Ilham Aliyev attended the opening of the “Aspi Winery” grape processing factory of “Aspi-Agro LLC”

28 february 2013, 18:00

As part of a visit to Gabala District, President Ilham Aliyev has attended the opening of the “Aspi Winery” grape processing factory of “Aspi-Agro LLC”.

The President was informed that, as is the case in other districts, private enterprise development is also in the spotlight in Gabala District. The launch in the Garadein village of the “Aspi Winery” grape processing factory of “Aspi-Agro LLC” is evidence that these measures have already become sustainable.

The main objective of the founder of the factory, “Aspi-Agro LLC”, is to restore the former glory of the wine industry, which used to be highly developed and widespread in Azerbaijan, and to provide the citizens of Azerbaijan with the best varieties of grapes and wines in the world. Working on the basis of modern technologies and traditions of Azerbaijani viticulture, the enterprise represents a full process from the vineyards to the production of high quality wines and cognacs.

Having established close contacts with leading companies producing and selling grape seedlings, such as Italy’s “VIVA Cooperative Rausedo VCR” and French “GONTARD FRERES”, “Aspi-Agro LLC” has set up large vineyards in Gabala District, on the slopes of the Greater Caucasus ridge with its unique climatic conditions and in the Savalan valley where viticulture was once a thriving industry. The analysis of the natural conditions of the territory located at an altitude of 400 meters above sea level, the precipitation and temperatures during for the year, the different soil samples examined at the laboratories of the said Italian and French companies have revealed the possibility of growing unique and high-quality grape varieties here. The varieties to be planted in the area were selected on the basis of the said indicators and the seedlings of selected high-quality grape varieties were brought in and planted in accordance with the existing regulations and the necessary technical procedures. Special agricultural equipment was also acquired to do the work. All these factors guarantee the production of high-quality export products. The company has demonstrated its products in various local and international exhibitions and won medals and awards in various categories.

It was noted that the construction of the grape processing factory in Gabala District was started in July 2010. The designer of the facility is “Sülaco LLC”, while the contractor is the consulting and engineering company of “Aspi-Agro LLC”.

It was indicated that as a sign of respect for the memory of great leader Heydar Aliyev, the company has set up photo stands reflecting the contributions of the nationwide leader to the development of agriculture, including viticulture, in Azerbaijan. There are also photos documenting the visits of President Ilham Aliyev to Gabala District in different years.
President Ilham Aliyev launched the enterprise and observed the process of production.
It was noted that the annual production capacity of the “Aspi Winery” grape processing factory is 1,000 tons. The plant is equipped with the facilities of well-known Italian company “DELLA TOFFOLA”. It currently produces seven varieties of wine (Chardonnary, Viognier, Syrah, Cabernet-Merlot, Limited-Release, Merlo-Desert and Reasling), cognacs and grape vodka GRAPPA. In the future, the assortment will be increased to 11 products. To create unique wine flavors, the company uses modern technology, the Italian tradition of quality and exquisite Gabala grapes.

It was noted that "Savalan" wines are made so popular above all by the ideal geographical and climatic conditions in which the grapes grow. Grown in these conditions, grapes make authentic wines with distinctive features. They represent a combination of centuries-old tradition and modern trends in winemaking. Grapes are harvested by hand and processed into wine at a factory built nearby and fitted with modern equipment and the latest mechanized technology. In addition, the wines are produced under the guidance of highly qualified Italian technologist Daniel Andera. The comprehensive examination of the wine is conducted by European wine expert Ermanno Murari. The wines are stored in oak barrels in a cellar in compliance with all the established standards, which gives them extra flavor. The produced wines are exported to Russia. In the future there are plans to export wine to countries such as Ukraine, Italy and Sweden.
President Ilham Aliyev visited the company’s wine cellar which meets all the standards of storage. All temperature, humidity and light requirements are strictly observed in the cellar and there is a necessary microenvironment. The products are stored inside high-quality oak barrels and tanks purchased in France and Italy. Storage in such barrels leads to the sedimentation of particles on the bottom and makes cleaning easier. In addition, storage in oak barrels gives the majority of wines a distinctive flavor which can turn an ordinary drink into a fine wine.

It was brought to the attention of the President that there is also a museum at the factory. There are posters "Ancient Gabala", "Old viticulture in Azerbaijan" and "Chronology of winemaking: 19-20th centuries", artifacts discovered during archaeological excavations in Gabala, and an electronic kiosk at the museum. Also on display are books and stands dedicated to nationwide leader Heydar Aliyev and President Ilham Aliyev, the history of viticulture and wine-making, and the company’s products.

While at the museum, President Ilham Aliyev watched a documentary about viticulture.

It was noted that the plant operates a laboratory fitted with modern equipment. The products are tested by laser analyzer WineScan FT manufactured by FOSS and purchased in England. This is the only such device to be used in the CIS. It works without chemicals, which enables maximum precision in determining a total of 24 parameters of wine or grape juice in a matter of one minute. Conventional laboratories take more than two weeks to conduct such analyses. The availability of such equipment enables monitoring of the production of wine at all stages from the determination of sugar level in the grape juice up to the fermentation of wine.

It was noted that the “Aspi Winery” processing factory currently operates at 20-30 per cent of its capacity. Seedlings of 22 wine and 14 table grape varieties have been imported from Italy and planted on 340 hectares of “Aspi-Agro” vineyards. The agro-technical work on these plantations provided seasonal jobs to 200 people. But most importantly, the company will play a significant role in improving the rate of employment in Gabala District.

President Ilham Aliyev also visited the tasting room.

The President wished the team success and gave relevant instructions and recommendations.