The picturesque Abrau Lake is located in the mountain basin 20 kilometers west of Novorossiysk, not far from the Black Sea coast. The apanage estate of the tsar family Abrau-Durso was founded on its shore in 1870.
Almost at once they began to grow grapes there and Abrau-Durso became one of the centers of Russian wine industry. In 1877, the first harvest of Riesling, Sauvignon, Pinot Franc grape and other wine varieties of grape was reaped there. And in 1891, Prince Lev Sergeyevich Golitsyn was appointed the chief winemaker of the Appanage Department. By that time he was already a famous Russian winemaker.
Since 1878, he was the owner of the Paradise estate located in the Crimea at the foot of Sokol (Falcon) Mountain (now it is the settlement of Novy Svet). There, on an area of 20 hectares, Golitsyn founded a nursery where he cultivated about 500 grape varieties and created the industrial production of high-quality champagne wines.
Having the experience of the traditional production of champagne wines by aging them in underground tunnels in Novy Svet, in Abrau-Durso he immediately began to build advanced cellars. In the period of 1894-1900, there were built a winery and 5 cellars. The first champagne wine of the Abrau-Durso brand was released in 1898.
The winery on the shore of Lake Abrau is still in operation and produces some of the best champagne wines in Russia. A lot of tourists come there to visit the cellars and production departments of a winery with such a long history. On the shore of Abrau Lake the village of the same name is located. However, for recreation, tourists prefer to go to the small village Durso, which is 7 km off on the seaside.