Piotr Smirnov founded his first distillery of vodka in Moscow in the 1860s under the name PA Smirnoff. He died in 1898 and was succeeded by Vladimir Smirnov. The company prospered, producing more than 4 million of vodka crates per year. During the October Revolution, the distillery was confiscated and the family had to flee. Vladimir Smirnov re-established the factory in Istanbul in 1920. Four years later, he moved to Lviv, Ukraine, and started to sell the vodka under the French pronunciation of the name, "Smirnoff". The new product was a success, and at the end of the 1930s was exported to most European countries. A branch was opened in Paris in 1925. Today it is produced in 19 countries. Smirnoff is an ultra-smooth vodka with a classic taste, and is one of the largest vodka brands worldwide.