I am a freelance journalist writing about the Russian alcohol market for Meininger Wine Business International and the Russian media Republic.ru (recognized in Russia as a foreign agent).
I am writing a piece about two Russian companies which are supplying Russia with high-end wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux bypassing European Union sanctions. One of these companies is connected to Gazprom's largest contractor and the stepdaughter of Gazprom President Alexei Miller. The other is with the sister of Moscow Deputy Mayor Natalia Sergunina.
Putin is known for his love of one of Burgundy's most expensive wines, Romanée Conti. When this March the EU imposed a ban on the supply of wines more expensive than 300 euros to Russia, the traditional importers of this segment faced problems.
Against this background, two recently founded companies unexpectedly took the lead. They had been present on the Russian market before, but within a few months of the war they were able to gather in their portfolio producers, for which the bigger companies have been fighting for years. The founder of one of these companies is a top manager of a Gazprom contractor, another is related to the sister of the deputy mayor of Moscow. At the same time, half of their deliveries were not supposed to cross the Russian border and violate the sanctions regime.
We are working on this story in Meninger WBI, but we would like to make it available to a wider audience.
The material is being prepared for publication this Friday.
Business press covering politics and economics.
We are willing to share investigative material and primary sources to give the story broader coverage