III Black Sea Winemaking Forum under the high patronage of the OIV

OIV patronage for Russian wine event

This year, the third Black Sea Winemaking Forum is held under the high patronage of the OIV (International Organization of Vine and Wine). Forum takes place in Russian sea resort Sochi, between June 30 and July 1 and its official partner is Union of Winegrowers and Winemakers of Russia (UWWR).
It is not surprising that sixteen Crimean wineries participated in last year's forum. And this year? Inkerman winery became its general partner, and wineries AlmaValley and Massandra became its official partners. Crimean Massandra winery used to be managed by Ukrainian government and now, after the annexation of Crimea, the responsible one is Putin. Jean-Maria Aurand, General Director of the OIV, will be on an thin ice there.

Political aspect

OIV is an international organization whose members are states - mostly winemaking states. From this perspective, it should be noted that at the UN ground, only few states agreed to the connection of Crimea to Russia. Together with Russia it was just Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. So from total of forty-six members of the OIV, only two - Russia and Armenia - agreed to the connection of Crimea to Russia.
It won't be easy to maneuver in this delicate situation. For example - among the participants, there will be Bulgarian representatives who are trying to increase export of their wine to Russia. Same for many other European or South African companies. And on the other hand, Crimean wineries would like to export "Russian" wine to China, South Asia or Africa.

Crimean wineries in international competitions

And not just that - according to the Black Sea Winemaking Forum organizers, several international wine competition representatives, including Mondial de Bruxelles, will attend the forum. By the way, this year's Mondial de Bruxelles listed a medal winning Shabo winery from Crimea as Ukrainian. However, according to the Russian press, Europeans assured that they will not "discriminate" Crimean products on competitions. But at the same time Russians doubt whether this assurance turns into reality. Overall, they call this situation as "softening trend."

Policy in practice

All in all, an interesting political game is going to happen very soon. We are going to see how will OIV members and other foreign participants of the Black Sea Winemaking Forum behave.