Business news from Ukraine

Another vintage drinks tasting seminar was held at Experts Club

On Friday, July 31, the conference hall of the Kyiv-based think tank Experts Club hosted the fourth scientific and practical seminar-tasting of vintage drinks for people aged 20 to 80. The event was attended by Ukrainian and international wine experts, retailers and media representatives. Ricardo Nuñez, one of the world’s leading winemakers and an investor in the Ukrainian wine industry, was the guest of honor.

Igor Magalyas, a leading expert collector of vintage alcoholic beverages, introduced the participants to his collection, which includes the most popular Ukrainian and European brands of wines and brandies, including:

1. Italian wine Muscat, produced in 1999, which has a unique bouquet, characterized by luxury and depth.

2. Black Doctor 2005 – a wine with a wonderful multi-component aroma, which harmoniously combines the tones of dark grapes.

3. Massandra sherry made in 1983 is a unique wine from the Crimea, famous for its palette of aromas and flavors.

4. Sicilian semi-dry Marsala of the 1990s – this drink gives off a feeling of rich flavor, complemented by notes of cherry, fruit and vanilla. Marsala is considered one of the most famous Italian wines and is a symbol of Sicilian winemaking.

5. Green apple liqueur from the 1970s – this drink is attractive for its fresh and fruity aroma, with a balance of acid and sweetness. Its unique flavor evokes memories of summer, green apples and outdoor picnics.

6. Apricot liqueur of the 1980s is a sweet, but not over-colored drink that explodes with natural apricot flavors.

7. Poncho 1974 is a citrus alcoholic beverage with a unique flavor bouquet that combines the acidity of lemon, orange and grapefruit with light notes of spices. Made according to a traditional recipe, Poncho is a classic of cocktail culture.

8. Bobadilla 103 Sherry Brandy 1977 – with an unsurpassed bouquet of vanilla, caramel and nuts, this brandy is a model of sherry style. It has a balance between sweet and dry, with a rich and intense flavor.

9. Terry Centenario Sherry Brandy 1975 is a perfect representative of Spanish sherry, known for its deep aroma, with notes of nuts, fruits and spices. Its rich, delicious flavor and long aftertaste are the unique features of this exceptional drink.

10. Sherry brandy from the 1950s is a true relic of the past, with a rich and intense flavor that includes notes of caramel, nuts and dried fruit. This old sherry brandy is a reminder of the long and glorious history of winemaking in Spain.

The most intriguing part of the tasting was the rare dessert drinks, which are a real “living museum” of the alcohol industry of the 1970s. These are four special drinks: grapes, cherries, plums and raisins infused in different types of brandy and liqueurs. Among them, the Muscat raisin grappa was especially appreciated by experts, as it is distinguished by its unique bouquet.

High-quality gastronomic pairings for the drinks presented during the tasting program were provided by one of the best Ukrainian meat producers, Karapyshivski Kovbasy, a trademark of the company.

Igor Magalyas noted that all the presented drinks are in an affordable price segment, and their cost does not exceed the cost of modern vintage alcohol in Ukrainian supermarkets.

“These drinks were purchased by collectors in Europe at auctions or sales of private collections. They have a number of flavor and quality advantages over modern drinks,” he said.

Maxim Urakin, the event’s organizer, emphasized the importance of systemic support for Ukrainian winemaking.

“Long-standing Ukrainian-made beverages have traditionally been at the top of our experts’ preferences. However, without new systemic efforts by the government to support the industry, the situation will deteriorate. That’s why the Club of Experts analyzes the situation and provides its proposals in this regard,” emphasized Maxim Urakin.

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Second seminar-tasting of best Ukrainian wines was held at the Experts Club

The Ukrainian wine market continues to actively develop and introduce new quality standards. This is evidenced by the recent return of Ukraine to the International Wine Organization and the holding of competitions, festivals and tasting events aimed at popularizing domestic brands. The highest quality of Ukrainian products was demonstrated during the second tasting seminar-presentation “Consumer tasting of the best craft wines of Ukraine-2023”, which was held at the Kyiv Analytical Center “Experts Club” on June 23. This event was part of a broad initiative aimed at supporting and developing the wine industry in Ukraine.

The event was supported by the All-Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers, the House of Ukrainian Wine, and the Public Union “Ukrsadvynprom”. They act not only as organizers but also as active participants in the process of supporting and developing the domestic wine industry. Information support for the event was provided by the Open4business portal and the Interfax-Ukraine news agency. The special partners of the evening, TM Zakarpatski Kovbasy and TM Kozatski Kozyrni Cheese, provided gastronomic wine pairings that allowed to fully reveal the unique taste of each bottle presented.

In his speech, Maxim Urakin, the founder of the Experts Club, emphasized the importance of supporting domestic wine producers.

“Every bottle of wine made in Ukraine is not only a high quality and delicious product. It is also a contribution to the development of the Ukrainian economy, jobs and confidence in the future for our compatriots,” he emphasized.

In her turn, Natalia Blagopoluchna, President of the Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers, emphasized the unique organoleptic and flavor properties of Ukrainian craft wines.

“Our wines impress with their diversity, which is guaranteed by different local conditions and grape characteristics. They surprise, inspire, and encourage experimentation. Our wines are creativity and art. And we have every right to be proud of it,” said Blagopoluchna.

During the tasting, experts, guests and participants were able to evaluate the quality and taste of twelve best wines and spirits presented by domestic producers: TM 46 Parallel, TM Babchuk Winery, TM Driukivski Wines, TM Chateau Pinot, Georgiy Samsoniuk, TM My Wine by Eduard Gorodetsky, TM Kovach Wines, TM Vinorob Vinokur, TM KALYUS WINERY and Ivan Gorobets.

At the same time, the event has become an excellent platform for the exchange of experience, knowledge and ideas between producers, experts and wine lovers. Such interaction is the key to the success of the Ukrainian wine industry, which continues to actively develop and conquer new heights of quality.

The next seminars and tastings are already planned for the “Experts Club“.

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Experts Club will host second tasting seminar in support of Ukrainian winemaking

On June 23, 2023, Kyiv Think Tank Club, within the framework of the initiative aimed at supporting and developing the wine industry, will hold the second tasting seminar-presentation dedicated to the winners and finalists of the VIII All-Ukrainian Tasting Competition “Variety and Terroir. Micro winemaking. Unbreakable”.

According to the organizers, this event will be an interesting event for all wine lovers, both expert sommeliers and restaurateurs, representatives of retail, media community and ordinary consumers. At the seminar, visitors will be able to learn about the products of the leading craft producers of Ukrainian wines and spirits, as well as join the platform for the exchange of opinions and ideas between leading experts in the field of winemaking.

Maksym Urakin, founder of the Club of Experts, PhD in Economics, emphasized the importance of supporting domestic wine and spirits producers.

“Our event is not just aimed at developing a culture of wine consumption in Ukraine. It also contributes to the growth of domestic production, helping the economic revival of our country. Each bottle of wine produced in Ukraine is a step towards creating jobs, increasing tax revenues and enhancing economic stability,” said Maxim Urakin.

The wine samples presented at the event will be presented by the finalists of the VII All-Ukrainian Tasting Competition “Variety and Terroir. Micro winemaking. Unbreakable” of the All-Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers, which will give visitors the opportunity to experience a rich bouquet of flavors created using traditional winemaking methods and modern technologies. Natalia Blagopoluchnaya, President of the Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers, noted that all wines presented at the event have been expertly evaluated according to all criteria, from aroma and taste to texture, color and overall harmony.

The following Ukrainian wines and spirits will be presented at the wine evening:

“Sparkling pink, 2019” by 46 Parallel TM;
“Riesling, 2022 by Babchuk Winery;
“Rkatsiteli Orange, 2020” from TM “Driukivski Wines”;
“Pinot Noir, 2021 from Chateau Pinot TM;
“Pinot Noir, 2020 by Georgiy Samsoniuk;
“Merlot, 2021” and “Cabernet Sauvignon, 2021” from TM “My Wine”, Eduard Gorodetsky;
“White dessert vermouth” and “Honey casserole, 40%” from TM “Winemaker Vinokur”;
“Chacha Odesa Black, 2022, 42%” from TM “Winemaker Vinokur”;

Zweigelt 2019 TM “Vina Kovač”
Chorna perlina 2017 TM “Vina Kovača”
“Apple, 42%” from TM “KALYUS WINERY”;
“Calvados, 42% from Ivan Gorobets.
The partners of the event are the All-Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers, the House of Ukrainian Wine and the Public Union Ukrsadvynprom, which actively support the revitalization of domestic winemaking and expansion of its influence on the global wine market.

Information support for the event is provided by Open4business portal and Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

The special partners of the evening, Zakarpatski Kovbasy TM and Kozatski Kozyrni Cheese TM, will provide the perfect gastronomic pairings for the wines, which will help to further reveal the taste of each bottle presented.

Each participant will have the opportunity to personally taste the wines of leading Ukrainian winemakers, evaluate their character and quality, exchange opinions with other visitors and experts, and ask questions to the representatives of the producers. The seminar-tasting, which will be held at the Club of Experts, promises to be a bright event in the life of the Ukrainian wine community, bringing together wine connoisseurs, experts and producers under one roof.

In addition to supporting domestic winemaking and getting acquainted with the best samples of Ukrainian wine, the event participants will have the opportunity to engage in an important dialog about the future of winemaking in Ukraine. This includes discussing the current problems and challenges faced by the industry, sharing experiences and finding potential ways of development.

The organizers of the event hope that this initiative will not only raise the status of Ukrainian winemaking, but also stimulate the development of this industry by attracting investors’ attention, facilitating international dialogue and opening new prospects for Ukrainian wine on the global stage.

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Experts Club chose the best wine of Ukraine in 2023

On May 18, 2023, a unique wine evening “Consumer tasting of the best craft wines of Ukraine-2023” was held at the Kyiv analytical center “Experts Club”. The event presented the best wines of Ukraine according to the results of the VII All-Ukrainian Tasting Competition “Variety and Terroir. Micro winemaking. Unbreakable”.

The evening was special not only because of the unsurpassed range of wines but also because two winners in two competitions were determined.

Within the framework of the Consumer Tasting of the Best Craft Wines of Ukraine-2023 competition, the winner was the Merlot 2020 wine from TM NAROVYLO WINERY, and the winner of the Best Design of a Bottle of Craft Wine of Ukraine-2023 competition was the Pinot Noir 2020 wine from TM 46 Parallel. Both winners received certificates from the Experts Club .

“This evening gave us a unique opportunity to see, feel and, most importantly, taste the highest standard of Ukrainian winemaking. After all, most of the presented wine brands is yet on public sale,” said Natalia Blagopoluchna, President of the All-Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers.

In his turn, the founder of the Experts Club, Maksym Urakin, emphasized that it is extremely important to support and celebrate the winemaking achievements of Ukrainian craft producers.

“The winner of the competition, Merlot 2020 from NAROVYLO WINERY, demonstrates the highest quality of our national winemaking products, and the creative design of Pinot Noir 2020 from 46 Parallel shows that Ukrainian winemakers not only understand the true taste of wine, but also care about every detail, including the design of the bottle. This perfectly illustrates our passion for winemaking. In my opinion, Ukrainians should develop consumer patriotism, choosing products primarily from domestic producers, because they are no worse and often much better than imported ones,” emphasized Maxim Urakin.

The wine evening at the Experts Club was attended by many well-known personalities, including wine producers, restaurateurs, representatives of the retail industry, media community and others.

It should be noted that the wines that took part in the tasting were highly appreciated by all those present. They represent a variety of grape varieties and winemaking techniques used in Ukraine, including the innovative Orange, 2021 from TM Kovach Wine and Zagrei, 2022 from the National Scientific Center “Tairov Institute of Viticulture and Winemaking”.

The event also featured Ukrainian grappa, which has long been recognized as one of the most unique products in Ukrainian winemaking and has received recognition from experts in the country of origin of this drink – Italy.

The Consumer Tasting of the Best Craft Wines of Ukraine-2023 is an important event in the Ukrainian winemaking calendar, and this year it demonstrated the enormous potential of the Ukrainian wine industry despite the difficult times for our country. This event has once again confirmed that Ukraine has everything to produce high-quality wines that can compete in the global market.

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The Experts Club and the Exporters Club analyzed the main export risks in 2023

A new video has been released on the YouTube channel of the Club of Experts, in which the Kyiv-based think tank Club of Experts and the Ukrainian Exporters Club presented a joint study on the main risks facing Ukrainian companies in exporting goods in 2023.

Yevheniia Lytvynova, President of the Ukrainian Exporters Club, emphasized that exporters should consider five key risks for their business: currency risk, payment risk, production risk, transportation risk, and bureaucratic risk.

“Understanding these risks is critical for successful exports, especially in the current geopolitical situation, exporters should consider these risks and plan at least 3 months in advance when cooperating with foreign companies,” Lytvynova said.

The experts also reviewed the state of Ukrainian exports in recent years.

“Over the past year, the situation in Ukrainian exports has undergone significant changes. Poland, Romania, and Turkey have become Ukraine’s main trading partners,” explained Maksym Urakin, founder of the Club of Experts.

He added that in 2022, Ukraine exported goods worth $44 billion, which is 35% less than in the previous year. The main profit in the global market came from the export of grains and vegetable oils, although exports of metallurgical products declined.

The Club of Experts and the Club of Exporters also emphasized the importance of supporting Ukrainian exporters in the current global market environment.

“We recommend Ukrainian exporters to contact our clubs with questions about certification, access to foreign markets and opening production facilities abroad. We are always ready to help and advise,” emphasized Yevgeniya Litvinova.

She urged Ukrainian companies to be active in the global market.

“We want Ukrainian companies to maintain competitive prices for their goods while working with foreign partners. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions related to exports,” added Ms. Litvinova.

Yevheniya Lytvynova urged Ukrainian companies not to lose hope and to actively develop their capabilities.

“Ukrainian exports have great potential, and we believe that cooperation with the Club of Experts and the Club of Exporters will help companies realize it,” she said.

In conclusion, the speakers noted that they plan to devote the next session to imports and import-related risks. They called on all stakeholders to join the discussion and explore new opportunities for the development of export-import business in Ukraine.

The experts also emphasized that in order to enter new export markets and verify counterparties around the world, we suggest that Ukrainian exporters consider products and solutions from Dun & Bradstreet, the world leader in the market of information on legal entities.

Watch the full video here:

You can subscribe to the Club of Experts channel by clicking here:

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Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers summarized results of All-Ukrainian Tasting Competition

All-Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers in partnership with the Ukrainian Cavist Association and the Master Class Sommelier School recently held the long-awaited All-Ukrainian Tasting Competition. The competition is aimed at highlighting the influence of terroir on Ukrainian wines, identifying the best wines and distillates in various categories through professional blind tasting, and emphasizing the importance of micro winemaking in Ukraine.

According to Natalia Blagopolyunova, President of the All-Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers, after a break in 2022, the competition returned with an additional nomination for Distillates, which was applied for by winemakers from all over the country.

“We did not hold the competition last year, although everything was planned. This year, we decided to try it, made an announcement a month in advance, and applications came in immediately. In addition, we added another nomination, Distillates, at the request of the participants,” she emphasized.

In total, the event was attended by 30 winemakers from 13 regions, including several newcomers who took part in the competition for the first time. A total of 114 samples of wines and spirits were presented and judged in 13 categories.

Valeriy Narovylo became the outstanding winemaker of the competition, receiving three gold medals and a red blend that won the Grand Prix. His wine received the maximum score of 100 points from the jury chairman Ricardo Nunez and was recognized as worthy of competing with famous European samples. This year’s competition also recognized the high quality of the distillates presented, with the Grand Prix in this category going to the grape muscat of TM Slavia.

The professional jury, headed by Ricardo Nunez, President of the international wine holding Vinos de la Luz, evaluated the samples on a point system, and gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded according to the points received. The jury consisted of experts from various fields of the wine industry, including sommeliers, winemakers, cavists and industry observers.

The competition also featured several categories, including sparkling wines, best riesling, best chardonnay, white local varieties, orange wines, rosé wines, best pinot noir, best merlot, best cabernet sauvignon, red local varieties, red blend, dessert wines and distillates. The winners in each category were determined based on the jury’s scores.

Among the outstanding winners are “Sparkling Rose, 2021” by TM “Moye Vino” (Eduard Gorodetsky) in the category “Sparkling Wines”, “Riesling, 2021” by Volodymyr Simakin in the category “Best Riesling” and “Chardonnay, 2022” by TM “Babchuk Winery” in the category “Best Chardonnay”. In the Best Merlot category, the gold medal was awarded to Merlot, 2020 by NAROVYLO WINERY. In the Red Blend category, the gold medal and the Grand Prix of the competition went to CS/CF/Merlot, 2020 by NAROVYLO WINERY, which received an excellent rating from the chairman of the jury, Ricardo Nunez.

The unique format of the competition, which focuses on the evaluation of wines and distillates from small producers (craft production), allowed participants to communicate with industry professionals and become members of the jury themselves. This year’s competition demonstrated the exceptional quality of Ukrainian craft wines and distillates and emphasized the importance of micro winemaking in the country’s future.

The winners of the competition will have the opportunity to present their wines and distillates at the VIII International Forum of Winemakers and Sommeliers, which will be held in November 2023 at the InterContinental Hotel in Kyiv. The All-Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers expresses its gratitude to all participants, jury members and the Armed Forces of Ukraine for their assistance in holding the event.

Organizers of the competition:

Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers
Association of cavists of Ukraine
The first in Ukraine Sommelier School “Master Class”

Media partners:

Interfax-Ukraine news agency;
Kyiv Analytical Center “Experts Club”;
Open4business portal.

Professional jury of the Competition:

Ricardo Nunez – Chairman of the Jury, President of the International Wine Holding “Vinos de la Luz”;
Natalia Blagopoluchna – Secretary of the Jury, President of the All-Ukrainian Association of Winemakers and Sommeliers;
Natalia Burlachenko, CEO of Big Wine- Big Art;
Oleg Kravchenko – “Best Sommelier of Ukraine 2011”, co-owner and chef-sommelier of the wine bar “Win bar”;
Yegor Belov – “Ukrainian Sommelier – 2018”, chef de cuisine at the Inercontinental Hotel;
Olga Girman – Ukrainian Sommelier 2021, founder of the Wine Evenings project;
Bohdan Dukal – “Best cavist of Ukraine – 2019”, director of 2 wine boutiques “Winetime”;
Yaroslav Panchuk – “The Best Caviarist of Ukraine – 2021”, caviarist at Bad Boy wine boutique;
Oleksii Bondar – “Best Caviarist of Ukraine – 2020”, manager of TS+;
Oleksandr Kovach – President of the Transcarpathian Winemakers Association, winemaker;
Yevheniia Pustovit, winemaker at Chateau Pinot and 46 Parallel;
Olga Pinevych-Todoriuk – Editor-in-Chief of Drinks+ magazine, observer from the General Information Partner.

The jury was assessed according to the following criteria:

Gold medal – 91-100 points;
Silver medal – 86-90 points;
Bronze medal – 81-85 points.
The full list of winners is available here:

1. Nomination “Sparkling wines”.

“Sparkling pink, 2021”, TM “My Wine”, Eduard Gorodetsky – gold medal;
“Sparkling pink, 2019”, TM “46 Parallel” – silver medal;
“Petnat Irshai Olever, 2021”, TM “Kovacs Wine” – bronze medal.

2. Best Riesling nomination.

“Riesling, 2021, Volodymyr Simakin – gold medal;
“Riesling, 2022”, TM “Babchuk Winery” – silver medal;
“Riesling, 2017, TM Vinaria – bronze medal.

3. Best Chardonnay nomination.

1. “Chardonnay, 2022”, TM “Babchuk Winery” – gold medal;

2. “Chardonnay, 2020”, TM “Mon Crafto” – silver medal;

3. “Chardonnay, 2021”, TM “Dukat-Agro – bronze medal.

4. Nomination “White local variety.

1.” Zagrej, 2022″, National Scientific Center “Institute of Viticulture and Winemaking named after V.E. Tairov – gold medal;

2. “Aligote, 2020”, TM “Wine Valley” – silver medal.

3. “Solaris, 2022”, Georgiy Samsoniuk – bronze medal.

5. Orange wines nomination.

1. “Orange, 2021”, TM “Kovacs Wines” – gold medal;

2. “Telti-Kuruk, 2022”, TM “Ofiussa Winery” – silver medal;

3. “Rkatsiteli, 2020”, TM “Driukivski Wines” – bronze medal.

6. Nomination “Pink wines”.

“Pinot Noir, 2021, TM “My Wine”, Eduard Gorodetsky – gold medal;
“Pinot Noir, 2021, TM Chateau Pinot – silver medal;
“Cabernet Sauvignon, 2022, TM Babchuk Winery – bronze medal.

7. Best Pinot Noir nomination.

1. “Pinot Noir, 2020”, TM “46 Parallel” – gold medal;

2. “Pinot Noir, 2020”, TM “Sergius Vinum” – silver medal;

3. “Pinot Noir, 2020”, Georgiy Samsoniuk – bronze medal.

8. Best Merlot nomination.

1. “Merlot, 2020”, TM “NAROVYLO WINERY” – gold medal;

2. “Merlot, 2020”, TM “Slavia” – silver medal;

3. “Merlot, 2021”, TM “My Wine”, Eduard Gorodetsky – bronze medal.

9. Best Cabernet Sauvignon nomination.

1. “Cabernet Sauvignon, 2021”, TM “Mon Crafto” – gold medal;

2. “Cabernet Sauvignon, 2021”, TM “My Wine”, Eduard Gorodetsky – silver medal;

3. “Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019”, TM “SHERWOOD WINERY” – bronze medal

10. Nomination “Red local variety”.

1. “Aliberne, 2020”, TM “NAROVYLO WINERY” – gold medal;

2. “Zweigelt, 2019”, TM “Vina Kovacha” – silver medal;

3. “Odesa Black, 2018”, TM “Babchuk Winery” – bronze medal.

11. Red Blend nomination.

1. “KC/KF/Merlot, 2020”, TM “NAROVYLO WINERY” – gold medal, Grand Prix of the Competition (the best wine of the Competition), 100 points from the Chairman of the Jury Ricardo Nunez!

2. “Grand Admiral, 2018”, TM “46 Parallel” – silver medal;

3. “COP/CF, 2020”, TM “Vinaria” – bronze medal.

12. Nomination “Dessert wines”.

1. “Muscat of the Carpathians, 2014”, TM “Kovach’s Wines” – gold medal;

2. “Black Pearl, 2017”, TM “Kovacs Wines” – silver medal;

3. “White dessert vermouth”, TM “Winemaker Vinokur” – bronze medal.

13. Nomination “Distillates”.

1. “Grappa Muscat, 2019, 40%”, TM “Slavia” – gold medal, Grand Prix of the Competition (the best distillate of the Competition);

2. “Chacha Odesa Black, 2022, 42%”, TM “Winemaker Vinokur” – silver medal;

3. “Chacha Sauvignon Blanc, 10 years, 44%”, TM “Vinaria” – silver medal;

4. “Brandy, 2015, 42%”, TM “Vina Kovacha” – silver medal;

5. “Honey casserole, 40%”, TM “Winemaker Vinokur” – silver medal;

6. “Chacha Sauvignon Blanc, 2019, 41%”, TM “Vinaria” – silver medal;

7. “Apple, 42%”, TM “KALYUS WINERY” – silver medal;

8. “Calvados, 42%”, Ivan Gorobets – silver medal.

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