CBI
CBI
East European wine

Through the grapevine

With its integrated approach CBI serves the wine sector on both business and institutional levels. CBI Wine expert Marco Tiggelman, who has accumulated a lot of experience as director for Wine Australia and worked with wine trade associations all over the world, is experienced in both fields and supports the Eastern European wine sector on behalf of CBI. “I’ve done a lot of capacity building, compiled strategic plans to help ministries and trade organisations and worked in the field too, assisting wineries with their production and planning,” he says.

East European wine

Eastern European countries have only recently started exporting to western markets. “Infrastructure problems faced by wineries there are being solved rapidly and many winemakers are now being trained in modern winemaking techniques abroad.” As a newcomer, he continues, it’s not easy to penetrate a sector still dominated by the big producers from France and Italy. “Awareness is key, however, and while wine production and technology in Eastern European have come a long way, they still have a way to go before the region can pose a serious challenge to the already established wine countries.”

East European wine

Tiggelman acknowledges that Western European tastes are changing. “Holland, Scandinavia and the UK have always been very open-minded when it comes to wine. And once Eastern European wines earn themselves a reputation in these countries others will soon follow.” CBI is helping Eastern European wine makers develop wine styles that appeal to these consumers, he adds. The current focus is less about strengthening their production expertise as giving them an insight into modern wine styles, and helping them understand the tastes of the European market.

East European wine

CBI’s approach is also changing, he concedes. It’s making adjustments to its current projects to achieve the same synergy creation that the organisation always strives for. “CBI is also evaluating which countries and sectors need more attention in its future integrated programmes. New modules in these programmes will link individual company focus and overall business development.”

Greatest allies

A good example of CBI’s changing approach in the wine sector is the development of programmes that will unite the Bolivian market. “You can only attain national recognition for your wine if you join forces. As a wine producer your closest competitors are also your greatest allies when it comes to strengthening the national brand. CBI is bringing these parties together, not simply leaving them to figure it out for themselves. But like wine itself, it’s a longer-term process of maturing.”

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