Petr Romanishin: «There are people in Russia whose reason for being is production of premium wines»

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Order pork loin or veal steak in the restaurants of the ukrainian cuisine “Korchma Taras Bulba” – get a glass of red wine as a present!!!  Buying Phanagorria wine you also help young painters of the Kuban.


How did you come into winemaking?

In paternal home where I grew up there was a vinery. We harvested about 1000 kg of grape per season and made home wine. We had an ancient press. I remember when I was nine years old I was looking at that ancient iron wheel with an inscription “1682” and thinking: “It will be necessary to wait three years till its 300 anniversary!”  Such a flashback from my childhood I keep. Perhaps it set some stamp.


What was then?

Then there was the first – economic, the second – winemaking education and “Phanagorria” whose head I have been for the last seven years.


I believe it was hard to develop this sphere?

Yes, after the Soviet Union collapse practically all premium winemaking was left out of Russia except several enterprises. Premium wines in the Union were produced in the Crimea, Moldavia and Georgia.  Russia produced the port wine “777”, “Anapa” and etc. We had to break stereotypes by proving that the Russian enterprise was able to produce wines of the European level, varietal wines. We duplicated this quality from year to year and got recognition at exposures. Last year we gathered a whole bunch of awards – London, Vienne, Hong Kong, Bulgaria …


What was the most difficult?

Investments, financial aspect of problems … but the most difficult is to change the mentality of people, who are busy with technology. To make them believe that we are not worse and may be even better than our European colleagues. Vineyards of “Phanagorria” are located on the 45th parallel as well as Bordeaux, Piedmont. The conditions allow to grow the grape of the best quality but scrupulousness is important, knowing of details, so if to disturb technology then tomorrow it will be impossible to change one’s mind and to correct the mistake, one will have to start from a blank sheet that is why everything should be done perfect.


You are a person who loves your business, and what do you prefer to drink? Is wine your favourite drink?

Yes. The great advantage of wine is that it doesn’t make any limits. In dependence of products, company, situations can be varied with wine. White wines, red, pink, brut, vatted wines, – the choice may depend on each certain case.


Do you like to cook?

I do, but it happens rarely, I don’t have enough time.


Tell about the award «Phanagorria АRT». Why should a wine company develop the modern art?

The modern art involves the support of those creators, painters who are our contemporaries. As for genres, they can vary – classic, portrait, still-life.  The award is aimed at support of painters from the Krasnodar region and nearby regions. Participation in the award is free for all who wish.

The jury determines the theme according to which the painters present their works. There were such themes as – “Happiness of Day Spent”, “The Most Significant Event in the History of Russia for the Last Year”. The pictures are displayed at the grounds during the period of the award and before the New Year we summarize.


The award has been existing for 3 years already. What has changed for this period of time at the Kuban regarding the attitude of people towards modern art?

It is hard to say that there are some global changes but nevertheless painters feel the systematical support at least from one enterprise. The certain approaches have been worked out, we see advantages and drawbacks. Three years is enough to sum up and make some adjustments.


How did the idea of the award appear?

Good wine – it is good, good pictures- it is good. And to be nearby – it is also not bad.


Are you a creative person?

Any professional is a creator, it doesn’t matter whether he works – in metallurgy, winemaking or agriculture complex.  Winemaking – it is also a creative work.


What is your biggest talent?

It is hard to answer exactly. May be my talent is not to bother those people who can do their work.



It is no go without it. Winemaking cycle is long: it takes four or five years starting with the choice of a vine and place and ending with a vineyard growth and wine production itself, that is why a winemaker should have a special mentality.


You travel a lot…

Yes, I like it.


How do you choose a place to visit?

I make my choice not only at my will, but it is mainly connected with my job.  It is good that the grape grows, as a rule, in decent and interest countries. So I combine business with pleasure.  I would like to take up a classic tourism and to go somewhere without practical need. Three years ago together with my colleagues we sailed over the Atlantic on board the sailing yacht, there were 1500 kilometers.  It’s interesting… In general, there are a lot of interest places in the world where I have never and where I would like to go.


What are your plans for future?

Yesterday we started the season of grape processing which will last till the end of October. There is a strong desire to get the message over the society that in Russia the grape grows in general, that it can be varietal – European and autochthonous North Caucasian sorts, and that we make good wines.

Our enterprise has been already visited by the great modern critics such as Jancis Robinson who for many years has been writing about wine in the “Financial Times”, and we got a high mark. I would like to say that there are people in Russia whose reason for being is production of premium wines and profit is only secondary aspect.

text: Anastasia Solovey

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