Wine Digest (December 17)
Wine Digest (December 17)

Wine Digest (December 17)

Evgeny Kotelevsky


Thomas Anthony

English-language Editor

17 december 2021
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Overview of Top Stories in the Russian Wine World. Every week we identify for you the top stories in Russia about wine, spirits, restaurants, beer, cider, etc. We provide an English-language summary of each of them, as well as a link if you want to learn more. Written by Evgeniy Kotelevsky, edited by Thomas Anthony.

Results announced of the first Forbes TOP-100 rating of Russian wines 

The new rating from Forbes featured 55 still red, 31 still white, and 14 sparkling Russian wines. The Top 10 was notably dominated by reds, and included seven red wines, one still white and two sparkling wines. First place was taken by Pinot Noir “Family Reserve” 2018 from Sikory Estate, in the Krasnodar region. The second and third places were taken by Crimean wines made from Cabernet Franc, from Esse and Belbek. Leading Russian wine blogger Denis Roudenko noted that the list is almost entirely made up of European grape varieties, with only about ten percent of the wines from native Russian varieties. Rather than sticking with local niche grapes, Russia seems to be following the examples of New World countries like Australia or the USA, making quality wines from established European grape varieties. 

The Forbes website describes that the rating considered not only the jury's assessment of the wine, but also “market factors: first of all, affordability for the consumer – retail price – and the production volume.” In this light, the observation of the WineRetail channel is worth noting: 4 out of the Top-10 wines are available in large Russian retail chains. A total of 307 wines (143 red, 108 white, 56 sparkling) from 62 producers took part in the competition.  

Check the complete Forbes’ TOP-100 list in Russian.

New GOST standard: “32030-2021: Wines. General technical conditions” postponed to January 1, 2024

The new GOST (All-Union State Standard) was to come into force on January 1, 2022. It was intended to complement the existing GOST for “Table wines” and “Wines with protected geographical indication, and wines with protected appellation of origin.” This rescheduling coincided with the previously postponed entry into force of the new EAEU technical regulation “On the Safety of Alcoholic Products.” Experts expressed concerns that introducing new GOST standards on January 1, 2022 could lead to an increase in prices – or even a shortage of alcohol – due to the new requirements. Producers would have had to change urgently the back labels on their wine, and there could have been conflicts between wine producers and retailers in the implementation of the new GOST.

Read the original news in Russian.

Producers warn that prices of imported wine will increase in 2022

According to wine importer Fort, wine producers from France, Italy and the New World will ask an average of 20-25% more this coming year. Price increases were also confirmed by MBG Wine and Luding. Suppliers link the rise in prices to a poor harvest – in 2021 wine production is expected to drop by 4% compared to the previous year. A poor harvest is not the only reason; the increase in prices is also connected to increases in the secondary costs involved in wine production, such as labels, corks, capsules, and logistics. Importers expect to limit their price increases to 10-15%, however, and Russian alcohol market expert Vadim Drobiz considers the alarming statement by foreign wine producers to be ''a market scam".

Read the original news in Russian.


Photo: © Daniel Vogel/Unsplash

Georgian National Wine Agency reports all-time record wine exports in 2021 

The National Wine Agency reports that 96.1 million bottles of wine were exported by Georgia from January to November 2021, 14% more than last year. As in previous years, Russia remains the leader among destination countries, to which 55.9 million bottles were sent – 58% of all wine exports. Ukraine is second (11.7 million bottles), and third place is held by Poland (5.9 million bottles). China and Kazakhstan also became major consumers of Georgian wine. In total, Georgian wine was supplied to 60 countries.

Read the original news in Russian.

Fanagoria has started exporting wine to France

"The first batch of wine in history was shipped from Fanagoria to the French retail chain Auchan. In total, two trucks – 24,192 bottles of eight different positions from the Cru Lermont and 100 Shades lines – were sent to the French city Grenoble," the company said in a statement. The average retail prices are 750 rubles and 1600 rubles, respectively, for the wines of the two lines. Fanagoria owns 3.4 thousand hectares in the Krasnodar region, and has an annual production volume exceeding 2 million decaliters.

Read the original news in Russian.

Results of the Young Vine competition for young winemakers in the Krasnodar region announced

The event was organised by the Chateau Tamagne Enological Center. The competition included various kinds of sensory analysis and blind tastings to identify production techniques and grapes’ origins. The winner of the competition was Ivan Zakharov (Alma Valley), Vladislava Mosina (Belbek) was second, and third place was taken by Domnik Kashirin (Alma Valley). 

Read the original news in Russian.

Cover photo: © Christian Linnemann/Unsplash.

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