Minsk Sparkling Wines Factory, OJSC
The interdiction fault – the law reckoning with that by whom it is drunk, both when, and whether is a lot of, and with whom. When all these clauses are observed, to drink – an attribute of wisdom, instead of defect absolutely. Omar Khayam We do not know exactly when people started drinking wine. A petrified gpare-leaf, excavated by the archaeologists several years ago near Verona, Italy, aged 52 million years. But we are able to ascertain the exact date when a man tasted Belarusian sparkling wine for the first time. History of the Minsk Sparkling Wines Factory (Champagne Factory in the past) dates back to 1978. Just on February 17 the first bottle of Soviet Champagne left the production line; and already on February 23 the purchasers were able to enjoy the new-born beverage. In Februry 1978 total output was 2000 bottles. As far as there are no other factories in the Republic similar to the Minsk Sparkling Wines Factory, one can imagine, how much efforts, care and heart were put by the Factory’s specialists into their production. The first consignment of Soviet Champagne was made practically by hand. In 1980 the Factory’s specialists purchased and activated by their own efforts the new equipment manufactured by Seitz company, Germany. Owing to persistent efforts of the workers, in 2 years the Factory achieved its planned production capacity – 5 million 125 thousand bottles. Every year the technologists from the Factory visit the Moldavian farms specialized in growing, gathering and processing of grapes, and select the best wine-making raw-stuff just on the spot, after tasting. Soviet Sparkling Wine, produced at the Factory, gets its incipience at a depth of 6 meters underground. This is the place where wine-making raw stuff department is located, and where wine is stored. The wine is supplied from the countries similar to Champagne Province with their soil and environmental conditions: Moldova, Slovenia, Hungary. Constant temperature – not higher that 16 °C, lack of sunlight, high relative air moisture ensure required microclimate. Since 1992 manufacture of sparkling wines begins. The factory gets firmly established and gains strength. Its production capacity is growing and the initial cubage of raw stuff is insufficient. In this connection in 1994 an additional wine-making raw stuff department was put into operation, thus enabling to double the amount of received raw stuff. The range of products was expanded. Exсept Soviet Sparkling Wine, such wines as “Prince Lev Golitsyn”, “Troitskoye”, “Crystal”, “Prince Vitovt”, “Nymth” were produced. At the same time the production of souvenir bottle 0.375 and 1.5 lt started. The bottle of sparkling wine is heavy enough, but the workers cautiously filled each of them and decorated with foil and labels. Department mechanization was going on gradually until the new modern equipment was installed in the bottling and decoration departments in 1995, eliminating manual labour. Taking into account all engineering innovations, use of imported modern equipment, automation of all departments, and – above all – professionalism, thorough and faithful work of the specialists, in 1995 the Factory’s planned production capacity was almost doubled, and 9.6 million bottles of Soviet Sparkling Wine were produced. One should not think that the Factory aims at ‘overtaking and leaving behind. Quality has always been and remains the priority issue. International experience of quality control has been collected in the set of ISO 9000-9004 international standards adopted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in March 1987 and amended from time to time. With a view to strengthening the Factory’s position in a competitive environment, the quality control system was established in the Factory and certified in compliance with the above standard in 1999. It points to the Factory’s ability to release the product of required quality. At the end of 1999 a new still wine department was put into operation, taking in response to many-sided fancy of wine-admirers. From that moment on, the Factory offers to its customers high-quality fortified wines supplied fromMoldova. In 2001 the Factory had to change its name. Since April 11 Minsk Champagne Factory has been called Minsk Sparkling Wines Factory. It was caused by the fact that the name ‘Champagne’ could not appear in the foreign markets without any consequences. The question is, that the Paris Convention for the protection of industrial property has spread its influence to the Republic of Belarus either. One of the articles of this Convention definesChampagne as sparkling wine made in Champagne province by after-fermentation of sorts of grapes that grow inChampagne province. This wording means that Minsk Sparkling Wines factory has lost the opportunity to place its product in the foreign markets. Vast penalty could be imposed only for usage of the word ‘champagne’ in the Factory’s name, business documents, advertisements, packaging and marking. It was under threat of penal sanctions that the decision on the name change was made. It does not at all mean, that the Factory has changed its profile or withdrawn from its traditions. The Customers’ quality requirements become tougher. The Factory management directs its efforts toward meeting such requirements. In this connection in 2002 the Factory switched over to a new standard version and obtained the management system certificate under STB ISO 9001-2001 in the national certification system. In December 2003 the Factory obtained the certificate for foodstuffs quality control system based on the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP). In 2004 the production of natural grape wines started. In 2008 large-scale manufacture reconstruction began at the enterprise. And in the beginning of 2009 the first construction stage of starting complex – “Reconstruction of Factory property complex with construction of wholesale shop and goods warehouse” is finished. New biochemical branch of fermentation shop and shop-warehouse were put in operation. Therefore capacity of Factory in sparkling wines production increased. In February 2008 the Factory celebrated its 30th anniversary from the day when the first Belarusian lot of Soviet Sparkling Wine.was produced. The enterprise pays great attention to introduction and perfection of management systems, corresponding to the requirements of international and national standards. In compliance with STB 18001-2005 requirements, in 2008 System of Labour Safety Management was introduced, integrated into system of Quality Management and certified in the Republic of Belarus National System of conformity acknowledgement. In compliance with STB ISO 14001-2005 requirements, in 2009 System of Environment Management was introduced, integrated into system of Quality Management and certified in the Republic of Belarus National System of conformity acknowledgement. In 2009 the Quality Management System of the enterprise adopted the new version of state standard СТБ ISO 9001-2009. Therefore the conformity certificate on Quality Management System under the new version of the standard was obtained. Same year the reconstruction of bottling shop was effected and the new modern equipment for bottling line of “KRONES” company (Germany) was purchased. At the present time the factory is still in the process of reconstruction. The best tasters of the most prestigious international Contests pointed to neat balanced reviving taste of Belarusian sparkling wine. The Minsk wine-makers thoroughly keep up traditions of classical wine production processes, use only high-quality raw stuff.