Asconi Corporation is set to receive US$680,000 compensation from the Moldovan government. The Eastern European producer of wines and spirits announced yesterday (29 November) that the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova has introduced an amendment to the Law on the Grape and Wine N 131-XIII from 2 July 1994, in the form of the paragraph IV, "Government Support to the Grape Plantations."

The paragraph IV stipulates the creation of a fund within the Budget of the Republic, which will subsidise the new vineyard plantations. The fund resources will be used to partially compensate companies to the amount of around US$735 (25,000 lei per hectare -- ~2.8 acres) for each acre of vineyard. Thus, Asconi Corporation will be receiving approximately US$680,000 for 925 acres of vineyards planted earlier this year.

The company has already received US$120,000 towards the whole amount; the entire amount is expected to be received by the end of the calendar year 2004.

Asconi plans to continue developing its vineyards and hopes to plant around another 960 acres of vineyards in the spring of 2005. The company currently owns a total of approximately 3,000 acres of premium land suitable for vineyard development in the central regions of Moldova.

Asconi's long-term strategy remains a step-by-step planting of vineyards until the quantity of grapes collected from company-owned vineyards meets 100% of its annual grape requirements.
Based on Asconi's preliminary estimates, once the company owns the source of primary raw material, the average cost per bottle will decrease by 25 to 35%.