Future 50 Q&A: Leonid Fadeev

Wine news

Qua 17 Jun 2020

The Future 50 is a new initiative created by WSET and IWSC to select 50 future influencers of the global drinks industry. Find out more and view the final list here.

Master of Wine student Leonid Fadeev heads up Russian winemaking start-up Cote Rocheuse alongside his website Vine & Wine. In lockdown, he’s as busy as ever.

What do you do?

I am the executive director of Cote Rocheuse – a vine-growing and winemaking start-up in the south of Russia, in the town of Anapa, which is in the Krasnodar region. We have almost completed the construction of our ultramodern, gravity-flow winery, which is unparalleled in Russia. We expect 2020 to be our first vintage; fingers crossed there is no delay.

I’m steadfastly developing the company while continuing my wine education at the Institute of Masters of Wine and continuing to share my wine knowledge with a wide audience.

How has your work been affected by the coronavirus outbreak?

Work in the vineyard is being carried out as usual, but unfortunately, due to quarantine rules, I cannot go to the vineyard personally and check the work. But thanks to modern technology I can do it virtually.

My main task in the company is its management so my key tools are a laptop and mobile phone. I plan and monitor the execution of work both in the office and the vineyard, as well as working with leading Russian universities to prepare grape growers, agronomists and winemakers within our partnership agreements. I can do all this work remotely.

Coronavirus has meant that I have had to postpone the Russian Wines Competition 2020, which I organise, to September – it was originally scheduled for late May. I have also had to cancel many business trips related to my studies at the Institute of Masters of Wine as well as participation in international wine competitions.

How are you spending your time during the lockdown?

I am continuing to work and study intensively; the intensity of my work has not undergone any change. I worked seven days a week before and continue to work at the same pace now.

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What is your proudest achievement so far?

There are several: planting a European-standard vineyard with my team at Cote Rocheuse; passing the first exam at the Institute of Masters of Wine (stage 1 assessment); being among the winners of the IWSC Future 50 award; and creating the educational site www.vineandwine.vin, which is becoming more popular every day.

What’s happened in your career since you won the Future 50 award last year?

I announced the Russian Wines Competition 2020, the organisation of which is in full swing. I am continuing to post new content on the site www.vineandwine.vin, and last month I launched a new section in two languages about wine faults. I have seen around 3,000 new visitors since then from all over the world.  

What excites you in the drinks industry right now?

New opportunities and prospects. The drinks industry will change. During any crisis, you spot problematic or weak spots in the industry and try to improve the situation. Any crisis brings new opportunities for the future.

What’s been the best drink of the past year?

Barale Fratelli’s 1985 Castellero Barolo. I found this wine at Schloss Esterházy in Austria and was saving it for a special occasion. I shared it with my team after passing my first exam at the Institute of Masters of Wine, which I prepared for intensively for nine months. We went fishing and drank this special bottle on the lake in the evening. The company, occasion and atmosphere made it even more unforgettable.

Do you have any advice for people starting out in the drinks industry?

Study, study and study again. Read plenty of specialised literature – and taste constantly. But don’t drink too much. Instead, do some sport and don’t spend too much of your time on social media.

Read Leonid Fadeev's latest report on the Russian Wine Industry here.