Russia aims to double its total grape harvest by 2022, in order to fully meet the needs of domestic winemaking in raw materials, according to recent statements of Alexander Tkachev, Russia’s Minister of Agriculture.
Over the past 30 years, Russia’s grape harvest has gradually declined, along with its vineyard surface area. In 1990, the area under vine in Russia was 212,200 ha; last year it was 87,600 ha. Over the same period, the total grape harvest in Russia declined by more than 40%, to a mere 551,700 tonnes.
However, the government has ambitious plans to improve the current situation, by expanding Russia’s area under vineyards by up to 169,300 ha.
Tkachev says the total grape harvest will exceed 1.3m tonnes by 2022, a significantly higher figure than the 665,000 tonnes predicted for the current year.
To bring these plans to fruition, the government intends to provide subsidies for domestic grape producers. These will include subsidies for the replanting of old vineyards, the establishment of new ones, and the purchase of much needed new equipment.
The government hopes the development of the domestic viticulture will add up to 319.2bn rubles ($5.5bn) in additional revenue to the national federal budget by 2022 to 2023.
Alexander Tkachev said the increase in domestic grape production is part of a wider push to substitute Russian goods for imported products, particularly in the wine industry. In 2016, the volume of wine produced in Russia grew by 3.1% and amounted to 90.2m decaliters. Of these, 40.8% was table wine, 34.2% was wine drinks drinks, and 16.3% was sparkling wine. Wine imports to Russia, on the other hand, fell by 3.2% to 19.4m decaliters.