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In Vino Veritas: Famous Crimean Wine to Appear on Chinese Store Shelves

© Photo : Massandra Winery Press ServiceMassandra Winery
Massandra Winery - Sputnik International
The Crimean oldest winery Massandra intends to compete with French winemakers that are currently dominating on the Chinese market. Thousands of bottles are on their way to Chinese store shelves, for people to enjoy the taste of the legendary wine.

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The Massandra winery is one of the oldest areas of Russian winemaking and one of the main Crimean attractions. The company was established in 1894 by Prince Lev Golitsyn. Nowadays, it produces 80 types of dessert and table wines. Its unique enoteca, the collection of wine samples, owns about a million bottles and is listed in the Guinness World Records.

A true gem of the collection is Jerez de la Frontera harvest of 1775. One of the five bottles this wine stored in the Massandra's cellars was sold at Sotheby's in London for 50 thousand dollars. According to experts, such rare wine can cost up to 1 million euros these days.

© Photo : Massandra Winery Press ServiceMassandra Winery
Massandra Winery - Sputnik International
Massandra Winery

China became the first far-abroad country to buy Crimean wine after the peninsula's reunification with Russia, Director General of the Massandra winery Yanina Pavlenko told Sputnik in an interview. Many companies and importers have shown interest in the wines of Massandra, however, deliveries in a number of countries are complicated by the US and EU sanctions against goods of Crimean origin.

"The cooperation with China was initiated in Spring 2016, when a delegation from China attended a wine degustation in Massandra. Chinese experts selected a range of wines for supply to their country themselves," Pavlenko said.

"The first lot of 17,600 bottles was loaded in mid-July. It included dry wines; white Chardonnay, red Merlot and Cabernet, and semidry ones; Pearl of Massandra and Muscat Massandra. Transported by sea, they will appear on the shelves of Chinese stores in the middle of August, according to our calculations."

The winery works with its Chinese partners on the basis of 100% prepayment. "We have received money for the first batch of goods a long time ago. Payment for the second container which will be shipped to China next week, was made on account few days ago. The second shipment consists of 17,760 bottles of wine, including dessert and Muscat types, which are particularly famous among Massandra's varieties," stated the head of the winery.

© Photo : Massandra Winery Press ServiceMassandra Winery
Massandra Winery - Sputnik International
Massandra Winery

"We are pleased that our wines are in demand in China; we plan to expand the geography of supplies on this market," she added.

According to Pavlenko, the Massandra winery will be for the second time presented at the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, which will be held on November 10-12. In addition, the company have sent four samples of wines to Hong Kong for participation in the international competition, which will take place in the framework of the fair.

"Negotiations with Hong Kong on deliveries are held at the same time. Moreover, Taiwan showed interest in the wines of Massandra," the director general told Sputnik.

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Quality wine is always a product of a particular locality. According to experts, the soil and climatic conditions of Crimea are favorable for the growth of grapes. An excellent taste of local wines is also achieved by its long-term aging.

According to Yanina Pavlenko, there are 3.3 million dekaliters of winemaking materials that are aging in the cellars of Massandra. A four-year stock of raw materials sits under ground, which allows producing 12 million bottles of final product per year. However, in a 5-6 year period, production volumes will be increased to 40 million bottles a year due to restoration of the old vineyards and the creation of new ones, concluded the director general of the winery.

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