By Leman Mammadova
Today there is a great demand for Azerbaijani wines in foreign markets since they have always distinguished by quality and taste.
Ismayilli Sharab, an Azerbaijani manufacturer of alcoholic beverages, located in the Ismayilli region of the country, plans to increase the volume of wine exports to the Russian market, a source in the company told Trend.
The company also plans to increase the manufacture of wine products until the end of this year, according to the source.
"The company’s wine products are in great demand in the Russian market, therefore, as part of our opportunities, we plan to increase exports," said the source.
Ismayilli Sharab has equipment of Italian and French production.
Winery occupies one of the most important places in the food industry of Azerbaijan. The country is famous for its high quality grape varieties. The five major wine-growing regions of Azerbaijan are Shamakhi, Ismayilli, Gabala, Ganja and Tovuz. Local grape varieties include White Shani, Derbendi, Nail, Bayanshire, Gamashara, Ganja Pink, Bendi, Madrasa, Black Shani, Zeynabi, Misgali, Khindogni, Agdam Kechiamjayi, Tebrizi, and Marandi.
The share of Azerbaijan in the wine production in the former Soviet Union was always high. Nevertheless, the Alcoholism and Anti-Drinking Initiative of the former Soviet Union in 1985 caused the destruction of the vineyards of more than 130,000 hectares in Azerbaijan. One of the first steps towards the restoration of vineyards and winemaking in the country was the Law on Winemaking adopted in 2001.
To ensure sustainable development of winemaking in the country, increase the interest in wine production and exports, the State Program on the development of wine growing in 2018-2025 was approved in May 2018, which will facilitate the development of wine tourism and increase loans allocated to the wine industry in Azerbaijan.
The State Program envisages that the export of wine from Azerbaijan should increase fivefold by 2025.
Azerbaijan plans to develop the first wine tourist route in the history of the country by mid-2019. A new highly specialized tourist route will pass through the wineries of the Absheron, Ismayilli, Shirvan, Gabala, Sheki and Goygol regions.
Tourism experts intend to pave the route in such a way that within a few days foreigners would be taken from one region to another, giving them the opportunity to visit wineries where the legendary Azerbaijani alcoholic beverages are produced. In addition, tourists will get the opportunity to personally taste wine drinks.
Azerbaijan also intends to connect it with the famous Georgian wine route, paving the way for tourists from Sheki to Kakheti, a Georgian region.
Currently, about 40 winemaking enterprises operate in Azerbaijan producing natural wine, sparkling wine, liqueur, brandy, vodka, ethyl alcohol, cognac, etc.
Most of producers target Russian and European markets as well as new markets for Azerbaijani wine, such as China.
In addition, Azerbaijani wine houses operate in foreign countries to promote national brands and their export. The first wine house of Azerbaijan was opened in China in 2018.
Recently, local wine products have been featured at Prowein 2019 international exhibition in Germany, the world's leading trade fair for wine and spirits. As a result of the discussions, Absheron Wine Company has already reached a preliminary agreement on exporting its products to Germany. Moreover, Naiqin Co-Tovuz Baltiya and Aspi Agro companies held talks on export its products to Germany, France and the Netherlands, while Sharg Ulduzu and Agro-Azerinvest - to Norway, Germany and China.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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