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Experts: the development of the Crimean wine-making will require changes in Federal laws

© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

YALTA, April 20. /Offset. TASS Andrei Medina/. Prospects of development of the Crimean wine – increasing areas of vineyards, the creation of the brand “Russian wine”, that Russia is positioning itself as a wine country is directly related to the attention the state of the industry and changes in Federal legislation. This convinced the members of the section “Wine. How to achieve competitiveness in world markets”, held in the framework of the international Yalta economic forum (AMEF).

“The first package of amendments to 171-FZ (on state regulation of production and turnover of alcohol – approx. TASS), which we have introduced the wine, protected geographical indication and the special regimes for wine from Russian grapes began to bear fruit, we have good maturing of the grapes, the wine is better, the overall mood in relation to wine is changing . But we must not stop, we have prepared a more serious package of changes to the legislation,” said Federal business Ombudsman Boris Titov, who owns together with his son Pavel Titov company “Abrau-Durso”, a major Russian producer of sparkling wines, obtained both classic and reservoir method.

Representatives of the wine industry is counting on government support in terms of titling of land, infrastructure matters and on tax preferences and subsidies for the development of viticulture.

Legislative initiatives

Russian winemakers, according to Titov, need a special order of taxation, and the abolition of USAIS (automated system for state control over the production of alcohol – approx. TASS) at the stage of wine production. “The package of amendments in 171-FZ should include measures such as zero excise duty on wine from Russian grapes, and the lack of USAIS in the production process”, – said business Ombudsman.

The idea of the abolition USAIS on the stage of wine production, said in an interview with TASS the General Director of the Inkerman factory of vintage wines Sergey Lebedev. “Naturally, the government is right when tightening the requirements for production of alcoholic beverages. If we’re talking about vodka, there is a huge shadow market, a lot of products counterfeited, passes without excise. But in the wine market, it is almost there, and you need wine to give this plan an advantage to people moved from spirits to wine. But the system of USAIS very inflexible and costly, with the exception of the production – it is the first step,” he explained.

In addition, according to Titov, the production of wine must be equated with the production of agricultural products, and create a separate structure in the Federal Ministry of agriculture which will deal with issues of the viticulture and winemaking.

Manufacturers of cognac, in turn, also expressed the need for support from the state, including the protection of a geographical name as is already done for wine produced from local grapes.

“Today such an initiative for the production of brandy protected geographical name, will provide a market for producers, because we will be the consumer, our cognacs will be competing with other, which are produced by different technologies”, – said General Director of “Ale-Vinal-Crimea” Oleg Logvinov, Recalling that the production of cognac refers to the winemaking.

In the Crimea there are all conditions for the production of cognac full cycle, i.e. from cultivation of grapes to obtain the final product. “If we don’t talk about themselves as producers of a full cycle, that is, the producers of this brandy, we will not be able to compete with a product that is made from imported ethyl alcohol”, – he added. Cognac producers are also counting on tax incentives. According to Logvinov, the speech can go about reducing by half the excise duty.

To solve the issue with the ground

For successful attraction of investments in the Crimean wine-making enterprises need to solve the issue of land rights, said Sergei Lebedev, CEO of the Inkerman plant of vintage wines – one of the largest manufacturers of Sevastopol.

He reminded that Sevastopol and the Crimea after reunification with Russia in 2014 has moved quickly from one legal field to another, but the process of documenting land rights is still not complete, which creates difficulties in obtaining loans secured by the land.

“Therefore, for large manufacturers (Crimea – approx. TASS) to attract investment in the first place to solve the issue of land. Small and medium-sized winemaking infrastructure needed to winemakers’t had a headache about whether roads, housing, gas, water, it also needs to be joint work with the authorities”, – said Lebedev.

Need subsidies for new vineyards

The need for government grants for planting new vineyards said Olga Plenkin, the CEO of “invet-Alko”. The company, as reported by TASS, in the Crimea has received in rent the land plots with a total area of 1.8 thousand hectares, and these lands are plans to implement a bookmark of vineyards and grape growing one of the local wineries. “Examining the development of viticulture and seedlings from nurseries to further bookmark and harvesting need this comprehensive solution to provide support from the state,” said Plenkin.

In addition to subsidies for planting new vineyards need to consider and subsidies for equipment that must be purchased in Europe, because of the equipment not produced in Russia. “If the government will comprehensively support the farmers, then they will quickly give out,” added Plenkin.

Now in the Crimea under vines occupied 19 thousand hectares, while the area of productive vineyards is 16.5 thousand hectares, while in 80-ies of the last century, vineyards occupied an area of 86 thousand hectares. These data led the Minister of agriculture of the Republic of Crimea Andrey Ryumshin. “Over the past year there has been a trend towards the revival of industry, the laying of new vineyards increased from just over 200 hectares to over 500 hectares”, – he added.

At the same time, according to the authorities, on the development of the industry adversely affected by the lack of own seed, the growth of prices for equipment and fertilizer. These problems are due to the state support, which has increased over three years by 2.5 times in the past year amounted to 187 million rubles, and in the current year will amount to 278 million rubles. Develops and wine industry, enterprises installs new equipment, the modernization and reconstruction of production facilities of Crimean enterprises.

Brand promotion of domestic wine

Talking to winemakers about the need for creating brands of domestic wine. According to the business Ombudsman Titov, if this idea will be realized and the brand “Russian wine” will evoke positive emotions, and the domestic wine industry will develop faster.

“We need to ensure that we considered wine country, then it will be easier to sell wine, both in Russia and abroad. So we are going to pay attention, we will work on it,” he explained, citing examples of the world’s wine-producing provinces, such as New Zealand, South Africa, Chile.

One of the tools for creating brands of domestic wine is its protection of a geographical name that is already used in the Crimea. “Now 30% of Russian wine is not made from Russian grapes. What is the point to promote it? And this tool allows you to determine that the Crimean wine is great, it is a tool in the identification of Crimea as a serious wine region,” – said General Director of “invest Plus” Grigoriev, who said that now in the region of the Crimean winemaking is a real revolution, local manufacturers are beginning to use new varieties and technologies.

A positive image for the Russian wine

One of the priority tasks for today, winemakers can see in creating a positive image for domestic wine, and on a continental part of Russia.

“In Crimea to promote wine should not go into any store, near the counter with alcoholic beverages will be people who are 80-90% came for the wine. On the continent 90% of the people come for strong alcohol because of large trading networks of the Russian wine looks very pale. Network dictate that the Russian wine somehow must be cheap, and if it is cheap, it is a priori not very good quality. This way the Russian wine we must fight,” – said Sergey Lebedev.

In an interview with TASS he said that it is necessary to introduce minimum price for wine. “If you saw on the shelf the wine at a price of 96 rubles, in the bottle not the wine. Good wine can not be cheap, and must proceed from the cost of quality wines and extra charges of distributors and retail chains, and so will the minimum price,” – said Lebedev, according to which, for the Crimean wines, the minimum price will be about 250 rubles.

Interest in the Russian wine growing

Winemakers say the growing interest of Russian consumers to wine, and above all, Crimea. “The Russian wine market consists of two major categories of imported and domestic wine. Starting in 2014 within this market has been switching from imported to domestic wine, first, because of the significant appreciation of the Euro, due to this Russian wine became a more attractive price, the second big trend is the fact that the Crimea became part of Russia, and went with their wine, was of great interest to the Crimea in General and wine in particular”, – said Lebedev.

According to him, in 2014 the share of Crimean wine accounted for 36% of the Russian market, and by 2015 about a quarter. “In 2016, everything calmed down, it was slightly less than in 2015. The market is about 750 million liters, of which 520-510 million litres – this is Russian wine, this year is likely volumes will remain at the same level”, – said Lebedev.

Yalta international economic forum will be held from 20 to 22 April, with the participation of about 1.5 thousand people from 50 countries. AMEP is held for the third time. In 2016, the forum was signed 12 investment agreements totaling more than 70 billion rubles. Also on the second AMAP was developed the mechanism of protection of foreign investors willing to work in the Crimea, to Western sanctions.

Strategic information partner of the forum is the news Agency TASS.

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