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brandy in Armenia is improving

Национальный день Армении на ЭКСПО-2017 в Астане. Армянский коньякThe situation in the production of wine and brandy in Armenia is improving, which is largely due to the rejection of forgery of documents and the fight against counterfeit goods.

YEREVAN, Jan 8 – Sputnik, Aram Gareghinyan. What has the revolution changed in Armenia? You can talk about this for a long time, but with wine and brandy the answer is unequivocal – things went smoothly.

What do we mean? First, the grape yields continue to be recorded without any additions (the case started under the government of Karen Karapetyan). And secondly (and this is already the merit of the Pashinyan team), since May 2018, the import of foreign cognac spirit in the republic has sharply reduced. But first things first.

In January-September 2018, according to national statistics, 135 thousand tons of grapes were harvested in the republic. We do not have data for January-September 2015, but for the entire year, the Ministry of Agriculture handed over to the statistical service data on a yield of 310 thousand tons. Since 2016, the statistics have dropped sharply.

Of course, a terrible crop failure could occur. But, if it had been so, then the prices of grapes would have also risen terribly. But the prices remain the same. Cognac factories purchased grapes at an average of 100-120 drams, while in August-September table grapes could be bought for 300 drams. Harvest statistics, both for grapes and other crops, began to be brought closer to reality under Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan. Started continue now. In 2018, the grape harvest dropped again, and in the markets, table grapes cost almost as much.

But its price rose for wine and brandy factories. Why did it happen? “The demand for grapes has increased, and there are several reasons for this,” Avag Harutyunyan, head of the National Wine Center organization, said in an interview with Sputnik Armenia.

The bright side of the issue. The production and export of wine is growing. In 2016, according to customs statistics, wine exports increased from 4.2 to 6 million dollars, and in 2017 almost doubled – from about 6 to 11 million. Wine production in Armenia is still not very significant (by world standards), but there are new producers and new brands of wine, in the price segment “medium and higher”.

Not a very bright side. Why was it necessary to attribute the harvest? One of the obvious reasons – to report to the authorities. But at the same time it was possible to solve a very practical task – to “cover” counterfeit alcohol, using either imported or non-grape raw materials for it. An inflated statistics left a loophole for this (“of course, all of the Armenian grapes: we have so much of it!). So, the local grapes could not be pursued in particular.

“Since May 2018, everything seems to have changed. The import of brandy alcohol to Armenia has drastically reduced. The demand for wine grapes has also increased. In 2018, these varieties bought 200 drams, not less, and in the Ararat valley. For“ Black Areni ” the wineries paid 350 drams and more, and even more than 500 drams (“a little more than a dollar”) was paid for “White Voskeat”, ”says Harutyunyan.

If such a strict regime lasts long enough, there will be almost no counterfeit wine or brandy in the republic. First of all – brandy, much more profitable for Armenia.

“There are still some loopholes. But there is a fundamental difference. Previously, they were the general rule. Now, if they are used, then it is at your own risk and risk,” emphasizes Harutyunyan.

If there is less counterfeit in the republic itself, then it will be easier to deal with it abroad (in particular, in Russia, in the main market of Armenian brandy).

For this to take some time. Three years can be taken as a basis, because most of all three years old brandy is produced in Armenia. If, during this time, the production statistics again does not crawl upwards, it means that they ceased to overestimate the statistics completely.

Why are we talking about brandy, and not about wine? Therefore, everyone knows Armenian brandy (in the former Soviet Union for sure). And about Armenian wine, even in Russia, not everyone heard. And who needs fake little-known goods? No one. Therefore, exporters of winemakers are monitoring quality day and night in order to stay on the Russian wine market, where competition is much more intense than in the case of cognac. Image impact of brands on the consumer here is less, and attention to quality – much more.

“For manufacturers, this is, of course, unnecessary trouble, but for the industry as a whole is very good. It remains healthy,” emphasizes Harutyunyan.

That is why, he believes, the rejection of the name “cognac” (at the request of the European Union) is both a problem and a great chance for Armenia. As long as there is the brand “Armenian brandy”, there is an opportunity to get an extra “profit” on it, without worrying too much about quality.

“It’s not a fact that everyone does just that, but there is definitely such a possibility. Especially since the control on the Russian market is strict, although not so much – at least for now. And if the brand disappears, there’s no place to hide. Every year and to prove every day that Armenian brandy is no worse than Armenian brandy “, said Harutyunyan.

We note that the word “brandy” Armenia will not be able to use after 14 years


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