By Rasana Gasimova
The Azerbaijani government predicts to increase its wine production by 2024, boosting the profitability and export potential of this sector.
Winery occupies one of the most important places in the food industry in Azerbaijan. The country is famous for its high quality grape varieties.
At present, about 40 winemaking enterprises operate in Azerbaijan, producing natural wine, sparkling wine, liqueur, brandy, vodka, ethyl alcohol, cognac, etc.
According to government forecasts, wine production will reach 1 million 695,400 decalitres by the end of 2019, demonstrating a 13 percent increase compared to 2018.
Wine production is projected to reach 2 million 27,900 decalitres in 2020, 2 million 189,300 decalitres in 2021, 2 million 376,200 decalitres in 2022, and 2 million 651,300 decalitres in 2023.
Thus, by 2024, wine production in Azerbaijan will increase by 56.4 percent compared to 2019.
Most of wine producers target Russian and European markets as well as new growing markets for Azerbaijani wine such as China.
Azerbaijan became a member of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine in June 2014. The country has focused since then on the development of vines and wineries as important contributors to the economy and agriculture.
In March 2018, President Ilham Aliyev approved the State Program on the development of winemaking in Azerbaijan for the period of 2018-2025. The state program is aimed at the development of winemaking in the country, increasing the profitability of this sector and export potential. One of its tasks is to increase the export of wine fivefold by 2026.
Currently, specialized wine houses of Azerbaijan operate in two cities of China. Recently, a wine house of Azerbaijan opened in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg. As many as 120 wine products and alcoholic beverages of Azerbaijani producers are presented in the wine house.
Azerbaijan is also expected to open a wine house in St. Petersburg, Russia in late November - early December 2019.
Azerbaijani wine brands won 2 silver and 10 bronze medals, and 20 "Encouraging" award at the International Wine Competition (IWC) held in Shanghai in July 2019.
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