Ban on Fine Wine Exports to Russia to Hit French Producers Hard, Italian Winemaker Says

© Pixabay/CC0Glass of red wine, bottle
Glass of red wine, bottle - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.03.2022
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ROME (Sputnik) - The export ban on wine worth more than 300 euros ($329) per bottle to Russia will hit French producers, Giordano Emo Capodilista, a major Italian winemaker told Sputnik, adding that Russian wine would hardly replace European wine if all EU imports fell under the ban.

"At first we were afraid that exports to Russia would be completely banned. I don't want to say that wine is equal to gas, but it's bad to live without wine. It's not a luxury, it's a part of tradition. We are the biggest exporter to Russia with a 33% share of the market, and I doubt that Russian wine would be enough to substitute European wine, which amounts to 9 million hectolitres. Crimea produces less wine, even though it is good", the expert said.

Emo Capodilista, who is also vice president of the Italian association of agricultural producers Confagricoltura, said the overall volume of European wine exports to Russia totals 350 million euros, with sparkling varieties being the most popular.
The European Union previously banned exports of luxury goods to Russia, including caviar and alcohol, worth over 300 euros.

"I assume that this measure was introduced by the European Council in order to hit the luxury segment rather than household goods. If the 300-euro threshold per bottle is confirmed, French producers will suffer the most. We are talking about Burgundy wines and the so-called superwines, but there are very few of them. Italian wines, on the other hand, are sold at an average price of 3 euros a litre", the winemaker said.

Emo Capodilista said that he respected European laws, but considered wine an international product. The winemaker also expressed hope for a diplomatic resolution of the conflict, which would allow producers to resume working with Russia.
The problem of wine supply in Russia is also addressed in a report by another association of wine producers, Coldiretti. It notes that restaurants and hotels in Russia are suffering from a shortage of Italian products "because of the sanctions and the depreciation of the ruble". The volume of Italian wine supply to Russia enjoyed an increase of 18% and amounted to 150 million euros in 2021, the report says.
According to Russian operators, some deliveries were disrupted, and a number of agents reduced the period of deferred payment or cancelled it altogether. Other products, such as Italian pasta, with exports reaching 28 million euros, are also facing supply difficulties on the Russian market. Coldiretti additionally highlights problems with exports of olive oil, worth some 32 million euros, and coffee, which reached 80 million euros in 2021.
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