Many of the first foreign grapes planted in Russia were traditional French varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Aligote, Chardonnay, and others.
However, many wine grapes have their origins in the region since Georgia is considered to be first place where grapes were domesticated. These varieties include Saperavi, Rkatsiteli, Golubok, Krasnostop, and Doina.
In addition to these varieties, many new varieties and crosses were developed at USSR nurseries. Some important crosses include:
Magaratch Bastardo – a cross of Portuguese Bastardo with Saperavi
Magaratch Ruby – a cross of Cabernet Sauvignon and Saperavi
Considerable additional testing with modern laboratories now continues at modern Russian wineries, particularly at Lefkadia Winery where small plots of 24 grape varieties have been planted, and a large, state-of-the-art laboratory set up.