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Abrau Durso

Abrau Durso

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Published by wtdocuments

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Published by: wtdocuments on Aug 18, 2011
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08/18/2011

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Russia, October 2
nd
2008
Abrau-Durso being restored to sparkling gloryan analysis by Igor Serdyuk
Abrau-Durso, Russia’s historic sparkling wine producer, is launching a newinvestment program, aiming to restore its status as the industry’s flagship after 20years of decay – another sign of an emerging viticultural renaissance in RussiaAbrau-Durso’s new majority shareholder, Boris Titov, the Russian petro-chemicalentrepreneur and head of the Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia) association, hasinvested more than $12m into the project and continues to buy new equipment for the winery. A multi-million dollar marketing campaign to help Abrau-Durso retrieveits fame is underway, including designing new labels, creating a modern winemuseum and developing tourism; the winery is located on the beautiful Abraulakeside, near the Black Sea beaches.Abrau-Durso winery was founded in the late nineteenth century by order of the thentsar. Prince Leo Golytsin, who was known as the Russian Bacchus for the series of award-winning wines he created, was assigned to run Abrau-Durso in 1891. Heinvited French winemakers from the Champagne region, who remained on the keypositions in Abrau till the October revolution in 1917. The Soviet state re-launchedproduction of Abrau-Durso soon after the departure of the French specialists,assigning prominent young winemaker Anton Frolov-Bagreev to head the winery. Itwas Frolov-Bagreev who established the Charmat method in Abrau-Durso. He alsosaved the tradition of the classical sparkling wine production for use in the thepremium quality line of Sovietskoye Champanskoye, a state-owned brand nowproduced by a big number of the former state-owned wineries, including Abrau.Abrau-Durso survived the 1990s when the whole wine industry of Russia sufferednot just from the economic crisis, but also from the disintegration of the SovietUnion, whose former republics, such as Moldova or the Ukraine, provided Russia-based bottlers with raw materials. As inevitable consequence, the quality of Abrau-Durso sparkling wines went down. When Boris Titov visited the winery for the firsttime, he was more impressed by the beauty of landscapes, than by the flavour of thewines. “But we realized that Abrau-Durso was a very good asset,” said Boris Titov.“The brand had wide public recognition and it was very important for the imageindeed.”Titov calls himself an ‘advanced user’ rather than a wine specialist, but he admits hehas become personally interested and fully involved in winemaking since heacquired Abrau-Durso. Winery employees say he might spend the whole day in thecellars making sure that the new press is fixed in the proper way.Vladimir Drobiz, head of the Research Center for Federal and Regional AlcoholMarkets (RCFRAM), is optimistic about the future of Titov’s investment, becauseRussian sparkling wine industry is showing good potential. According to RCFRAM’sdata, sparkling wine production has become one of the fastest growing segments in

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