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Winemaking as a passion

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Constantin Duluțe is considered one of the strongest Romanian entrepreneurs in agriculture, and a constant presence on the list of richest Romanians. A former sole shareholder of Agricost, the largest Romanian producer of cereals and oil producing plants, he perseveres and continues to bet on Romanian business opportunities, investing in real estate, farm land and wineries.
In 2018, you were involved in what was the largest transaction in agriculture and the third largest transaction in Romania that year.
With 240 million euro, you did not retire on an island, but continued to invest. Can you provide some details about your new businesses?
Business is a fundamental part of life, when you become involved in it you cannot stop. In fact, the opposite is true, especially if you like to build, to see how things change around you. To achieve something, in any field, you need to work hard, you need plans, perseverance and a team of specialists to support the operations.
Apart from my business in agriculture and wind energy, I have been part of a real estate project in Bucharest since last year. However, my biggest and dearest investment is in the wine industry. Not everyone can do good viticulture and make good wine. Whoever invests thinking that they will cash in on it tomorrow should just give up. In vineyards and winemaking you have to wait. In this industry, you have to make long-term investments, think today about the future, have patience and enjoy it.

In 2020, when few investors had the courage to invest, you signed the contract for the acquisition of the Husi winery (about two million euro).
What is your connection with the wine industry, when was your first contact with this business sector and what is your objective?
In business you have to plan for the future all the time, to bring added value to the industry and gather the necessary expertise to achieve that.
When I decided to enter the Averesti business, it was a nostalgic move, but I believe in its potential to benefit the entire area and the Husi Vineyard. Passion and business go together, you do what you like, but with profitability in mind. Initially, after the revolution, we set up 100 hectares of vineyards, then, in 2005, we acquired the company in Averesti, which was on the verge of bankruptcy. After I bought the land, in 2010, I started the investments on an area of 650 hectares.
In the beginning, the vineyards were replanted in keeping with the European standards, and because the vineyard requires patience and dedication, the replanting process continued for the next 11 years. In addition to the vineyard, invest­ments were needed for the development of its logistic structure, for the production and distribution of the Averesti wine. Over the years, the funds invested here have reached over 30 million euro.
Every year our feelings of trepidation intertwine with the difficulties of the wine business. We take care of the vineyards with great attention, we look forward to the rain and we hope for good weather when the time comes to work in the vineyard. Everything is changing all the time, and our people’s dedication is the only constant. In a vineyard (Husi Vineyard) with a tradition of over 3,000 years, the Domeniile Averesti brand is rela­tively new, but we have managed to reach the sixth place among the largest vineyards in Romania in a short time. At the same time, we are number 1 in terms of areas cultivated with local varieties: Busuioac de Bohotin and Zghihar de Husi.
At the end of September 2021, we offi­cially opened one of the most modern and impressive grape and must processing units. Taking a different approach from the rest of the wineries, Domeniile Averesti is now one of the most ambitious winemaking projects in Romania, with its gravitational processing component and the size of the grape mace­ration presses. I worked on this project with Mr. Yves Grassa, an extremely gifted person with extensive experience in this sector, who developed similar projects at the winery he owns in France (Domaine Du Tariquet). We made 10 project variants, we modified and personally checked each technical aspect, and we chose the one that would ensure us an excellent ratio between efficiency and uniqueness of the grape varieties. Everything was done so that we can obtain unmistakable and sustainable wines, which respect the resources of the land, the grapes and the particularity of the area.

What will consumers find in a glass of Domeniile Averesti wine?
There is a note of passion, spiced up with new challenges and new discoveries, a beautiful love story for wine and passion for performance in every glass of wine from Domenerii Averesti.
All our investments so far and those that are going to follow have a purpose and a story behind them. Our goal is to put the Husi Vineyard back on the map of trusted wine regions in Romania, and to become the main supplier of quality wines from DOC Husi at national and international level. These efforts are supported with passion and involvement by the entire family, dedicated to increasing the prestige and quality of the Domeniile Averesti products. Our modern investments and resources focus on the same goals.

What is the next step that you are considering in this business sector?
Obviously, the story of the Husi wine does not end there! It is a long-term
in­vestment. We are a well-capitalized busi­ness, with a constantly growing turnover, with good prospects and know-how.
We want to contribute to the deve­lopment of the Averesti - Husi area, of the brand we are building, and of the Romanian wine’s potential.

This is also available in our print edition of Business Arena.

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