"It is necessary to develop wine tourism": the CEO of Fanagoria told the secret of the success of Russian wine
Western sanctions have had almost no effect on winemaking in Crimea. There are enough components, production is growing. The general director of the winery "Fanagoria" Peter Romanishin told about how it was possible to achieve such a result to the editorial board of "Made in Russia".
How did the sanctions affect your production? Surely, foreign equipment was also used in the production of wine, how do you service it now? Fanagoria is a full–cycle enterprise and all drinks are made from grapes grown in its own vineyards on the Taman Peninsula.
We have no problems with the equipment. We have created more than a year's supply of components necessary for the manufacture of products. In addition, we are, of course, looking for alternative supplier options. For example, we have already found a manufacturer of plastic stoppers in one of the EAEU countries and plan to purchase them for wines that are consumed in the first year after manufacture.
Has the technological process changed? What did I have to change in my work because of the sanctions? No, the technological process has not changed in any way.
How did this affect performance? Is there a recession? One of the largest wineries in Russia, Fanagoria, plans to produce more than 2 million dal of products this year, including more than 1.5 million quiet and more than 300 thousand dal sparkling wines, as well as about 150 thousand dal cognacs and grape vodka (chacha).
Due to the fact that the Fanagoria Group of companies is a full–cycle enterprise and all drinks are made from grapes grown in their own vineyards on the Taman Peninsula, in 2022 the volume of production of wines, cognacs and grape vodka (chacha) will remain at the same level as in previous years.
What about logistics? How have the routes changed?The logistics supply chains of our products are concentrated inside Russia.
They haven't changed.
Did it affect prices? How has the cost of products changed at all with the introduction of sanctions? For various reasons, the cost of our products has increased from 1 to 10%
Has this affected demand?In general, sales of Fanagoria products for the first 6 months of this year are comparable to the results of the same period in 2021.
In the first half of the year, we note the greatest sales growth in the categories of quiet and sparkling wines. Sales of Phanagoria's still wines, thanks to promotions held in large grocery chains and novelties in our portfolio, for example, the Rose line of Rose wines, increased by 22% compared to 6 months of 2021, and sparkling wines - by 14%. Growth is observed in the HORECA segment, but this dynamics is related to the development program we developed 3 years ago in this direction. Thanks to the correctly chosen strategy of interaction with hoteliers and restaurateurs, according to the results of the first half of 2022, we increased sales in the Horeca segment by 50% compared to the pre-2019 year.
Where do you export your products? Is the market in Europe frozen for you? What other countries do you sell wine to?
Fanagoria carries out regular export deliveries to different countries of the world. The key importers are China and Kazakhstan. Deliveries, for example, to China amount to about 800,000 bottles per year. Shipments remain at the same level.
Earlier, the Ministry of Agriculture announced the leading areas where Russian wine may be in demand - these are the countries of Africa, Latin America, China, the UAE – do they plan to redirect supplies there, maybe negotiations are already underway?Fanagoria is considering different regions for export.
The countries of Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, of course, are of interest to us because of the large market capacity. And there are prospects for increasing exports in these regions. The most important thing is that distributors and consumers in these countries know about Russian winemaking. And this is exactly where the state's help is needed. At the moment, there is very low awareness of Russian wine in all these regions. And it is necessary to tell that in Russia there are vineyards, a serious history and rich traditions of winemaking. These can be presentations at international events, promotional videos on TV, promotion via the Internet and the organization of special tours for foreign importers. The second aspect is import duties. For example, some countries can import wine to India without paying duties. And this, of course, affects the cost of the product and its attractiveness to the market. Interstate cooperation can also help with this.
How many people work at the enterprise? Have there been any cuts due to sanctions?Fanagoria is a stable agro-industrial enterprise with 1,550 employees.
In the current situation, there are no cuts in the company, and in the spring there was an increase in wages for Fanagorians by an average of 10%.
What are the plans for the development of the company? What new technologies are you using now, what are these technologies? Despite the current situation, Fanagoria continues to develop with a focus on the main value of the company – the production of high-quality Russian wine.
Fanagoria is responsible for nature and the environment, being one of the leading wineries operating in accordance with the principles of ESG. The production of Phanagoria wines already has the lowest carbon footprint in the country. For "green" electricity generation, the winery uses its own solar power plant with a capacity of 1 MW, as well as gas-piston electric generating units. All together, this allows us to cover up to 98% of electricity needs per year on our own, as well as reduce the impact on the environment. In the near future, the winery will also have a unique hydrogen energy supply system for Russia.
The company continues to demonstrate its commitment to the principles of a sustainable economy and responsible attitude to the environment by modernizing production and putting into operation modern sewage treatment plants. In 2022, Phanagoria commissioned a new complex of treatment facilities for cleaning household and industrial wastewater, which is designed for a daily cleaning volume of 500 cubic meters.
Tell us about wine tourism. In the conditions of coronavirus, closed borders, and bans for Russian airlines to fly over Europe, has the flow of people increased significantly? In recent years, interest in Russian wine has really grown.
There is a growing interest in wineries and production. Wine lovers carefully study the assortment. In the near future, this trend will continue to develop.
At the winery "Fanagoria" guests are offered three types of excursions, depending on the depth of interest in wine. You can sign up on the website. Each includes a tour of the winery, a visit to the wine cellar, tasting of product samples. For advanced wine lovers, we offer an individual program with a visit to the viewport in the vineyards, a visit to the cooperage (production of oak barrels), a tour of the winery, a visit to the wine cellar with a tasting of premium samples of Fanagoria products and farm cheeses.
The company also has its own hotels and a restaurant. 2 Fanagoria "Port" hotels are located near the village of Taman, on the M25 highway in both directions, both towards the Crimean Bridge (West) and from it (East). Anapa Airport is 51 km away. Enogastronomical restaurant "Cabernet" is located in the village of Sennoy as well as the winery "Fanagoria". It offers guests dishes of Black Sea, Kuban and Caucasian cuisine and local cheeses combined with suitable Phanagoria wines.
The guests of "Fanagoria" know and love wine, trust our brand. They understand it well enough and come to see how high-quality Russian wine is produced. Recently, on excursions, visitors have been asking more and more in-depth questions about production technology. This year we expect about 5,000 wine lovers in the village of Sennom.
What kind of assistance is needed for Russian wineries to increase demand from the state? How to break the stereotype that good wine is only imported?It is necessary to popularize domestic wines among consumers.
It is necessary to tell and show through various channels that we have vineyards in our country, from which a rich harvest is being harvested to create high-quality Russian wines. And enthusiastic and professional Russian agronomists and winemakers work at domestic wineries, and it is thanks to them that wines are created that are in no way inferior to foreign ones. And, of course, it is necessary to develop wine tourism within the country so that as many people as possible can see with their own eyes how and from what our wine is made.
Read more interesting news in our Telegram channelAuthor: Anton Yakovlev
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