Passport Magazine, November 2009 Text by Charles Borden Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire by the nineteenth century, and later became a founding republic of the Soviet Union. Ukraine has a long coastline along the northern Black Sea and western Azov Sea where...read more
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...read more
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...read more
Passport Magazine October 2007 Text by Charles W. Borden This month’s wine tasting, one of our most interesting, started with a comment from John Ortega about a deprecatory Moscow Times article about Soviet ‘Champagnes’. I responded that “the Soviet Shampnskoye”...read more
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...read more
(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...read more
Passport Magazine March 2006 by Charles W. Borden It was only a matter of time before we would get to the wines of Georgia, considered by many to be the best of countries of the USSR. There is some basis for this claim, and not only because Georgia-born Stalin...read more
Passport Magazine May 2005 by Charles W. Borden “I can’t believe this is Russian wine,” was a phrase we heard many times from the Passport wine panel during the tasting of Russian wines from Chateau le Grand Vostock, located in the South of Russia, close to the resort...read more
The wine grape growing regions of Russia are located in the south between the Black and Caspian Seas. See the following pages for information about the regions where authentic Russian wines are produced: Krasnodar region Stavropol region Rostov region...read more
Passport Magazine July 2010 Text by Charles W. Borden, photos by Maria Savelieva Antinori is one of the oldest and best-known names in Italian wines with more than 600 years of grapes in the family tree. Based in Florence, Antinori is not just a big wine-maker, but it...read more
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 (www.financeplus.com).
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.