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Cotnar. New era

The company Cotnar is a legend of Transcarpathia. Located near the town of Beregovo, in the village of Muzhievo, the winery has been reviving the centuries-old traditions of the region since 1996, combining classical methods with modern approaches. It should be emphasized that 2020 became the starting point for its modern history and will be followed by another, much higher stage of the company’s evolution.

Cotnar’s ambitious young team has set new goals and is successfully implementing them: the product lines have been updated, and Ukrainian wine lovers familiarized themselves with the wines of a different level under the brand name Cotnar, which had been introduced into the market last year.

The team’s ambitions are not limited to the domestic market, where the company and its wines – for example, the line of light and fresh Gorobchiki – are already in great demand. The Transcarpathian winemakers are developing plans for international expansion; in the near future, they are going to present Cotnar – a key brand of one of Ukraine’s historical wine regions – to the foreign wine connoisseurs. Nature has generously endowed this mountainous region: mineral springs saturate the slopes with valuable elements; its favorable climate is characterized by mild winters and long warm summers, with an optimal number of sunny days. All these factors create ideal conditions for growing grapes, and in symbiosis with a hard work and experience on the part of the professionals, contribute to the birth of unique wines.


Among the picturesque Carpathian landscapes, there are 160 hectares of well-tended Cotnar vineyards, where dozens of popular European and local white and red varieties are grown: Traminer, Leanca, Muscat, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Cabernet, Saperavi, and Merlot. The selected grapes from these vines are used by the company’s gifted winemakers to create blends and elegant single-varietal dry wines as well as luxurious dessert ones.

The company Cotnar is a legend of Transcarpathia.

Kindzmarauli Wine Village: a name for the Georgian paradise

Georgia is the legendary homeland of wine, abundant with the sun and hospitality of its inhabitants! Those who have been here once will definitely want to come back again … And again … As to the opportunity to live in this warm climate surrounded by luxurious nature, it is definitely one’s dream of a paradise. Well, what about such paradise being also the Garden of Wine? Moreover, when it is located in one of the precious micro-zones in Georgia, known by the name of the legendary wine: Kindzmarauli? Nobody even dared to dream of it!

Today, it has become a reality due to the brilliant idea of the Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking company. The company has transformed the word “tradition” in its name into a mission: it revives the historical memory of Georgia, restoring ancient sites, vineyards, and ancient grape varieties.

We imply, perhaps the most amazing project: Kindzmarauli Wine Village. D+ inquired of the project’s ideologists about this world-class property.

D+: What is Kindzmarauli Wine Village?

This is a complex of luxury villas with a well-thoughtout infrastructure, including everything you need for a comfortable stay and even more: a wine-making chateau, as well as nine recreational facilities and recreation areas with a forest and a river.


D+: Who developed this modern visual concept?

A design for this complex of comfortable villas in Kindzmarauli area was developed by BPM Architectes (Bordeaux, France). In order to have an idea of a level of the real estate property which is being constructed by KTW, we will list just a few completed projects: stunning futuristic buildings Château Beychevelle, Reconstruction of Château Lascombes, Château Angelus – and tens other architectural sites, which have already become, though unofficially, the world’s cultural heritage.

D+: What are the main advantages of the property?

Kindzmarauli Wine Village is another masterpiece, where the comfort and elegance of luxury housing are brought to the level of art. It should be emphasized that environmental friendliness of this area and purity of the local nature will be combined with a contemporary infrastructure and the most advanced amenities.

Well, if we take into account that it is also an opportunity to live in Kindzmarauli (listen attentively – it sounds fantastic!) and, sitting on the terrace of your own stylish villa, to drink Kindzmarauli – isn’t it a sweet dream?! This is a dream of a paradise that can be found on earth.

Georgia seems to have its own Garden of Wine located in one of the precious micro-zones of the country, known by the name of the legendary wine: Kindzmarauli.

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Vardkes Arzumanyan about his collection of menus

Visit Centaur Cafe in Lviv and you will see that it is deservedly proud not only of its food and history, but also of unique menu collection of Prince Curnonsky, author of the Michelin guide. This collection is now owned by Vardkes Arzumanyan, one of Ukraine’s most prominent restaurateurs. This year his company Restaron released a book titled “Private collection of Prince Curnonsky’s restaurant menus dating back to the first half of the 20th century and owned by Vardkes Arzumanyan”

I have been collecting menus for a very long time. My collection currently contains approximately 1,500 copies that date back from the early 19th century to modern times. The largest part of the collection is represented by antique menus. For me as for a restaurateur, a menu is something that is much more than just a list of dishes: it is an art, a culture, a story that the restaurateur is telling to the guest.

The tradition to create menus and make them an important part of the restaurant has emerged a long time ago. Every epoch has its own fashion for specific food, dishes, accents and art preferences. Many artists have created paintings not only on canvas, but on sheets of menu books, too. No wonder that food has always be perceived as an art, and the pleasure it gives can be compared to erotic feelings.


Erotic context is seen in French menus that date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It felt like there was erotic in the air. Everywhere: in cabarets and theatres and on canvases. The aristocracy was obsessed with delicious food and seductive ladies on menu covers of famous restaurants. Fashion was changing, and with time pictures with a sophisticated message were replaced with more understandable, but equally interesting paintings. Black-andwhite or colored paintings, watercolors or graphic works all appeared on restaurant menus, because a nice meal should be, first of all, aesthetic. Artists and art trends might change, but gastronomic traditions remain the same.

People have always tried to stay as a community, and food has always and everywhere been the best reason for a get-together. Food brings people closer together and creates traditions, and these traditions give rise to culture. This is why calling menus an art separates business from the real restaurant culture which I develop in my restaurants. Food is also a kind of creative work, it should be properly enjoyed. When it comes to choosing a place to eat, I always recommend opting for places that have rich culture and traditions rather than places that just offer fast satisfaction of your natural needs.


In the beginning of the 20th century Curnonsky coined the name Bibendum for the character who was the symbol of the car company Michelin, and write a regular column “Mondays with Michelin” in Le Journal already by 1914. Curnonsky is regarded as the inventor of gastronomic motor-tourism, though he himself could not drive. He wanted to discover the cuisine of each French province and often called himself a “gastronomade”, a practitioner of gastronomic tourism.

In 1921, Cur (as nicknamed by his friends) together with Marcel Rouff started the publication of La France Gastronomique, a collection of 28 reference books. In the same year he co-founded the Academy of Gastronomes and the Academy of Regional Gastronomes. Gastronomy was represented at the Autumn Salon in Paris as the 9th art. In France of that epoch it was popular to elect “great princes” of practically anything, from humor, horror and news to chansonniers and poets. This land of gourmets and delicious food needed its own “prince of gastronomy”. Curnonsky was elected the prince of gastronomy in a poll held by Paris-Soir Newspaper in 1926. He was named a knight of the Legion d’Honneur in 1928, and was later promoted to officer.


On May 8, 1930, Curnonsky initiated the foundation of the Academie des Gastronomes, taking the French Academy as a prototype. He became the President of the Academy in 1947. Curnonsky spent the years of the World War II in Bretagne. He returned to Paris in 1947 together with Madeleine Decure, and founded a magazine named Revue Cuisine et Vins de France, and in 1950 co-founded the Chaine des Rotisseurs. The renowned restaurant critic celebrated his 80th birthday in 1952. There was legend that eighty best restaurants in Paris reserved a table for him every night in anticipation of his visit.


Life of the prince of gastronomy ended when he was 84. A memorial plaque is installed on the wall of the house in Paris where Curnonsky lived from 1904 to 1956 (14 Square Henri Bergson). The Association of Curnonsky’s Friends was founded in 1964. A gastronomic expo was opened in Angers to celebrate the 100th birthday of Maurice Sailland-Curnonsky in 1972, and next year the local Saint Jean Museum opened a permanent exposition devoted to him.

Curnonsky’s name was given to a street in Paris’ 17th district. There is Curnonsky Cafe in Cairo, and in Antwerp you can find an “organic food restaurant” named in his honor. In October 2000 Michel de Brie gave “Curnonsky’s archives” to Madame Jeanne Barondeau, who took the archives as a basis for a publication of three books, which were, in turn, used to reproduce a catalog of a part of menus from Curnonsky’s collection owned by Vardkes Arzamanyan.

Maurice Edmond Sailland, Prince Curnonsky (October 12, 1872, Angers – July 22, 1956, Paris)
A famous French restaurant critic of the 20th century, who wrote or ghost-wrote over 65 books and enormous number of journal and newspaper articles. He was born in a well-to-do family in the city of Angers in the Loire Valley, and discovered the joy of tasting various dishes when he was a kid – due to the family’s cook Marie who had “a God-given talent”. In the early 1890s, Maurice Sailland came to Paris and studied literature at the Sorbonne. Russian literature and ballet were in fashion in France those days, and the name “Curnonsky” comes from the Latin cur + non (“why not?”) plus the Russian suffix – sky.

Visit Centaur Cafe in Lviv and you will see that it is deservedly proud not only of its food and history, but also of unique menu collection of Prince Curnonsky, author of the Michelin guide.

Give Me a Place in Tuscany – and I Shall Repair the World!

The Tuscan Tenuta il Palagio villa attracts attention of the global community due to various reasons. First, it is scenic in the best traditions of the region – an ancient building of the XVI century, surrounded by gardens, olive tree groves, ponds and bee caps. Second, this estate produces some very good wines, even biodynamic ones. Third, since 1999 the villa has been owned by musician Sting (the stage name of Gordon Matthew Sumner) and his family.

Despite its star status, the estate is open for guests, naturally, for a fee: daily stays are provided for EUR 1000 a day, or you can simply visit for sightseeing for just a couple of hundred Euros. During the olive harvest you can even come pick them, but still you will need to pay the owner a couple of hundred Euros for this kind of pleasure.

Generally, you can do anything if you pay for it. Even Sting experiences difficulties maintaining a 350-hectare estate – not even the sale of expensive wines produced here can cover enormous taxes. That’s why Sting and his wife Trudy practically jumped on to natural economy – fruit, vegetables, honey, wine, sausages, all natural and all sold right here in the local shop. In principle, it was a smart step – one needs to make a living, but, on the other hand, this is all too far from art…

But let’s get back to Tenuta. Since 1700-ies it was owned by the Martelli family, and in 1819 they sold Il Palagio to Countess Carlotta Bardolani, the widow of Duke San-Clemente, and the estate remained in their hands for many decades. In the beginning of the XX century, Duke Simon Vincenzo Velutti di SanClemente enlarged the estate by purchasing vineyard lands and new premises, including grain crop shop and an olive oil press. But even in 1999, when the estate was sold to Sting and Trudy, it wasn’t large enough. That’s why, several years later, the star couple purchased the neighboring lands, enlarging the estate once again to 350 hectares. Now the palazzo with its 20 rooms and a personal chapel stands in a picturesque valley with two lakes, a forest, vineyards and olive tree groves. By the way, Trudy grew up in a farmer’s family and, as evil tongues say, she always dreamed about winning a million dollars in a lottery to purchase an estate larger than her parents’.


It should be noted that this estate is very special in Sting’s life. He first came to Tuscany after his father’s death, trying to soothe his pain, and worked on an album in memory of his father. After some time, while in travel, Sting and Trudy found a deserted mansion previously owned by Italian aristocrats in a 40 minutes’ drive to the south of Florence. They were mesmerized by the beauty of the valley and peaceful atmosphere of the place. Soon they put their names on the house and the olive oil bottles, the “Familia Sumner”, which they started to make here. Some more time passed, and 200 people gathered in the yard of the palazzo to hear the rock star sing live and record a live album, All This Time. Those friends who couldn’t be there called the musician to congratulate and support him. One of the calls came from New York, an office located on the top floors of the World Trade Center. It happened on September 11, 2001… Stricken with grief, Sting sang just one song and said the sentence that became famous, “The world needs to be remodeled, I don’t know how. I don’t have simple answers, but it needs a repair.”

In short, if the new owners initially planned to just enjoy the nature, with some time they became a part of it.

Since then, Sting has been using all possible ways to change humanity: his charity fund gathered millions of dollars to protect human rights in Chile, he is friends with the chief of an Amazonian tribe (the man even was best man at Sting and Trudy’s wedding) and he arranges charity concerts to save Amazonian forests. Hand in hand with his wife, the singer promotes healthy and organic way of life. Not only they eat at tables covered with natural linen, but their farmlands in Italy are fertilized by manure only (with an accompanying certificate proving absence of any chemicals!). Their cattle (cows, sheep and other domestic animals) eat only grass grown on the local meadows, and the star couple eats only vegetables and fruit grown by their estate and meat of their own cattle. Although, meat is eaten seldom here, and no leftovers are allowed because the animal was killed for food…

Villa 2

Due to the same beliefs, the couple never wears leather and owns no leather furniture, replacing it with wood and fabrics of bright Mediterranean colors. All bed linen in the house is white. Sting never takes a bath, he washes in a Turkish steam room because he cannot bear the aromas of soap, lotions or deodorants.

In short, if the new owners initially planned to just enjoy the nature, with some time they became a part of it. Trudy
who preferred yoga asanas at first started managing the vegetable garden, and several years later Sting was allured by winemaking. Could wine-making be yet another way to make the world a better place? Still, close friends are sure that Sting has special relations with alcohol.

Don’t misunderstand us, nothing bad happens, but everybody knows that one of his English mansions, the famous Lake House Castle, contains a bar in the style of the 50-ies with respective corkscrews, glasses and shakers. Sting plays a barman quite enthusiastically asking politely from behind the bar, “Whiskey, sir? Soda? Just a minute, sir!” And then he explains in whisper to his guests that it is quite beneficial to be a barman – there is always a chance to have a drink so that his wife doesn’t notice… Naturally, the winemaker position has wine tasting in its job description!


So, the first wine “made by Sting” was released in 2007. He does not work on it himself, of course, he’s got assistants for that: Paolo Cazorgna, an oenology specialist, Alan York, biodynamics consultant, and Paolo Rossi, the manager, who was born in this area.

Today, Tenuta il Palagio produces four types of wine: Sister Moon, Casino delle Vie, When We Dance and Message in a Bottlе. All the names are very poetic, proving the musical past (and present) of their maker. Sister Moon was the name of one of the early compositions by Sting, but the amazing thing is that the name also coincided with the concept of organics and biodynamics practiced by Sting and Trudy. The wine is made from international grape sorts – Sangiovese 40%, Merlot 30% and Cabernet Sauvignon 30%. It should be noted that, along with the international sorts, the estate cultivates local sorts as well, we shall mention them below. As to Sister Moon, this was the first IGT Toscano wine released at Tenuta il Palagio. It spent two years in French barriques. The wine has an incredible aroma of ripe sweet cherries, flowers and liquorice, and it received 93 points from the Wine Spectator.

Casino delle Vie of 2008 received 90 points from Robert Parker. Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Colorino were the “makers” of this wine. It was aged in oak barrels for 12 months and 6 months in bottles. Its name is a casuistry: it can be translated as “a house near the road” or “a mess”.

Sting confessed that he played music for his wines, but didn’t mention what music it was.

Naturally, the first version is more poetic, but the second clearly hints upon consequences. Another wine and another song – When We Dance. This is the cheapest wine among the three, which is also named “an every day chianti”. The price of the only available vintage of 2013 is about 12 pounds (Sister Moon il Palagio 2008 costs 36 pounds, and Casino delle Vie il Palagio 2009 – about 22 pounds). Just like its “sisters”, the wine was acknowledged by wine critics: 93 points from Fine Wine Magazines and 87 points from the Wine Spectator. The sort content of this sample is similar to the previous wine – Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Colorino.

This wine never saw a barrel – just steel tanks and bottle aging. Message in a Bottlе is the last wine in the sort range of the Tenuta. Sangiovese 70%, Syrah 15% and Merlot 15% became the “parents” of this label. They gave the wine delicate notes of spices, wild berries and ripe cherry. This wine aged in barrels – 12 months in French barriques. The price is quite low, too: about 12.5 pounds. Sting confessed that he played music for his wines, but didn’t mention what music it was.

Sting and Trudy

According to the musician’s words, the estate has become his muse, and the wines and olives bring him inspiration. People say that talented people are talented in everything. A disputable statement, but not in Sting’s case. He managed to create not only wonderful music and wines, but even bottle labels which should be especially noted because they look brightly on every shelf. No, there is no picture of Sting in a Siddhasana pose. The label depicts a dancing woman in a black cat suit, wearing pointes and standing on two wine bottles.

Looks enchanting. This is what we see on the When We Dance label, and the Casino delle Vie label shows a man standing on one hand on top of a bottle. The style and plots of these labels are similar, so we can easily place them into one line. Sister Moon looks even more graceful in its simplicity – just some music notes and the name. The design of Message in a Bottle is predictable – the label shows a scroll looking as if it was placed inside the bottle. Looks very appealing, just like the place where Sting hides away from the world which is in a desperate need of a repair today.

Photo: facebook.com/pg/TenutailPalagio

The Tuscan Tenuta il Palagio villa attracts attention of the global community due to various reasons. First, it is scenic in the best traditions of the region – an ancient building of the XVI century, surrounded by gardens, olive tree groves, ponds and bee caps. Second, this estate produces some very good wines, even biodynamic […]

190 years before Macallan

Ancient people believed that the world is supported by three whales. At the end of 2014, a new era has been ushered for Ukrainian capital city: its high life from now on is supported by three global starts combine in one, yet very attractive, universe.

D+ File
The Macallan is one of the oldest single malt scotch brand. First produced in 1824 at The Macallan distillery, near the ancestral Easter Elchies House in Scottish Speyside region. Easter Elchies House on the label of The Macallan is a spiritual home of the luxury single malt. Nowadays production and bottling of the whisky is performed by The Macallan Distillers Ltd., a subsidiary of the Edrington Company, which purchased the brand from Highland Distillers in 1999. In 2009 The Herald magazine recognized The Macallan as “the second world’s most popular single malt” with the annual sales of half a million boxes, and “the second largest whisky brand in terms of assets.” In 2014 at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong The Macallan proved the status of the most expensive single malt and achieved a new record – six-liter decanter of The Macallan Imperiale M was sold for outstanding price USD 628,000.

Leading global brands – Skyline luxury residential complex, The Macallan, one of the top world’s whiskies, and the legendary hotel brand Hilton have joint their efforts to resurrect the 190-year-old Scottish tradition of The Macallan. To be exact they organized The Macallan Skyline Dinner that took place on November 20 in Hilton Kyiv.

Let us recall the chronology: in 1824 The Macallan distillery was first in United Kingdom licensed for whisky production. From then onward a new good tradition has originated: whisky connoisseurs assembled to sample the year’s whisky aging, and of course a well-considered menu. A fascinating chronicle of The Macallan Dinners that now spans the globe, traces back to that time. Nowadays top world’s chiefs compete for launching their signature under the aegis of The Macallan. Famous single malt challenges them to create hautecuisine dishes representing six quality pillars of The Macallan.

Abovementioned dinner at Hilton Kyiv became the latest event of this almost two century chronicle. Shota Goderdzishvili, the Executive Chef of Hilton Kyiv, became the man of the hour (or, to be more precise, the man of the evening). Having mastered all nuances of his wonderful native land’s cuisine, he has been perfecting his skills in top restaurants and hotels in London. For the Dinner he created a sublime menu combining traditional ingredients with a twist of originality and splashes of The Macallan whisky bouquet, complimenting the guest with the extraordinary gastronomic adventure. Each course was interspersed with a tasting of four different ages of whisky just as it would have been 190 years ago.

The evening was co-sponsored by Skyline as a part of multifaced cooperation of Skyline with other brand partners pooling their resources to attract the audience of a particular status. This time Skyline partnership included: Audi, the automobile brand, The Macallan whisky and hotel network Hilton, as well as leading Ukrainian sport brands Kyiv Golf Clud “GolfStream” and Kyiv Yacht Racing Clud.

Ancient people believed that the world is supported by three whales. At the end of 2014, a new era has been ushered for Ukrainian capital city: its high life from now on is supported by three global starts combine in one, yet very attractive, universe. D+ File The Macallan is one of the oldest single […]