Azerbaijani wine enters new markets
The wine export of Azerbaijan, the country with traditionally widely developed vine-growing, hit $3.5 million in 2016.
Head of the Wine Exporters' and Producers' Association of Azerbaijan Elchin Madatov said that the country also launched wine export to new markets such as China, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, the U.S. and some European countries.
He made the remark while addressing a conference dedicated to the results of the state program on socio-economic development of Azerbaijani regions in 2014-2018.
Talking about the measures that stipulated the growth, Madatov pointed to introduction of an export promotion mechanism, as well as promotion of the “Made in Azerbaijan” brand.
“Within the mechanism, entrepreneurs have received loans worth 440,000 manats ($ 230,750) since November 2016 for supplies of wine. In tote, the sphere received loans worth 40 million manats ($ 20.9 million),” he said.
Madatov went on saying that local wine-makers will participate in two exhibitions to be held in China and Germany in 2017.
He emphasized that wine-making has switched to a new level of development in Azerbaijan due to programs implemented in the country.
“In certain Azerbaijani regions, plantings of grapes are being expanded and the range of domestically produced wines increases. We are now observing a new trend - consumers are starting to prefer local wines and, at the same time, our wines find their customers abroad,” said Madatov.
Five major wine-growing regions of the country are Shamakha, Ismaily, Gabala, Gandja, Tovuz. Local grape varieties in Azerbaijan include White Shani, Derbendi, Nail, Bayanshire, Gamashara, Ganja Pink, Bendi, Madrasa, Black Shani, Zeynabi, Misgali, Khindogni, Agdam Kechiemdzheyi, Tebrizi, and Marandi.
Among the grape sorts used to produce Azerbaijani wine are Pinot Noir, Rkatsiteli, Pinot Blanc, Aligote, Matrassa, Podarok Magaracha, Pervenets Magaracha, Ranni Magaracha, Doina, Viorica, and Kishmish Moldavski.
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.
Today, Azerbaijan produces 20 million bottles of wine per year, while the annual production capacity of the country’s wineries is 100 million bottles.
President Ilham Aliyev, addressing a recent Cabinet meeting, tasked the economic entities, the Ministry of Taxes and other to seriously examine this matter.
“Most of these plants were built in recent years. Major funds have been invested in them and modern equipment installed. How can it be possible for plants with a production capacity of 100 million bottles to produce only 20 million bottles of wine? Either the investor does not know the value of his money or the production is actually higher but it is accounted for. As the saying goes, there is illegal production. Therefore, we need to restore order in this area,” he said.