Russia's oldest sparkling wine producer is planning to release a new range of still wines.
Abrau-Durso, owned by former petrochemicals trader Boris Titov, was founded in 1870 and has historically only produced sparkling wine, supplying the Russian Imperial Court in the 19th century.
In July 2011 the winery’s parent company Solvalub purchased a 60-hectare estate in the town of Gelendzhik, located in the Krasnodar region of southern Russia.
These vineyards, which are planted to 28 different grape varieties, will form the basis of Abrau-Durso’s still wine production.
Company director Pavel Titov, Boris’s son, said their decision to produce still wine was motivated by the ‘unprecedented’ popularity and rising sales of the Abrau Durso brand in Russia.
‘We initially plan to release a selection of varietal wines – Abrau Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc – hopefully at the end of 2012′, he told Decanter.com.
‘Considering the strength of our brand, we are confident they will prove popular with Russian consumers’, he added.
The group will use existing consultant oenologist Hervé Jestin from Champagne, in conjunction with local winemakers, to handle its first commercial vintages.
‘We hope to achieve an eventual production of 500,000 bottles per annum, although we will start with smaller volumes exclusively in the Russian market’, Titov said.
Abrau-Durso has said it eventually aims to sell into Europe and Asia, should the new brand prove successful in Russia.
Read more about winemaking in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) coutries in the June issue of Decanter, out on 2 May
Written by James Lawrence