19 Sep 2019 12:18

Abrau-Durso decides not to produce wine in China

ABRAU-DYURSO. Sept 19 (Interfax) - The major Russian sparkling-wine producer Abrau-Durso has decided not to produce wine in China, but it will increase its exports to that country, the company's president, Pavel Titov, told journalists.

"The plan for vineyards in China didn't really come together, because we realized that it's really tough there in terms of climate. We decided not to pursue this plan, but we still kept the JV, we're working on the process, knocking on a closed door, trying to distribute something," Titov said.

This year, the company is planning to deliver three or four containers to China. One container can hold 15,000-16,000 bottles.

"China's entire sparkling-wine market is 9 million bottles. Wine is made in three countries for the Chinese: France, Italy, and Australia. Chile has just been added. We'll also make our mark there sooner or later," Titov said.

"Our export plans are huge. The issue is that they're not always waiting for us in places where we want to sell. But we're already selling in 20 countries; quantitatively, this isn't a big volume. This year, I think we'll exceed 1 million bottles in exports, but for us exports also include duty-free sales," Titov said. In 2018, the company exported 800,000 bottles.

Exports to Germany, Cyprus, the Baltic states, and Kazakhstan are developing well, he said. "Israel has a very interesting market. We created a series of kosher champagne especially for them. [...] After not being on the UK market for a long time, we signed a contract with a fairly serious distributor, the first few containers have gone. The market is interesting, very unprejudiced, they're ready to try something new," Titov said.

"China drinks a lot of beer, and it's a big, growing red-wine market, but with bubbles - nope. We're forcing our way into that market, too," Titov said.