Russians thirsty for Super Tuscans8th October, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
Rich Russians are developing a thirst for high-end Italian wines, according to Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi’s new president, Lamberto Frescobaldi.
Speaking to the drinks business during a visit to London last week, Frescobaldi revealed that his Luce brand, founded in the mid-‘90s as a collaboration between Frescobaldi and Robert Mondavi, is doing particularly well in Russia.
“We’re selling a lot of Luce in Russia’s big towns rather than the main cities of Moscow and St Petersburg.
“There’s less of a restaurant culture in the towns – it’s more focused around entertaining at home with high-end wines, which is where Luce is finding its niche,” he said.
Frescobaldi also told db that he was keeping a keen eye on the Asian market.
“I’m focusing a lot on Asia – we’ve got three people on the ground there, but there’s still a lot of work to do.
“You need to explain to people why a wine is at a higher price point and justify it to them – lot of cheap wine is drunk in China,” he said.
Frescobaldi believes an ever-improving Italian restaurant scene in Asia is helping to introduce Chinese consumers to Italy’s top wines.
“More Chinese wine drinkers are travelling to Italy, which helps with getting our message across, plus the quality of Italian food in Hong Kong and Mainland China is improving all the time through high-end places like 8/2 Otto e Mezzo,” he said.
“A lot of the top French wines are being faked in China, which provides an opportunity for us to make a name as a safer brand less likely to be faked, plus we look like a bargain against the first growths,” he added.
Italian restaurant 8/2 Otto e Mezzo in Hong Kong was voted the sixth best restaurant in Asia at this year’s inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards.