Where to start in the Russian wine market? Think of planning a visit

«We are a winery (group of wineries, wine region) with great wines and no representation in the Russian market. How do we start developing our business there?». If I got a dollar evert time I get such a message, but this time I’d be rich. For many years in the Russian market I was trying to answer this question on an individual basis. But then I thought — why don’t I simply SHOW you how to do it, make you feel what the market is, give you a much better than usual understanding without much of an investment? Wound’t that be brilliant?

This is how my Market Visiting Program was born. In a way it is very simple: coming and seeing it for yourself. The only problem arises when you have to understand, what spots to visit (ontrade, offtrade?), which restaurants to go to (old, new, posh, democratic, Russian, Italian, French, Spanish?), how to get feedback about the wine I produce and from the RIGHT people.

Moscow is a busy city, and almost everyone who ever took a trip here knows: it’s the best place to lose your time in traffic and wondering purposelessly around the town, trying to find the right address, trying to find the person who speaks English, trying, trying, trying. In other words, managing your time is one of the crucial skills during a trip to Moscow.

The idea

Ok, I make it simple: you arrive on Monday and leave on Friday. During Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday you are having the busiest time of your life, visiting the important wine places: supermarkets, bars, restaurants. You talk to people, you get feedback. But, most importantly, you’re well organised and guided by people who live here all their lives. By Friday you have a good idea about the following:

— wine pricing and mark-ups in Russia
— current wine trends
— wine lists of important and REPRESENTATIVE restaurants
— their pricing policies and margins
— habitual preferences of Russian wine consumers
— level of sommeliers and service
— opportunities for your wines / region

Build your own program

For the easiness of it, I already have developed a list of venues to visit, but… maybe you have a specific requirement and targets. Easy: let me know, what you want and we’ll fine-tune the program for you. Restaurants, retailers, wine shops and bars: everything is easily customisable and easy to change. Only want to visit HoReCa? No problem: we’ll focus on this market. Are you off-trade oriented? We will limit visiting restaurants only for lunches and dining. Are you curios to see a specific restaurant group better? We can focus on that too. By default we have a mix of options for a mid-range winery that carries wines for different clients: on- and off-trade and specialised wine shops. Do you want to check a specific wine importer and his work? We will focus on visiting his venues! Customization is the king!


We will be saving time: where needed, we will be taking a cab, where not, we will jump into subway, but make no mistake: we will be saving LOTS of time.

Connecting to people / Getting feedback

Many wineries get a chance to study the market when they already start to import wines — obviously a big mistake. You see the market through the eyes of your distributor, not your own eyes. Maybe you’re missing some big picture, maybe some important ideas and opportunities stay behind. You bee know what you’re missing. But with us you get a rare opportunity to test-drive the market, actually connect to major sommeliers and key trade people, listen to their opinions about what’s happening and have an actual response to your product. It’s like mystery shopping with open eyes!

During the recent ProdExpo exhibition — the biggest wine and food event in Russia — many wineries told me that they are having a great business on the Russian market. Personally, it’s very reassuring for me to hear such stories, mostly because I’m used to report about the market problems.

Simply enjoying Moscow

It’s a real pity when people come for one day / night and are so busy that they have no time to enjoy Moscow and it’s cultural heritage. There ARE stories to tell and things to see here whichever season you come: be it winter or summer, spring or autumn. Cultural visits, Kremlin and art galleries with professional guides, a look into the beauty of old Russia. I will not even mention the traditional food and drinks.

If you are coming with a spouse or a partner, we can produce a balanced cultural-business program that will combine most important cultural sights and business-related visits.

Get in touch

So, what the next move? Check out the presentation, think what you need and get in touch for your personal market visit program — today.