Agriculture, Agroindustry

Export volumes of Armenian wine growing
/Dec 21/Panorama/

The export volumes of Armenian wine have grown by 30 per cent for the past six months to compare with the data of the same period of the previous year,” Executive Director at Armenian Vineyard and Winemaking Foundation Zaruhi Muradyan stated on Thursday at a year-end event, summing up the Foundation activities in 2018.

In Muradyan’s words, the growth was recorded due to the Foundation’s work and despite the decline resulting from this year’s adverse weather conditions. The Head of the Foundation also informed that growth is recorded in the internal consumption volumes as well.

As the ministry of agriculture reports, in average 1,2 liters were consumed per capita during previous years while the number in 2018 is 2,6 liters.

Additionally, Armenian wineries have taken part in numerous international fairs that have resulted in number of agreements signed with foreign partners. Armenian wines are represented at around 30 countries and the main consumption markets are Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Georgia, China, and France. 

To Russia (hopefully) with love: Winemakers exchange could unlock market
/Dec 21/Central Western Daily/Alex Crowe/

Orange wine and winemakers could be off to Armenia under a new partnership which aims to form close ties between the regions.

Similar climatic conditions and shared goals for development would form the basis of a sister city-style relationship, according to Orange Region Vignerons Association president Debbie Lauritz.

Mrs Lauritz said talks are under way between Armenian wine traders and educators and Orange winemakers to establish a relationship which would see winemakers participate in a work exchange.

“We’d host one of their upcoming people and they’d host one of ours,” she said.

Mrs Lauritz said the “sharing of ideas and knowledge” would be mutually beneficial to establish what each region could do better for their high-altitude crops to flourish during warm summers and cold winters.

She said the Armenian wine region, one of the oldest producing regions in the world, was of interest to Orange winemakers for its indigenous grape varietals and their potential to be imported here.

Mrs Lauritz had the opportunity to try five different examples of Armenian reds during a meeting with Dr Simon Appleby, who visited Orange recently in an effort to foster trade agreements between the wine regions.

The industry representative spoke to Orange City Council and Orange 360 about the tourism potential of close ties with Armenia, as well as meeting with several vignerons from Philip Shaw, See Saw Wines, Printhie Wines, Cumulus Wines and Colmar Estate.

Dr Appleby said he sees potential for Orange wine to enter the Russian market and the key to break into the market is through Armenian expats who run a significant portion of the grocery and liquor trade.

“Last year Russia imported $1 billion (US) of wine from abroad. Only $8.3 million of that was from Australia,” he said.

Colmar Estate’s Bill Shrapnel said while they’re still an emerging vineyard exporting to Russia would be “very positive” for larger players.

Armenian Wine and Brandy Industry Cleared of Fake Production
/Dec 25/Lragir/

Decline in exports is also determined by decline in the volumes of production and exports of wine and brandy. According to the Statistical Committee, in November of this year exports decreased by 12.4% compared with October 2018 and 5% compared with November 2019. On the whole, the volumes of imports this year exceeded exports. In January-November, compared with the same period last year, imports increased by 24.2% and exports 9.8%.

The chair of the National Wine Center Avag Harutyunyan told fake production is ousted from the wine and brandy industry which explains the decline that will continue next year. According to him, this situation will last for 1-2 years in wine and 2-4 years in brandy industries. Decline will be followed by a steep growth.

“The Armenian wine and brandy industry is being cleared of fake products. Production and exports have declined by 5-10%, next year this will continue. There will be a steep rise already starting from 2020,” Avag Harutyunyan says.

According to him, the tendency to produce fake products in this industry was mainly encouraged by the Russian side.

 “The Russian side says give me cheap product and we cannot produce cheap quality products because we are not competitive with our neighbors in terms of infrastructures and carbohydrates. We were forced to fake 5-10%. Now the internal oversight is stronger. The reason of this is that formerly the wine industry was highly politicized. The wine money was spent to push people into parliament, presidents were made with wine and brandy money. Now this is no longer so, there are less political orders, and political order always supposed a percentage, they would never get you because you were performing a political order. Now there is no political order, hence the sector is not politicized. And this means two things: first, producing fake goods is meaningless, second, producing fake goods is dangerous,” Harutyunyan said.

According to him, in this situation the companies of the industry suffer losses but it is their fault.

“They could choose to enter into those games or not,” he says.

As to markets, Avag Harutyunyan says the share of the Russian market has decreased over the past 10 years. In 2007-2008 91% of the volume of production of this industry was exported to Russia while today already 71% goes to Russia. At the same time, the share of other markets is growing with small steps. “We do not have major orders yet but the market has been diversified, the United States is the second, Europe is the third,” he said.