Odessa is named after a major seaport in the Ukraine, known as the “pearl of the Black Sea,” which was founded in 1794 by a decree of the Empress Catherine the Great. The city has a rich history for winemaking and brandy production. The Shustov Distillery, which manufactures Odessa, lies about 20 kilometers from Odessa near the village Velikodolinskoe, surrounded by picturesque vineyards.
The Shustov Distillery is considered one of Europe’s largest distilleries to use traditional Alembic Charentais copper pot stills, and has the biggest production capacity not only in the Ukraine and CIS countries, but also in Europe. It remains the oldest brandy distillery in the Ukraine and houses the country’s largest collection of oak barrels with over 60,000 barrels made from French, Hungarian and western Ukrainian oak.
Odessa is produced from spirits distilled from white grape varietals including Rkatsiteli, Aligoté and Pinot varieties. The Rkatsiteli is an ancient pale-skinned grape variety from the Republic of Georgia – one of the oldest (if not the oldest) wine-producing regions on earth. Aligoté is a white grape used to make dry white wines in the Burgundy region of France, but it is also cultivated in many Eastern Europe countries.
Odessa is distilled using the traditional French “Charentais” – or double fractional distillation – in copper pot stills. The heart of the distillate is then carefully selected to be bottled and aged, enhancing the delicate and refined aroma that is the signature of its white grape varietals. The spirit then ages in oak barrels for at least five years. The goal is to capture the delicate and refined aromas that are the signature of fine wines. The Odessa brand is rich in hints of oriental spices and citrus at first scent and raisins and tones of mature wine on the second test. On the palate, it is rich in honey and nutty flavors, with a long and smooth creamy caramel finish, a brandy to savor. At this time, only Odessa VSOP has reached American shores.