Cognac "Sarajishvili": Soon on all counters of Russia05.04.2013 | 19:39
It would seem that the main thing is done. The main reasons of the lack of the Georgian wine on the Russian market since 2006 have been removed, the agreement between the two countries has been reached, producer companies have been checked. However, there are no Georgian products in the Russian Federation. We looked for the reasons for this in one of the largest enterprises - cognac company Sarajishvili.
Cognac brand "Sarajishvili" is known in Russia since imperial times. Russian consumer knows the taste of cognac Sarajishvili. Perhaps this is why the Rospotrebnadzor experts visited the plant one of the first. In the Soviet Union it was named the Tbilisi cognac plant. Now it is a joint-stock company "David Sarajishvili." The company's employees prefer to call the inspection just a friendly visit of the Russian sanitary inspectors.
Company chief technologist David Abzianidze warmly recalls the arrival of Russian experts.
- Your plant was visited one of the first. Have you already sent a trial shipment to Russia?
- No, for the simple reason that we have not yet chosen a partner with the Russian side. But it is a matter of a couple weeks.
- What about visas? I know that some of the representatives of Georgian enterprises have faced the problem with that?
- You know, we did not even think about this since we were too far from that. But you are right, most likely, this problem will arise. Perhaps, Russia will simplify the visa regime, at least for the suppliers.
- As soon as the formalities are settled, how long it takes to deliver the first batch?
- A week.
- How much cognac you produce per year?
- About 800-900 decalitres. But this is approximate figure. It all depends on the amount of the order. I assure you that we can provide any volume of deliveries.
- How important the Russian market is for you?
- I would say very important. Social level of Russians today requires high quality products which we can provide. They have learned to distinguish good from bad. Market is large, and our products are well known there.
- What do you produce besides cognac?
- We are producing vodka and a number of spirits, called "Iverioni." They taste a little like cognac, they have a rich flavor, and they are less expensive than cognac. A bottle costs 14-15 GEL.
- Which countries know your brand?
- Many countries. This is the CIS countries - Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Azerbaijan, countries of Eastern Europe. We supply small batch to the U.S. Recently, China has intensified purchase. We are expecting large-scale orders from there.
- What role the few years from 2006 to 2012 played in the fate of your company?
- You know, as they say, every cloud has a silver lining. Initially, the closure of the Russian market seemed a disaster. But then this problem forced us to work more in the area of expansion. We started looking for alternative markets. That's when we entered many European markets. But, of course, this is not comparable to the Russian market.
- Who, in your opinion, you have to compete with in Russia?
- It does not make sense to compete with French cognac, both in terms of price and quality, in all terms. We must take a certain niche with manufacturers from the CIS countries, on the same shelf with Armenian, Moldavian, Azerbaijani, Dagestani cognac.
- I know that your plant arranges tours for tourists. What is the most frequently asked question? And what do the tourists love most of all?
- A real discovery for them is the fact that cognac is also produced from grapes, although from certain varieties. And the most common question is the following: can you cook the pork and lamb in cognac? In fact, it's not bad. But cognac is a dessert drink. And it is still necessary to drink before or after food, together with dark chocolate, coffee and cigar.
- What does distinguish your product from others?
- It may sound a bit pretentious, but Sarajishvili cognac is more than cognac. The story of the plant is very interesting, or the story of life of David Sarajishvili. We are now trying to somehow convey philosophy and history of our products to the consumer. In 1913, the company was awarded Regalia of the supplier of the Imperial Household. This kind of quality mark gave the opportunity to freely supply cognac to the imperial table without all sorts of checks.