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Azbuka Vkusa, Italian wine is always highly appreciated on Russian market

Azbuka Vkusa, Italian wine is always highly appreciated on Russian market

Eurasiatx interviewing Dmitry Krasilnikov leading wine expert in Enoteca "Azbuka Vkusa"
September 24, 2015

On September 22, in Milan has been held a videoconference Moscow-Milan dedicated to Italian entrepreneurs in Russia and in the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union). The event has been in a format of a business dialogue between the representatives of the Italian wine market and experts of the Russian and Eurasian market. Eurasiatx spoke to Dmitry Krasilnikov leading wine expert in Enoteca “Azbuka Vkusa” on the situation on Russian market.

Russia increases its exports of wines from countries such as Australia and Chile, how does it affect sales of Italian wine in Russia?

You know, Russia has always been importing wine from these countries, there is nothing new in it. Simply Italian winemakers look too “local” on the market. They need to soberly assess the situation. Russian wine market is ever growing and is becoming a very competitive market. And here it is important to find a right price/quality balance.

What has played a crucial role on sales of Italian wine, recent crisis, economic sanctions or weakening of the Russian currency?

It is not about weakening of the rouble. We are all in the same boat. What is important is not to underestimate final consumer. The culture of wine is growing in Russia. Of course there are still stereotypes, however, among the active population, here I am speaking about the middle segment of the market, interest is growing. Consumers become pickier. It doesn’t make sense to enter into the market with new offers of the ever same international varieties such as Chardonnay or Cabernet. There are greater interest for something new, strictly local, with its own character.

And, on my opinion, a right pricing strategy is at most important. There are as many importers as offers, an important point for producers is to be able to work together with its distributer by building a joint strategy to enter the market. Only by working together, working as a partners, one could reach a final consumer.

In Russia, at the moment, it is prohibited to advertisement of alcoholic beverages, as well as the sale of alcohol online. How does a local small wine producer could enter the market?

On my opinion, there is no need in direct advertising for wine. More than that, it is great that it is banned. There are other ways to promote your product, such as degustation, articles in specialized publications, trade catalogs, wine festivals, etc. As for online sale of wine, it has never had a big share of the market, perhaps in the future, if the ban will be abolished, however, so far it has never been a significant segment of the market.

Is there any room for bio-wines in Russia?

This is an interesting topic. This segment is very small, however, in my opinion, a very promising. Unfortunately, by now, under the label of bio it is mostly seen wines that cost more, than not bio wine. Russian consumers do not understand why they has to pay such a difference. So, here I’m getting back to my argument of price/quality ration. The hardest task is to explain why one should pay this price for the product. Unfortunately, most of the time the label bio is used as a marketing tool, and it is not always works well. I know some very good bio-wines. On my opinion, this is a good idea and will undoubtedly evolve, because it is touching one of the factors the market is very sensitive naming the quality. (AH)