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Wine Digest (February 28)

Wine Digest (February 28)

Overview of Top Stories in the Russian Wine World.

Market growth, Saint Vincent, Château Miraval, RosAlkogolRegulirovaniye head, Moldovan wine.

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.

Russian alcohol market grew by 7.6% in monetary terms

Retail sales of alcoholic beverages in Russia increased in 2021 compared with the previous year – by 3.7% in volume and by 7.6% in monetary terms, according to the results of NielsenIQ research. The alcoholic beverages market has become the most dynamic FMCG sector in Russia: the alcohol sales growth of 3.7% in units was the highest rate among all FMCG industries in 2021. Sales of alcoholic beverages in January 2022 also showed growth – their volume increased by 2.1% compared to the same period last year, and sales of wine and sparkling wines increased by 6.2%. Read the original news in Russian.

Dispute continues over Saint Vincent name as wine brand

The importer and producer of alcoholic beverages "Alexandrovy Pogreba" is challenging in court the refusal of RosPatent to register its trademark "Saint Vincent." In 2020 another distributor and producer of alcoholic beverages, "Vinniy Stil," appealed to Rospatent against the legal protection of the trademark "Saint Vincent" – which had belonged to "Aleksandrovy Pogreba" for the past 20 years – claiming that the brand name refers to a Christian martyr and thus “insults the feelings of believers.” RosPatent agreed with the claim and ended the protection of the trademark, and "Aleksandrovy Pogreba" in turn challenged this in court. The initial court supported the trademark protection, but RosPatent and “Vinniy Stil” have successfully appealed this decision. A representative of the Russian Orthodox Church, Hegumenia Ksenia (Chernega), referred to the decision of the Inter-religious Council of Russia that names of Christian saints cannot be used on alcoholic drinks, and said that the court's decision agreeing with this idea should become a precedent for similar cases. The expert community pointed out how the decision of the court could create difficulty for other well-known alcohol brands with names connected to saints. Earlier the lawyer of "Alexandrovy Pogreba" described the case around "Saint Vincent" as "just a dispute between two business entities, one of which used religion as a pretext in an attempt to avoid responsibility for the violation of the other's intellectual rights," as “Vinniy Stil” had already been found guilty of violating the trademark – by importing its own wine using the name “Saint Vincent.”Read the original news in Russian /

Brad Pitt sues Angelina Jolie over sale of her stake in Château Miraval to Russian billionaire Yuri Shefler

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie bought Château Miraval, including a house and vineyard in the south of France, for $28.4 million in 2008. In the summer of 2021, two years after the couple divorced, Jolie announced her plan to sell her stake in the winery to "an unnamed person." In September, Pitt allowed the deal to go through on the condition that he approved the buyer. It turned out that Jolie sold her stake to Tenute del Mondo, a subsidiary of the Stoli Group controlled by Russian billionaire Yuri Shefler. In Pitt’s lawsuit against his ex-wife, he demands both cancellation of the deal and compensation, claiming that Jolie intentionally concealed the terms of the sale from him and that the participation of Yuri Shefler in the management of Château Miraval "wreaked havoc" on his ability to run the winery. Read the original news.

New head of RosAlkogolRegulirovaniye

The new head is Denis Gulyaev, formerly head of the administrative department within RosAlkogolRegulirovaniye. In the Russian state system, RosAlkogolRegulirovaniye is the federal executive body which supervises and controls the production and turnover of alcoholic beverages. Read the original news in Russian.

Moldovan wines to appear in largest Russian retail chains

Magnit and Auchan, which already sell a range of budget Moldovan wines, will be joined in early summer by Perekryostok, which plans to sell Moldovan wines in the premium segment. Other leading retail chains will follow Perekryostok in the second half of 2022. Wines of the Castel Mimi, Timbrus Purcari Estate, Novak Winery, Chateau Vartely, Cricova, and Radacini brands should also appear in 2022 in the Voronezh, Kaluga, Sverdlovsk, Amur, Yaroslavl, Primorsky, and Khabarovsk regions. Read the original news in Russian.

Cover Photo: © Simple Group.

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