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Guilty of wine

As in Primorye, stopped the activity of a popular winery tourists

The other day, the Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Primorsky Territory spread information about the initiation of a criminal case against the organizers of the Maykhinsky winery (the village of Anisimovka), a popular tourist site. Officers of the Economic Crime and Rosguards seized a large amount of finished alcoholic beverages and equipment. The owner of the production, Sergey Kurechko, told EastRussia that the reason for the visit of the security officials was his disagreement with the local authorities, although he did not deny that he did not yet have a license for winemaking.

Guilty of wine
Photo: PrimaMedia

January 28 press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Primorsky Territory reportedthat the employees of the economic security and anti-corruption unit of the inter-municipal department of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia “Bolshekamenskiy”, with the power support of Rosgvardi’s fighters, stopped the activity of an underground workshop for the production of counterfeit alcohol on the territory of a private household. During the search, equipment was found to haul alcohol and bottle capping, as well as labels, packaging, cork, metal, plastic and glass containers. 6,5 thousands of liters of alcohol ready for sale has been confiscated.

The house in which the search was carried out belongs to Sergey Kurechko. There, from 2014, the Maykhinskoe farm is located - a winery where local wine is made from taiga wild plants. Sergey Kurechko was charged under article 171.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation - illegal production and (or) trafficking of ethyl alcohol, alcohol and alcohol-containing products. For this, he faces a fine of up to 3 million rubles or imprisonment for up to three years. 

The owner of the winery said EastRussia, that the operation was carried out with the filing of local authorities.

“This is all because of our misunderstanding with the head of the Shkotovsky region (Viktor Mikhalov. - EastRussia). When I arrived here, as a respectable citizen, I went to the head of the district and said that I had come to develop the district. It caught fire, gave a green road. We were friends with him for a long time. A misunderstanding happened when I took up active civic activities in the village. We have an initiative group that created a volunteer fire brigade and took part in subbotniks. Further more. We got to those sections for which the district administration is responsible. And the regional administration ignores our desire to communicate, ”says the winemaker.

“With the head of the settlement, Ilya Zyzin, we had different opinions on the head of the district, whom to support. And he was offended at me. It so happened that he began to write in all instances and accuse me of illegal activities. As a result, this operation was developed, ”says Sergey Kurechko.


Note that according to the Russian legislation for the production and sale of alcoholic beverages, you need to obtain a license from Rosalkogolregulirovaniya (PAP): pay a fee in the amount of 65 thousand rubles, provide copies of a certificate of tax registration and documents confirming that the manufacturer has a vineyard, production and storage room, as well as a copy of the contract with the laboratory quality control. In case of non-observance of these requirements, the organizer of production expects fines or criminal prosecution, and the license issued for the peasant farm, allows to produce no more than 50 thousand liters of wine (from 50 to 66 thousand bottles) per year. 

For several years now, excursions, tastings and demonstrations of the production process have been held on the basis of the Maykhinsky farm, which is also mentioned in the message of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Primorsky Territory. According to the tourist sites of Primorye, in 2019 it is possible to settle in two types of houses here: a winemaker's guest house for 8-11 beds for 20 thousand rubles. per day and a cedar house-bath for 5 people for 10 thousand rubles. per day. A tour of the Maykhinsky winery with tasting of several types of wines from local wild plants produced by the family of Sergei Kurechko, according to, will cost another 500 rubles. per person. 

Sergey Kurechko himself never concealed his passion for winemaking (and even talked about him EastRussia in the framework of the project "Disappointed" last year), and now does not deny that he has established the production of wine on the basis of the economy. He believes that in this way he developed agritourism in the province.

“We are engaged in the development of agro-tourism, but we do not have a license for the production and sale of alcoholic beverages, because we are still small. Currently, I became a farmer-winemaker in order to collect documents for obtaining a license. It is a long process, complex and ambiguous. How can I apply for a license from me, which collects bit by bit, experiments, observes, introduces people, conducts excursions and tastings? I understand that, perhaps, the legislation is as follows: a step to the right, a step to the left, and you have already violated something. But the punishment should be commensurate, and not such that makes it impossible to work at all, ”says Sergey Kurechko. 

According to him, in the State Duma there is a bill from micro-wine-makers from the regions on simplifying the registration procedure: it is difficult for small farms to comply with the current law.

At the same time, the work of the Maihinskaya winery was known all over the region. According to Sergey Kurechko, when he started this activity in 2004, he came to the regional attestation commission and conducted an open wine tasting. Grape growing and the creation of a new branch of agriculture were discussed at all levels. So, in 2016, the report of the Legislative Assembly of the Primorsky Territory stated that “excursion tasting tours to the Maykhinsky winery are an interesting and sought-after holiday destination.” In the same year, the then head of Primorye Vladimir Miklushevsky visited the winery. 


The official authorities of Primorye now, however, are careful in their assessments. 28, at a press conference in January, Konstantin Shestakov, head of the tourism department of the Primorsky Territory Administration, noted that such projects should be legalized: “Negligence in organizing such a business is impossible. Yes, these are popular, interesting excursions. We included the winery as an object of agricultural tourism in all possible routes. But if the law says that there must be a license, please, we must get it. ”

Now Sergey Kurechko is under a written undertaking not to leave the place. News of the searches in his winery shook the public. Journalists, politicians and public figures of Primorye - all began to express their views on the situation. Thus, the head of the group of companies "CSN" Dmitry Alekseev spoke in defense of the winemaker, noting that in Russia there are two worlds: "the entrepreneur and innovator Sergei Kurechko and the valiant major, who conducted a heroic operation to curb the activities of the underground shop." 

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies have nothing to add to their official report. The press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in the Primorsky Territory for details about the criminal case against the organizer of the Maykha farm was asked to contact the press center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. EastRussia has not yet received an official police comment, but we will continue to follow the developments.

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