – Technology of Fermenting and Winemaking Industries.
Since 2010, he has been working as Bottling Cellar Manager. In fact, he is responsible for two cellars: the blending cellar, and the bottling cellar. He is in charge of 150 employees working three shifts a day, five or six days a week. The cellar bottles about 2 million litres of wine and spirits (brandy, marc vodka, bitter liqueur) a month.
Part of Denis’s responsibilities is planning of bottling, and quality control.
Denis highly appreciates his tutor, Galina Novikova. He took personal part in the launch of all bottling lines.
Under his supervision, the cellar has become upgraded according to European standards; new tanks and an up-to-date ventilation system have been installed.
Denis Komarov says: “We used to work two shifts in a row; sometimes, we even worked 24 hours a day. One has to do everything by himself – then he will be able to find common language with his subordinates. When there is some problem and a person comes and tries to explain in their own words what has happened, you can at once understand pretty well what they are talking about.”
Konstantin Shamrai was born in the Cossack village of Akhtanizovskaya, Krasnodar krai (region) in 1985. In 2002–2007, he was a student of the Kuban State Agrarian University, Faculty of Gardening and Viticulture, where he majored in Agronomy Studies. Since graduating from the University, he has been working for Fanagoria South, first as Vineyard Team Foreman Assistant, then Foreman, and since 2010 – Chief Agronomist.
Konstantin believes that the most important thing in his job is “to do it in such way that one would hardly be able to blame you for it, and also to do it because you like it rather then just because you have to do it.”
Konstantin considers that the successful testing and broad application of a Japanese-made biological pesticide to fight with grape moth can be judged his best working achievement, especially taking into account the global trend of refusing from the use of chemical pesticides and the importance of sustainable agricultural techniques.
As a genuine offspring of a Kuban Cossack kin, Konstantin is fond of sport hunting.