Russia’s Largest Wine Producer Expands Vineyard Holdings by 40%
May 28, 2015
As Russia strives to revive its neglected wine industry, Ariant, the country’s largest wine producer, has expanded its vineyard holdings by 40%, from 6,000 hectares to 8,500 hectares.
The 2,500 hectares expansion has occurred in Krasnodar, in the south of the country, and the heart of its biggest wine producing region. The location was carefully selected, as the company hopes to capitalize upon increased tourism from Russia to Crimea, which are connected by ferry at Krasnodar, while a new multi-billion dollar bridge connecting the two regions is scheduled to be operational by 2018.
After a decade of neglect, and a lack of government support following the collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in a sharp decline in both vineyards and wine production, the Russian wine industry is sorely in need of investment and development. Last year, Russia’s government declared its plan to double the country’s wine grape acreage by 2020, and the country’s Agriculture Minister, Alexander Tkachev, stated that the Russian government will be supporting the construction of modern wineries and the development of the industry, as high-end Russian wine will be more cost competitive on global markets since the devaluation of the ruble.
While top global wine producing countries such as France have hundreds of thousands of hectares of vineyards, Russia currently has 86,500 hectares according to data from the state statistics service, Rosstat. For the country to reach its goal of 90% self-sufficiency in winemaking, Russia will need an additional 350,000 hectares of vineyards according to Peter Ronamishin, chief executive of Fanagoria, one of Russia’s largest producers.