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Grapes of wrath: Ukraine's winegrower 'closest to the frontline'

Close up of grapes in Parutyne
Close up of grapes in Parutyne Copyright Euronews
Copyright Euronews
By Euronews with AFP
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Pavlo Magalias has made two equal piles; on the left are remnants of ancient storage jars unearthed in recent years at his vineyard in southern Ukraine; to the right, cluster bombs, dropped since the war broke out.


Pavlo Magalias is the winemaker closest to Ukraine’s frontline. Work continues as normal in Parutyne. As local residents collect the harvest, shelling can be heard in the not-so-far distance.

For some workers, the uncertainty is all-consuming.

Despite the military activity, winemaker Magalias is optimistic about this year's harvest.

"This is the year. The grapes give a lot this year, they give everything. We have done the chemical analysis, it is all good [...] It might have the smell of gunpowder, but it is going to be good. This year is a great year. One hundred percent."

Wine culture in Ukraine is traditionally concentrated around the Crimea region.

When Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, the region’s wine producers took a heavy blow.

Ukraine lost more than half its bottled wines, mostly semi-sweet and dessert wines. Magalia will be hoping for a different outcome this year.

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