Wine Travel Food Gambero Rosso June 2020

Page 14


MY IMPORT Laws and trends change, Russia revises its relationship with wine “The Russian market, explained”, interview with Anayoly Korneev, co-founder of Simple Wine, absolute leader in the field of Italian wine in Russia with 80 suppliers. Among the most popular brands are Frescobaldi, Tenuta San Guido, Bertani

1 What must companies understand about the Russian market? What are the peculiarities of the market? The volume of per capita wine consumption in Russia is officially 8 liters. The total volume of wine consumption in 2019 was 11 million hectoliters. Unfortunately, of these, only 7 million hectoliters are wine (according to European regulations, i.e. wine made from grapes, must or grape juice). All the rest is an additional category of beverages containing wine. To change this situation, Federal Law 468 on wine and viticulture, which will name “wine” only the product obtained from crushed grapes or berries or grape juice, should enter into force on July 1st. The second problem that exists in the Russian Federation is the proportion between Russian wine and imported bottled wine, which represents 60% for Russian wine and 40% for imported wine. But within the Russian wine compartment, about 60% is imported bulk wine. The area of the vineyards in the Russian Federation is approximately 90,000 hectares, but one third is used for the production of brandy. Therefore, we have a shortage of our wine areas. The law will change in such a way that viticulture will become a priority. In this regard, importers and exporters do not have to worry, because the substitution will take place in the category of Russian wine with Russian wine, which will improve. This process will take approximately 5-10 years. In addition, we must also consider that we have very high taxation, the price of the seller ex-cellar is charged 3.5-4 times. In addition, the market is saturated and sales are limited to the large cities of the Russian Federation. Competition is tough. In the Russian Federation, the advertising law does not allow the promotion of alcoholic beverages and even online sales are prohibited by law.

2 What kind of upheavals has Covid brought to the Russian market? What type of wine are you focussing onfor post-Covid? It’s still early to make evaluations. The national currency went from 68 to 77 rubles, weakening by 12%. Alcohol sales have increased, while the average price at the cash register has decreased. There is a lot of talk about the right value for money of the new denominations. The population is losing income and doesn’t know what will happen, for sure people will continue to spend on products that they already know. But nobody is psychologically ready to fall into a lower category, so alternatives are being sought. Customers have stopped drinking Chianti Classico Riserva and are discovering, for example, Rosso Conero or Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Or, instead of Barolo, they’re choosing wine with fine and elegant structure, like Gattinara. People are willing to experiment. There are absolutely no problems with Super Tuscans. The rich remain rich, the middle class becomes poorer and the poor get even poorer. These are the laws of every serious crisis.

3 How do you see the future of wine in Russia? Will consumption grow? Is there ample room for growth in post-Covid? Positively. Most likely there will be a loosening of the law on advertising and selling at a distance. Great growth cannot be expected in the post-pandemic period. Most likely, all countries will lose in import. Because now due to the collapse of the ruble, Russians will drink much more Russian wine, especially because the quality will increase. But it will be only a period of maximum 2-3 years, afterward it will return to normal. The fall will not be deep.

4 How do you see the future of the Russian restaurant/dining business? Will many wine bars continue to open? Which dining format is Russia headed towards? We are witnessing a contraction in the restaurant market. My prediction is that 10-15% will close by the end of the year. Other new ones will open in their place. For the market, this situation will be a god cleanse. Those who were due to retire last year will leave. The wine bars will open, but I think the market will freeze for a year. This will increase the efficiency of existing businesses. dining market|willDolegna shrink, but will become professional. For the wine market this is all very positive.  Jermann The | Loc. Ruttars delitCollio (GO) more |



JUNE 2020