Keeping up with global market trends, Latvijas balzams, the leading producer of alcoholic beverages in the Baltic, has launched the first premium gin distilled in Latvia – Cross Keys Gin®. Thanks to the Latvian summer herbs in the beverage – chamomile and linden blossoms – Cross Keys Gin® offers a true taste of the Baltic summer.
By planting a symbolic Latvian centenary tree – oak, the gift from Riga Black Balsam® in the centenary of Latvia has been presented to the wider public: a historical cognitive trail with ten trees of dendrological rarity telling about the history of Latvia. Each of the ten trees symbolizes one decade in the history of Latvia, for example, the decade of the creation of an independent Latvia is marked by a juniper tree, symbolizing the spirit of the Latvian people for an even brighter future.
The first prize in Riga Black Balsam® Global Cocktail Challenge was won by the Cypriot bartender Ioannis Yianni with a cocktail Invictus or Invincible. But Latvian bartender Olegs Hindogins took third place with a patriotic mood cocktail called Red and White.
JSC Latvijas balzams paid 53.16 million euros to the state last year that makes the company the 11th largest taxpayer in the country and industry.
The line of Cosmopolitan Diva® sparklings now is extended with new – Strawberry – Mint version. This is the sixth taste in the brands’ line, first launched in 2014 as the first ever sparkling beverage filtered through gold filter for additional smoothness of the ready liquid.
‘Latvijas balzams’ has released a new – Cherry version in the Riga Black Balsam® herbal bitter line. It is noteworthy that the new ‘Riga Black Balsam® Cherry’ series is released on the 265th anniversary year since the creation of the brand’s recipe.
The government supports a 4.1 million euro corporate income tax rebate for JSC ‘Latvijas balzams’ for the implementation of a 23 million euro investment project.
Within the framework of the investment project, JSC ‘Latvijas balzams’ will expand and modernize the historic ‘Latvijas balzams’ manufacturing facilities and warehouses. The project provides for the construction of new facilities as well as the reconstruction of existing buildings.
New products in cocktails: Hektors Kola (cola) and Hektors Ābols (apple).
Much work was dedicated during the year to private label recipes and production, for example, the vodka Kungla filtered through platinum and an export order for the sparkling wine Ambrosia.
The Latvijas balzams line was expanded with the superb Moulin de Fruits trio with blackberry, cranberry and pomerance flavours.
Latvijas balzams starts making a new generation sparkling wine, Riga Prestige Cuvee.
This is the year we start producing the first sparkling wine filtered through a gold filter, Cosmopolitan Diva®, for which China was the first export market
We also launched on the market the innovative Amber Gold vodka, produced using a unique amber filter.
The liqueur Moka adds two new flavours to its product line, Moka Cherry and Moka Hazelnut, which are also exported.
Production of 18 new products commenced, among them new premium quality vodka – Riga Black® vodka. Latvijas balzams keeps its Silver medal on the Sustainability Index and is the only producer of strong alcoholic beverages that is listed among the companies with the best reputation in country.
A special 260th Anniversay label is created for the legendary Riga Black Balsam®.
The company started production of flavoured Stolichnaya vodka on orders from the SPI Group. It becomes a popular export product. Riga Black Balsam® and Riga Black Balsam® Currant, as well as Grand Cavalier™ brandy and the coffee liqueur Moka recieve several medals at international competitions.
Major investments were made into a new patented vodka cold production technology.
The coffee liqueur Moka was awarded with a golden prize in the liqueur category, by The Drinks Business.
10th Anniversary of Bonaparte brandy.
The cream liqueur Riga Black Balsam® Cream was awarded with a silver award in the category of design and packaging, organized by The Spirits Business.
Paying particular attention to the distribution of products manufactured by the company, active expansion of Latvijas balzams export market takes place, adding 10 new countries.
Riga Black Balsam® was awarded with Grand Prix at the international food industry exhibition Prodexpo, Moscow.
The first can bottling line in Latvia was launched.
The first AS Latvijas balzams shop was opened in Vilnius, the first of a wide chain in Lithuania.
SPI Regional Business Unit BV became the leading shareholder of Latvijas balzams and the bottling of Stolichnaya® and Moskovskaya® for the worldwide market was started.
Riga Black balsam® celebrated its 250 years anniversary and Riga Sparkling Wine® – its 50 years anniversary. The quality management system of AS Latvijas balzams was certified in accordance with ISO 9001.
AS Latvijas balzams the first in Latvia started cider production, sweeping the market with its Lucky Dog trademark
AS Latvijas balzams merged with AS Rīgas vīni;
One of the most popular vodkas – LB vodka was launched on the market. It was awarded at a gold medal at the international exhibition Interdrink-2000.
The shares of AS Latvijas balzams are listed on the Riga Stock exchange on the secondary market;
The classic Riga Sparkling® Wine receives a gold medal and title – The sparkling wine of a year in Moscow.
Privatization of the distillery: AS Latvijas balzams becomes a public joint stock company.
SIA Bravo was founded and the first AS Latvijas balzams shop was opened, the first of a wide chain of shops in Latvia.
The millionth decalitre of Riga Black balsam® was produced.
The distillery obtained its current name – Latvijas balzams.
The production of export products was started.
The production of Riga Sparkling® Wine was started using a unique production technology.
Maiga Podračniece, a technologist at AS Latvijas balzams restored the formula of Riga Black Balsam®, which was lost during World War II.
The distillery started liqueur production. One of the most famous is Allažu ķimelis liqueur, which got many awards at different international exhibitions.
The distillery was nationalized and renamed to Riga spirits and vodka distillery (Rīgas spirta un degvīna rūpnīca).
The formula for Stolichnaya® vodka is created in Russia. Since 1948, it is produced at AS Latvijas balzams and exported to more than 80 countries worldwide.
Latvia declared its independence and the distillery reopened operations;
The production output averaged 25 000 bottles.
The beginning of World War I – trading in spirits was stopped for some time.
The beginnings of AS Latvijas balsams, when the Riga State Spirits Warehouse No.1 started operations.
The production of Moskovskaya® vodka was started by the Russian Empire’s vodka monopoly. Since 1946, it is also produced in Riga.
Riga Black Balsam® received the first significant international award – the silver medal at the exhibition in Saint Petersburg (Russia). Since then the beverage has received more than 50 different awards.
Albert Wolfschmidt’s factory was founded. It which produced Riga Black Herbal Balsam by Kunce’s formula, the base of Riga Black Balsam®.
The production of famous liqueur Allažu ķimeļis was started in Latvia. It is still produced at AS Latvijas balzams.
Pharmacist Abraham Kunce created a unique formula for a beverage, which formed the basis for RigaBlack Balsam®.