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Russia to Develop Wine Tourism

A new draft law has been introduced to the State Duma of Russia, aiming to establish legal foundations for wine tourism. The proposed law allows tourists to visit wineries for leisure and learn about the history, culture, and regional traditions of winemaking. Wine tours may include activities like participating in vineyard work, purchasing products directly from producers, and enjoying accommodation and excursions.

The draft law suggests amending existing legislation related to tourism activities, viticulture and winemaking, and land usage. It permits the construction of non-permanent structures, such as mini-hotels, on designated vineyard-suitable lands listed in the federal register. Currently, the Land Code restricts the construction of such facilities on agricultural land, including most vineyards. With the new law, winemakers will have the opportunity to allocate up to 1.5 hectares of land for various constructions to develop wine tourism.

Bella Tarasova, the head of the Wine Tourism Commission of the Russian Union of Travel Industry, believes that this law will enable wineries to develop the necessary infrastructure for accommodating tourists. However, she notes that currently, less than half of the wineries have the required facilities. The proposed law aims to address this issue and create infrastructure to support wine tourism. In Russia, there are 248 winemaking companies, with 183 of them being members of the Association of Vine Growers and Winemakers of Russia (AVVR).

Interested individuals can provide feedback and comments on the document to the Committee on Economic Policy of the State Duma until June 29. The document is preliminarily scheduled for discussion in the lower house’s agenda in July 2023.

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