For generations, Volzhenka farm has been producing the best caviars and supplying purveyors of fine foods. Today, spearheaded by Ekaterina Bataeva, the family business is ready to launch its own brand: Volzhenka Caviar.
Praised by the Tsars
It all started in Astrakhan, on the river Volga, where Russian caviar was first extracted in the 16th century: praised by the Tsars, it came to be produced in large quantities and exported worldwide. The biggest farms were then run, under the Soviet Union, using fish caught in the wild – which is now a forbidden process – ensuring a unique level of quality. Since a private take-over in 1991, the Volzhenka family farm is the only remaining one on the Russian Caspian Sea producing world-class Caspian Beluga caviar.
Rooted in history, the family farm draws its expertise from decades of seamless production. As early as 1991, Ekaterina Bataeva’s grandfather was awarded the prestigious Medal of the Order “For Merit to the Fatherland” for his outstanding contributions to the development of the Russian fishing industry and sturgeon preservation.
Truly exceptional, Volzhenka Caviar stands out for its unique taste: one that recalls wild caviar. “Our fish always stay in the natural vicinity, which is key to keeping quality exceptional. During winter months, the waters freeze and the fish hibernate close by: the hibernation process matures eggs that are altogether bigger, creamier and lighter in colour. If the fish are kept in tanks, or shallow waters, hibernation never occurs, thus killing the taste”, Ekaterina Bataeva explains.
Acquired through generations of family experience, the Volzhenka farm uses meticulous processing techniques and cutting-edge equipment. Sitting on the banks of the Volga River, a giant water divider is turned on every five years to refresh and protect the fish’s natural habitat. All sturgeons are also kept in half-open tanks: 11-metres deep, they welcome the flowing waters of the Volga River; “this ensures that sturgeons feed on natural fodder and spawn, like in the wild”, Bataeva adds.
Sustainability at heart
Driven by ecological responsibility, the Volzhenka farm has become known for the authenticity of its product and sustainable approach. Committed to producing the highest quality caviar, the farm breeds some of the world’s rarest sturgeons (Beluga sturgeon, Russian Oscietra, Siberian sturgeon and Sevruga). Long lineage and pure heritage are at the heart of the brand’s culture.
With many species becoming endangered like the Sevruga sturgeon, Volzhenka safeguards future generations of wild sturgeons: part of the produced roe is given away for cultivation. To this date, Volzhenka has also released over 44 million juvenile sturgeons into the Caspian Sea basin, thus regenerating the species’ wild population.
Named after the female inhabitants of the banks of the Volga River, Volzhenka embraces its region and Russian heritage. Suppliers of the best Russian caviar, the brand accounts for 30% of Russia’s production: “While other retailers are recognized for the quality of their products, they source it from producers. At Volzhenka, our seal of quality and expertly controlled production enables us to stand out on the global market”. Today Ekaterina Bataeva is eager to introduce Russia’s finest luxury caviar brand to the UK and grow internationally.
The luxury brand, launching in June, produces a family of caviar that includes Beluga caviar, Russian Oscietra, Siberian sturgeon and Sevruga.
• Beluga caviar is considered the Queen of the Caspian Sea and the best caviar in the world. It is produced by a rare breed of fish (Beluga sturgeon), which only gives caviar every 3 to 4 years once it has reached 17 years of age. The eggs are big (3.6 millimetres) and bear a unique grey colour.
• Russian Oscietra is produced by Osetra sturgeons when they reach 15 to 20 years. The eggs are smaller and bear a distinctive golden and amber colour; their taste is creamier.
• Siberian sturgeon reaches maturity at 10 or 15 years old. Considered a great caviar, Siberian sturgeon varies from a dark grey to light brown colour; the eggs are smaller and taste saltier.
• Sevruga caviar reaches maturity around 7 or 9 years old. Previously it was considered a cheap caviar due to its tiny eggs, but with such a world shortage of Sevruga sturgeons, the caviar is now priced higher than ever. Bearing a light grey to charcoal colour, it is delightfully salty and full in taste.
Each variety of caviar is available in traditional sizes of 30g, 50g, 125g, 250g and 500g.
To learn more about Volzhenka please click here.