Notable Russian billionairies are expanding into the EU wine market through the purchase of elite vineyards in well-known wine-making regions of the continent, according to a recent report from the Russian Ministry of Agriculture.
Several days ago Konstantin Nikolayev, a well-known Russian businessman and head of the Russian transport holding N-Trans, completed a deal for the purchase of the La Madonnina, a winey located in the Tuscan region of Bolgheri, along the Mediterranean coast.
The deal was estimated at $4m and the plan is to sell the wines both to the EU and Russia. An interest in the wines has reportedly already been expressed by high-end restaurants in Moscow and St Petersburg.
Eugene Shvidler, another Russian billionaire – and friend of Roman Abramovich – is considering launching wine production in France, where he currently owns 80 ha of vineyards in the Bergerac region. Among the main cultivated varieties are Merlot, Semillon, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merille Noire, Sauviynon and Muscatelle, although the planned range and production volumes are currently not disclosed.
Finally, Valentin Zavadnikov, the co-owner of Synergy, one of the leading producers of distilled spirits in Russia, has recently announced plans to expand wine production at the Fattoria di Montemaggio winery, which is located in Chianti Classico.
According to an official spokesman of Alexander Tkachev, Russia’s Minister of Agriculture, Russian business people are showing an increased interest in acquiring or establishing wineries in the EU.
The French regions of Champagne and Provence, Italy’s Tuscany and some wine regions in Spain enjoy the greatest popularity among wealthy Russians, particularly those looking to establish wine production within the territory of the EU.