Story of a former American politician who wants to become a Moldovan wine-maker

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Vineri, 07.07.2017 04:13   2461
While many people leave the Republic of Moldova there is also a reverse flow of people who want to come to our country for business and – if it goes well – to retire here.

This plan was shared in an exclusive interview for Mold-Street.com by Alvin Roy Granoff, a former legislator in the United States. ”I have visited Moldova several times and I am right now in the process of founding a wine company here. I first visited Moldova last year being accompanied by one of my nephews who is an expert in the wine business, and ever since there is an idea living inside myself to become a local producer and exporter of selected wines,” Mr. Granoff said. 

Politician and businessman

Alvin Granoff has a law study background and after completion of his political career (1983-1995, House of Representatives in Dallas, Texas), he turned to agricultural businesses (AgriStar Inc.) and hotel industry services (Stoneleigh Hotel). He also has founded and worked at a law office in Dallas (Granoff Law Offices). 

Although he is not a beginner in business, wine-making is a new nut to crack for him. His interest for Moldovan wines emerged after the news about the Russian trade embargo on our country. In 2006 during a full unilateral war which Moscow unleashed against Moldova, US media expressed solidarity with Moldovan producers and many Americans then learned of Moldova and its excellent wines for the first time. 

”Unlimited opportunities!”

”The taste of Moldovan wines is very fine. People are laborious and the climate is appropriate for production of quality wines. In addition, Moldova has a legal framework that encourages investors and it benefits from the Association Agreement with the European Union, a very important document that opens literally all the gates in the markets of Europe. The opportunities are unlimited,” the former politician believes. 

Mr. Granoff intends to set up a limited liability company in Moldova which will produce wines under its own brand and will export them to diverse countries. ”I can seen a great potential in the Asian markets, especially China and Singapore, where I’ve been and established collaborative connections with local business people. I am also interested in the Scandinavian countries as well as other European countries,” the businessman specified. 

When asked if he would export Moldovan wines into the United States, Alvin Granoff said the market in his homeland is difficult and complicated.

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” I do very much wish to export to the USA although I understand it is a difficult market and so this may take extra time but it is very much part of our program to get Moldovan quality wines under our labels in the US market.  I may also add a vodka along with the Divin and call it Granoff Vodka so it will have to be very high quality indeed. It might happen to sell wines in Canada, but I will surely start with the markets that are closer,” he said. 

Searching for the Red Grail

Currently the American businessman is visiting Moldovan wineries to learn in detail about the production process and cooperation conditions. His intention is to procure wine in large quantities from local enterprises and individual producers, and bottle them under his own trademark. The man travels throughout Moldovan districts in search for the Red Grail flanked by representatives of the Moldovan Investment and Export Promotion Organization (MIEPO), who have facilitated the visits and have offered information and logistic assistance. 

-Which particular wine do you like in Moldova? 

-Feteasca Neagra! Mr. Granoff smiled. 

The businessman suggested that so far he has not seen any bad wine in Moldova. ”I loved everything I have tasted here. I will try to enlarge the assortment rather than limit production to my personal preferences. I intend to produce red and white wines, but also divines [equivalent of French cognac], which are fine too. It’s about a long-term investment,” the businessman went on. 

Before deciding about his plans for Moldova, Alvin Granoff had to analyze a number of factors such as the political situation, economic opportunities, and the risks. The US Department of State’s website was helpful in this regard, as it provided for all necessary information about the country. 

”I have acquired a positive perception about the country. I was glad to hear that Moldova has a skilled labor force, production capacities, required technologies, and a low crime rate. Already in Moldova I have received a great deal of advice from MIEPO – its representatives go with me wherever I need and explain how things work here. Yet I am not aware how bureaucracy works here – I think I am going to learn this soon – but nature is wonderful, food is delicious, and people are friendly… I don’t know why people who live in such conditions are poor!” the businessman said. 

”Promote, promote and again promote your country”

”What I will need soon is a team of young specialists, talented, energetic, educated, who speak English and are good at marketing. I think there is not enough publicity about Moldova and its products, the country needs more active international promotion. Politicians, business people, everyone should be talking about their country as if there is no other in the world. I’ve seen Moldovan leaders speaking – they should be more convincing, more confident, and use all their charm to attract investors and tourists. If the infrastructure continues to improve and the arrivals of foreigners in Moldova increases, I might think of opening a hotel here, why not? I’ve got experience in this area,” Alvin Granoff stated. 

The former Texan politician lives at present in the Italian town of Bergamo. According to him, he might change residence for Moldova, if the company here grows into a profitable business and new perspectives emerge, especially given that “in many aspects the conditions in Italy and Moldova are similar.”

”My Granoff grandfather came from the nearby Ukraine in 1903 so my roots are from nearby soil. They escaped from poverty and the Tsar of Russia to settle in NYC where my father was born a few years later,” the American businessman stated. 

Whether we are going to hear or not about Granovia Wines as Alvin Granoff put it in his business card, we’ll live and see. Until then good luck and God help the Government hear his wishes. 



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