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A meeting of inter-agency working groups has been held in the Presidential Office of the Russian Federation to discuss preparations for the Russian Winemaking Forum, which is dedicated to developing winegrowing and winemaking. The Forum will be the first major high-level international event on winemaking in Russia and will take place annually. The first Forum will take place in November 2022 in Moscow. The Roscongress Foundation is operator of the Forum.

Among the meeting’s participants were representatives of federal subjects of Russia from Krasnodar Territory, Stavropol Territory, Rostov Region, the Republic of Crimea and the Republic of Dagestan; representatives of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Economic Development, the Federal Agency for Tourism, the Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation, the Russian Agricultural Bank, the Russian National Commercial Bank, Soyuzkonyak NPO and Abrau-Durso PJSC; representatives of trade associations and non-governmental associations; and marketing experts from leading wine-producing countries.

«The Government attaches great importance to developing winegrowing and winemaking, creating favourable conditions to enhance the competitiveness of Russian wine and ultimately securing a leading position on the international wine market. Winemaking boosts the economy. The quality of our wine is equal to that of wine produced in France, Spain, Italy, the USA and other countries, as evidenced by the decrease in demand for imported products on the Russian market,» said Anton Kobyakov, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation. In addition, he highlighted the need to hold Russian wine festivals in regions where winemaking forms an integral part of the economy and shared an initiative to establish an official festival — Winemaking Day — to celebrate people employed in this industry. The Winemaking Day is planned for the last Sunday of November.

Meeting participants underscored the importance of the international dimension of the future project, which will be essential in order to showcase Russian products on the global market and facilitate dialogue between producers in different countries. Moreover, there are plans to establish an International Prince Golitsyn Award to celebrate the promotion and popularization of Russian wine products.

Oksana Luth, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, reiterated the importance of holding an event to support the winemaking sector and is convinced that the event will make a valuable contribution to the international winemaking events calendar.

«Above all, the Forum will give Russian wine the international recognition it deserves. We need to raise global awareness of the supreme quality and competitiveness of Russian wine. Additionally, the forum can be a place where agreements are signed to establish special conditions for exporting Russian wines to other countries, which will give renewed impetus to the development of the sector,» noted the VP of Special Projects at Abrau-Durso, Irina Goncharova.

Participants dedicated particular attention to ensuring quality control and preventing fraud. Dmitry Chernev, Executive Director of Soyuzkonyak NPO, noted that intensive work is being conducted alongside the Eurasian Economic Commission to develop a unified quality control system for wine products, known as the National Cognac Code. «Our core task is to consolidate the sector to combat fraud and ensure commodity-based development. With the aid of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry we can use selected indicators to trace the journey from vineyard to bottle and determine the region in which the grape in the final product originated.» The programme will be open to market players on a voluntary basis, and producers who act in good faith will benefit from an additional competitive advantage. Dmitry Chernev also proposed amending the name of the Forum: «I suggest calling the event the ‘Forum of Winemaking Production’, which will open up the event to a much wider circle of potential participants, including cognac manufacturers».

During preparations for the Forum, annual research into Russian wine will be used, including the Russian Wine Guide’s national quality rating, which the Russian quality assurance body is implementing in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Russian Agricultural Bank.

Yulia Rybakova, advisor to the Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism, presented a proposal for developing wine tourism. «The development of a national tourist route dedicated to wine tourism will enhance the image of domestic manufacturers and will facilitate the creation of a specific wine consumption culture, allowing tourists to visit traditional ‘wine regions’ in Russia».

Invitees to the event will include federal executive bodies, including those responsible for developing and implementing state policy and regulations, the agency for consumer protection (oversight) in the winemaking and manufacturing sector, executive authorities of federal subjects of the Russian Federation, producers and major distributors of wine products, representatives of trade networks and expert communities, and foreign participants.

The Russian Winemaking Forum will showcase major leading Russian winemakers and retail partners, as well as the best domestic wine products.