Russia wants to improve wine literacy*

By Vestnik Kavkaza
Russia wants to improve wine literacy*

Against the backdrop of contradictions with Georgian wines, the second Russian Wine Guide project - the country's best wine rating - was launched. Roskachestvo has created an annual research project on wine production together with the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture. A commission of leading Russian and international experts, sommeliers and tasters was formed to develop the national catalog of high-quality Russian wines. Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Evtukhov explained that the issues is the production of Russian wine from Russian wine materials.

"At some point, within the framework of various anti-alcohol campaigns, we lost a large number of vineyards and specialists engaged in this field. Today, the industry is recovering, we see its annual growth. Today we have more than 80 thousand hectares being used to grow grapes for Russian wine-making. As compared with Italy and France, this is not so much, but as compared with New Zealand, it's quite a number. I am sure that the amount of land used for these purposes will increase," Evtukhov said.

According to him, dozens of Russian wines are highly praised by leading international experts at various international competitions. "Foreign specialists work at Russian wineries now. Almost 940 million bottles of wine were produced in 2018. But only 1% is exported. Our entrepreneurs want to raise the volume of export to 5% next year. Of course, the struggle for the external market of well-known countries and well-known manufacturers is not an easy process, and we will have to win our positions and present ourselves abroad."

The Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade also noted the low level of 'wine literacy'. "Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture and Roskoschestvo decided to develop the Russian Wine Guide to acquaint our citizens with high-quality domestic product. A professional commission of leading Russian and international experts, sommeliers and tasters was formed to develop this catalog. First of all, we put above wines that are produced in large quantities - from 50 thousand to 2 million bottles. More than 200 varieties of wines received fairly high marks - 78 points and more," Evtukhov noted. 

According to him, this year they plan to scale up significantly research efforts: "The number of the audited wineries will be doubled. Last year there were 26 of them, this year - 50. The number of wine researches will be also doubled. If last year there were about 300-320 samples, then this year we plan to study 600 Russian wines of completely different categories - red, white, pink, sparkling, liqueur wines. Preference will be given to wines in the under 1000 rubles category. We will receive information from the field: Crimea, Krasnodar territory, Rostov region, Dagestan and some other regions."

The official also noted the 'Days of Russian wines' campaign: "It has proven itself an event that not helps popularize Russian wine, but also increase its sales, even by 30%-60% in a number of positions. More than 50 manufacturers from 60 regions took part in the campaign, there were more than 900 different wines. In the autumn, we plan to hold the first festival of Russian wines produced from Russian wine materials, that is, protected by geographical indications. Most likely, it will be held in St. Petersburg, and next year we will hold it closer areas where grapes are cultivated and wine is produced - Gelendzhik."

* Excessive use of alcohol is harmful to health