View of Novorossiysk from Chateau Pinot

Tasting Area at Old Greek Wine Cellar

Tasting Room at Cantina

Barrel making at Fanagoria Wine Estate

National Treasure

Passport Magazine January 2011 Text:Charles Borden, Photos: Charles Borden and courtesy of Abrau Durso The sharp pop from a bottle of Shampanskoye echoes across every almost every home, restaurant and park in Russia at midnight on New Year’s eve, followed by a fizzy...

Russian Wine Country Update

Passport Magazine October 2009 Text and photos by Charles Borden As you open this month’s Passport, the grape harvest is closing in Russia Wine Country, an area that stretches north and northeast of the Black Sea port of Novorossisk to the Azov Sea, where about eighty...

Black Sea Gold Coast

Passport Magazine August 2008 Text and photos Charles W. Borden Recently Passport’s Knights of the Vine gathered to gauge the progress of Russian wineries. With a selection that included 28 bottles from the Metro discount cash-and-carry chain and eight more from...

Russian Wine Country

Passport Magazine October 2006 Text and photos by Charles W. Borden Two months have passed since Russia’s wine crisis began, and supermarket Sedmoi Kontinent still has only a handful of wines. The bureaucrats have crippled Russia’s wine industry and it is difficult to...

Country in Crisis

(Passport Magazine August 2006) by Charles W. Borden It’s July 7, seven days after the new Russian alcohol tax stamp regime took effect, and the shelves are bare. With the deadline for the monthly Passport wine tasting just days away, I took a tour of the wine...

Charles W. Borden is IT Director for OLMA Fund, a Paris private equity fund with investments in France and Russia that includes Domaine Chanzy, a 32 hectare Burgundy wine producer, and Chateau Signac, a winery with 38 hectares in Côtes du Rhône. He is also Director and Editor for FinancePlus, a Paris-based information service that publishes information about mid-market mergers and acquisitions, and venture capital and private equity investments for markets worldwide (

Charles was previously Contributing Editor and Wine and Dine Reviewer for Moscow’s Passport Magazine for eight years, and was previously Editor of the English version of the Aeroflot inflight magazine, Russian Fine Art, and Russians: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow. From 2003 to 2010, he contributed to the annual edition of Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book, one of the world’s most important wine books, which is also published in Russian language.

From 1992 to 2000, Mr. Borden worked with two wineries of the former Soviet Union, and became the first westerner to bring modern packaging to wineries in southern Russia that had little or no bottling facilities. He was responsible for two joint ventures to package some of Russia’s best wines using the modern bag-in-box system, which has now been adopted by many Russian wineries.

Charles is Moscow’s “consummate wine buyer” – a consumer’s friend, expert in the intricacies and complications that a shopper faces when buying a wine at a restaurant or shop in Russia.

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