One of the largest investments in agriculture was made near Huși, where it is an area where European technology and money have worked best. It is about Averești Winery.
Sergiu Voicu, Digi24 journalist: We are in Averești, at one of the wineries that can be proud to be unique in Romania. What makes it different? We could say that European money. But it is not the only argument for which this winery we are in is different, it is special, it is unique in Romania. We even find out from the entrepreneur who invested in it, what makes it so special.
Constantin Duluțe, entrepreneur: Welcome to the Averești domains. The grape processing winery from Averești is different from the other wineries because it has a gravitational processing component of grapes and must. It is unique in the size of the presses. We make, unlike other wineries, the maceration of aromatic grapes in presses. It is also unique in its grape processing capabilities, in that the first part of grape processing is gravitational.
30 million euros for vines and wine
Sergiu Voicu: You are one of the entrepreneurs in Vaslui who felt that European money can make a difference.
Constantin Duluțe: Without European money, I would not have made investments at the level I did today. In total, in the Averești fields, in Cramele Averești, we invested over 30 million euros.
Sergiu Voicu: The investment here, where are we from, what does it mean, what is its value and where did the financing go?
Constantin Duluțe: It is a grape processing plant with a daily processing capacity of one thousand tons and a fermentation and storage capacity of 4 million liters. The investment also has a thermal agent production component. We use a lot of cold to preserve must and wine, so as to minimize the substances we use to treat wine.
Wealthy, land of vineyards and European money
Constantin Duluțe, entrepreneur: We are right in the vineyard, and not by chance, because what we see now is still an investment with European money. I bought the company in 2007, and since 2007 I have replanted 650 hectares. We made sure to have Romanian varieties. Our emblem is two local varieties from the Huși area – Busuioaca de Bohotin and Zghiehara de Huși. There are local varieties. We also came up with international varieties in such a way that we also have varieties for the foreign market. We are the largest producers of Bushotioaca de Bohotin in Romania, we have over 200 hectares of planted vineyards, which helps us grow.
Sergiu Voicu: In addition, this is why you want to diversify because you intend with European money to set up accommodation units in the area, to develop tourism, not only the wine and wine production area.
Constantin Duluțe: We have a mansion built in 1874 by the boyar Negruzzi. We are working on a project for modernization, where we will make a wine showroom, a store and of course accommodation units for tourists.
Constantin Duluțe: Here, every year, we put 4 bottles of the best wines for the first owner of the cellar.
Sergiu Voicu: And every year another 4, another 4. And why 4?
Constantin Duluțe: That’s how I took over the tradition. I didn’t ask and I didn’t think either. That is the label of Busuioaca de Bohotin from the time of the communists, I bought it for 50 thousand euros, and after the first year my sales increased by about 150%. In marketing, what matters most is a label, a story.
Sergiu Voicu: Is it hard to get European money?
Constantin Duluțe: To get European money, you have to have money. European money comes after you make the investment. You have to have money to invest, and then get your share of European money. It was hard, but it was worth it, and I recommend it to everyone, because it is a very important component of the investments, the European money attracted.
European money makes better wine
Constantin Duluțe: But the problem with European funds is not just what you do with them. You have to think about when you finish the investment, if that investment can bring you the money you invested. What you see here is a long-term investment, it does not pay off immediately. It pays off in about 15-20 years, but I say it was worth it, the value of the company has increased. Also, the quality of the product. And I think that without investments I don’t think we had any chance to keep up with what is happening in the world and in this case with the wine market.
Sergiu Voicu: Where are you in the market and where do you manage to export the wine you produce?
Constantin Duluțe: As a surface we are on the 6th place in Romania, and we have a quite important share, we started to go out on the foreign market, we export to 12 countries.
Sergiu Voicu: If you were to give advice to other entrepreneurs who are looking at us now and who are thinking of European money as an opportunity, what should they do or not do, to be successful in a project?
Constantin Duluțe: Do not hesitate to take European funds. Sure, it’s not easy, but with perseverance and a lot of work, it is possible.
Sergiu Voicu: Did you make mistakes?
Constantin Duluțe: Like any man who works and makes mistakes. But mistakes that could be remedied. Maybe we didn’t ask for how much we should have and we put more money from us, but we went further.
Sergiu Voicu: How do you see the opportunity of European funds for the Romanian economy?
Constantin Duluțe: There is some money that we have to take advantage of, but at the same time I have to be fair, it is not very simple. Banks do not give money on the project itself, as is normal, in addition to the project you have to pledge, come up with something. Many people want to, but do not have the opportunity to finance their projects.
Editor : L.C.