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Popovich: ”Russia will keep on consuming Italian wines”

Popovich: ”Russia will keep on consuming Italian wines”

According to the president of the Russian Union of winemakers and winegrowers Russia strives to increase its own wine production, yet Italian wines will still be highly demanded
October 28, 2015

Even though its getting tougher to export to Russia, «Italian wine makers shouldn’t worry too much, as their wine is to be highly demanded for at least next 10-15 years,» the president of the Russian Union of winemakers and winegrowers Leonid Popovic said.

Russia is trying to increase its internal wine production, thus increasing subsidies to viticulture to have 140 thousand vineyard area by 2020 (now its about 87 thousand). “It is true that Russia is trying hard to increase its own wine production, but it is also true that it will take ages. You have to plant the vineyards, then, grow up the vines. That will take not less than 10-15 years”.

Russian wine producers have already settled on the market and are doing pretty well – according to Rosstat data, in 2014, out of the total 952,5 mln liters of wine consumed in Russia (by 2,1% less compared to 2013), 529,6 mln liters was wine produced in Russian. Obviously, here we are speaking about a certain quality of wine. «Each year Russia produces only 5 million liters of high quality wine comparable with Italian DOC class wines or French AOC (Appellation d’origine contrôlée). It is less than 1% of the total wine production,» Mr Popovich said. Its true that it would take considerable amount of time for Russian wine producers to start making good quality wine but you can’t deny that local wines have settled down on the market.

What advice could I give to Italian wine makers? «You should work harder and produce cheaper,» Mr Popovich said laughingly. «I fully understand that the question of the price is not an easy one and relies on different factors: the devaluation of the ruble and negative trends in Russian economy, just to list some. Wine producers can’t do much about it. I am sure, though, that when the economic situation improves, it will stimulate both imports and purchasing power. What I suggest to foreign wine makers is to look beyond Moscow and St. Petersburg when entering Russian market. The fact that there are millions of potential consumers in the regions shouldn’t be underestimated».