Friday, September 19, 2014

Prime Minister at the Vintage 2014 Coordination Staff

Photo: Prime Minister's Press Service
19.09.2014 (Hvino News). "This year will be more wealthy; we will protect the interests of both entrepreneur and a wine producer, a vintage will be better this year than it was last year," Prime Minster  Irakli Garibashvili stated while visiting the Coordination Staff of "Vintage 2014" in Gurjaani, Kakheti, on September 18.

As vintage is in active phase in Kakheti, approximately 60 000 tons of grapes have been processed. Pursuant to the decision of the government of Georgia, this year, similar to previous year in order to support vine-growing and wine-making, white grape as well as red grape was subsidized. Based on the analysis of market demand and supply, the subsidy per 1 kg of rkatsiteli is 0,35 GEL, while per 1 kg of saperavi it is 0,35 GEL.

According to the prime minister, properly planned and implemented projects by the Ministry of Agriculture and National wine agency in 2013-2014 became the reason for the successful vintage. Irakli Garibashvili noted that the state company buys the damaged grapes from drought and hail, which is very significant for farmers.

‘'The previous government forced farmers to cut vine, and population had to sell grapes at a very low price. This year, each family received a significant income as a result of grapes sale. In some cases the income reached 100-200 thousand GEL. It represents the result of our state approach and promotes the region to develop,''- Irakli Garibashvili stated.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Eastern Georgian farmers enjoy plentiful grape harvest

18.09.2014. Local farmers will soon produce Georgia’s world-famous wine as the grape harvesting season gets in full swing.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibahsvili picked some grapes when he met wine industry insiders at Georgia’s famous wine-making region Kakheti today.

"Based on today’s data, we can safely say that this year will be even more abundant [than in the past],” the PM said.

"We will protect the interests of both entrepreneurs and winemakers.”

More than 50,000 tonnes of grapes has already been processed across the country. So far the total income made by farmers exceeded 50 million GEL.

"Farmers hand the grapes over to wine companies at unprecedentedly high prices without any hindrance,” Garibashvili said.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Marani wines win silver at Mundus Vini

16.09.2014 (Hvino News). Two Georgian wines by Telavi Wine Cellar (Marani) have won silver medals at prestigious competition Mundus Vini 2014 Summer Tasting in Germany. The prizes were awarded to:
  • Marani Karani Kindzmarauli Bio 2012 
  • Marani Kondoli Vineyards Saperavi 2011

Earlier this year three other Georgian wines had also received silver awards at Mundus Vini Springtime tasting:
  • Tamada Napareuli by Georgian Wines and Spirits Company 
  • Tamada Mukuzani by Georgian Wines and Spirits Company 
  • Chateau Mukhrani Reserve Du Prince white 2010 by Chateau Mukhrani

The Mundus Vini Great International Wine Award is one of the most prestigious wine awards in the world. It is held annually in Neustadt an der Weinstraße in Germany.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Top boutique winery Schuchmann Wines supports luxury education activity in Georgia

15.09.2014. Those that are involved in the fashion industry in Georgia are set to benefit from a one-day master class given by expert in the luxury business Mr. Denis Morisset, on the topic: “Successful sales and service building in the luxury industry”. The event will be held in Tbilisi, Georgia, in the hotel Courtyard by Marriott on 18 September, 2014. New trends in the fashion industry, new strategies in successful branding on foreign as well as local markets, secrets to the success and profitability of luxury companies, as well as key problems of the industry and how to resolve them, are the main topics of the master class, which is being dedicated specially for Georgian fashion industry representatives.

The event will take place at the initiative of Luxor Management company, whose local partner is Schuchmann Wines Georgia. Amid the different parts of the evening, as well as during the degustation of different wines from alcohol partner Schuchmann Wines Company, participants will have the opportunity to network with colleagues in an informal atmosphere and to strengthen business contacts.

Around 50-60 people, managers and owners of boutiques, heads of sales departments, training managers as well as sales managers, will attend the master class.

Georgian winemakers purchased less grapes this year

15.09.2014. Due to the exorbitant prices, this year wine companies will buy less grapes than they expected. According to the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of "Telavi Wine Cellar" Zurab Ramazashvili, because of too high prices, the management decided to purchase 1 000 tons less. "This year, the price of grapes is too high, and it creates a problem for winemakers.

Now we have to balance the price for the expense of our own harvest, "- the businessman notes. Director of "Badagoni" company Gia Shengelia also speaks about a decrease in the volume of procurement. In his words, the company planned to buy 7000 tons from farmers but due to the high prices, bought no more than 3200 tons.

The company "Marniskari" reduced its purchases to up to 3000 tons. According to the company’s Director Lasha Revazishvili, in terms of current prices it was impossible to continue the purchase. "It is possible that we will have to raise the price of the wine, as in recent time wine materials have become much more expensive," - he says.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Georgian wine exports on upward trend

12.09.2014. More Georgian wine is continuing to be exported as European countries strive to get their hands on Georgia’s liquid gold.

Georgia exported 36.5 million bottles of wine, valued at $118.4 million USD, to 38 countries from January 1 to August 30 this year, reported the National Wine Agency of Georgia (NWA).

Wine exports increased in both volume and value in the first eight months of the year.

In particular, the volume of wine exported grew by 69 percent, while the value surged by 83 percent compared to the same period of 2013.

Russia has overtaken Ukraine as the largest importer of Georgian wine in the first eight months of this year after Russia lifted an embargo on Georgian wine last year.

In the reported period Russia imported 65 percent of Georgia’s total wine exports.

Latest data showed Ukraine was the second highest importer of Georgian wine, followed by Kazakhstan, Poland, Belarus, China, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Azerbaijan.


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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Georgia shortlisted to host international wine event

11.09.2014 (Hvino News). Georgia has been named as a potential candidate to host the General Assembly of International Sommelier Association (ASI) in 2016.

The final decision on where the Assembly will be held will be made through a voting process in June 2015 in Bordeaux, France. Two countries – Germany and Serbia – have been shortlisted alongside Georgia to host the prestigious event.

The Association united sommeliers, wine experts, critics, importer and exporter companies, distributors of wine, champagne, cognac and other drinks from 59 countries.

The ASI was founded in 1969 in the French city Reims and each year members gather to attend the annual meeting, which are usually hosted in Italy or France.

The Georgian Sommelier Association became a full member of the ASI this year.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

PM promises ‘well organised’ grape harvest season

10.09.2014. As summer draws to an end, the country’s grape harvest season is just beginning and experts are estimating more than 100,000 tonnes of grapes will be picked this year.

The country’s Prime Minister promised this year’s crop would be "well organised and distinguished” and 2014 would be marked by a degree of market self-regulation and establishment of an organisation which would reduce harvesting processing problems.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili’s announcement came during his visit to Kakheti, Georgia’s wine-making region, at the opening ceremony of a new wine factory today (read more here)

He said despite the current hot, sunny skies, weather problems earlier in the year negatively affected crops so this year’s yield was expected to be 15 percent less than 2013.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Prime Minister Garibashvili opened new plant of Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking in Kakheti

09.09.2014 (Hvino News). On Tuesday, September 9, Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili opened new the wine plant of Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking company in the village of Velistsikhe, Kakheti region.

"In this wonderful place we are opening another excellent plant. This makes me very happy, because this is another successful project ... This enterprise will employ 100 people, which is very important for this region," - said Mr. Garibashvili.

According to him, the government will provide maximum support to the Georgian winemakers.

"The government will assist by all means to the development of this region. Winemaking in our country should become the most successful industry," - said the head of government.

He noted the importance of the opening of the Russian market for Georgian products. "We have opened markets. I want to highlight the Russian market, which was closed for our wine during several years. Opening of Russian market was great relief for our winemakers," - said Garibashvili.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Georgian wine impresses at Austrian wine fair

05.09.2014. The unique taste of Georgian wine tickled the taste buds of Austrian wine lovers at one of the country’s leading wine fairs.

The Georgian embassy in Austria ran a Georgian wine stall at the Austrian Wine Fair, dedicated to the 900th anniversary of the Klosterneuburg Monastery – one of the architectural jewels of Austria.

The Klosterneuburg Monastery has been the centre of spiritual, economic, social and cultural life in the region for almost a thousand years. It is also Austria’s oldest and largest winery and as the country’s first carbon neutral wine producer, it continues to be one of the most visionary, Austrian wine experts said.

Since its establishment in 1114, the Monastery has cultivated vineyards and produced wine from its 266 acres, which spread out over four different villages in the region.

Representatives of Georgia’s Alaverdi Monastery, which continued to use an 11th Century method to produce "Wine of Monks”, were invited to the wine festival alongside famous European wine producers.

The Brotherhood of the Alaverdy Monastery gifted 72 bottles of traditional wine to the Klosterneuburg Monastery to thank it for inviting them to the international wine fair.


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Thursday, August 28, 2014

BBC News: Georgian winemakers ready to toast end of EU tariffs

Malkaz Jakeli plans to increase exports to EU
by Paul Brian

28.08.2014. Legend has it that 8,000 years ago wine was first invented in the small country of Georgia. Today, wine remains an important part of both the Georgian economy, and the Caucasus nation's sense of identity, with thousands of winemakers together typically producing more than 100 million bottles per year.

Back on 27 June, many corks were popped for a celebratory drink when crowds of people took to the streets of the capital Tbilisi to celebrate Georgia signing a free trade agreement with the European Union.

The deal means that from 1 September, Georgian produce and products which meet EU standards will no longer be liable for tariffs when imported by EU member states.

For Georgia's winemakers, predominantly family-run businesses, their wines should become more widely available in Europe - and at slightly reduced prices.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wine tourism prospects in Georgia

26.08.2014. The Economic Prosperity Initiative (EPI) organized a Coffee and Conversation session on wine tourism for media professionals from various TV and Radio stations, newspapers and news agencies on August 20.

The representatives from the Wine Association, Sommelier Association, Incoming Tour Operators' Association and wine producing companies spoke about Georgian wine tourism sector opportunities..

Head of the Marketing Department at the National Wine Agency of Georgia, Irakli Cholobargia, said that the development of wine tourism in the country will promote a lot of small local businesses.

“For example, I know that some small home-type hotels decided to make their own wine in order to attract more people,” stated Cholobargia.

EPI's initiatives in the wine tourism sector (promotional video, wine tourism portal and guide) were promoted among Georgian media representatives. The video has already been uploaded on the internet and serves as a commercial for wine tourism.

Georgia hosts annual wine trading conference

26.08.2014. Wine traders from around the globe descended on Georgia to attend the yearly conference of World Wine Trade Group (WWTG).

Georigan Minister of Agriculture Otar Danelia opened a plenary meeting of the WWTG at the Radisson Blu hotel today. The session was chaired by Deputy Minister of Agriculture Nodar kereselidze.

The two-day event is being held in Tbilisi and will see experts in the wine industry discuss global issues related to wine trading.

On August 27, conference participants will travel to Kakheti and explore the various wineries in the region.

"Today’s meeting is a very important event – Georgia is hosting the yearly meeting of the WWTG. Members of the group are leading countries in wine trading – USA, Canada and China to which Georgia has the will of expending its export market,” Agricultural Minister Danelia noted.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Orange wines a matter of taste

22.08.2014. One of us leads a neighborhood group in a monthly wine tasting and it's always fun to find new and different wines to try on a cozy group of eager oenophiles. Here, he can watch what wines have broad appeal and which get the silent treatment. At the end of the night, the preference is evident in how much is left in the bottles.

The last adventure included more challenging wines than normal -- a fizzy white vinho verde from Portugal that was admittedly shallow and an orange wine from the Republic of Georgia. We were most curious to see the crowd reaction to the Georgian Vinoterra made with rkasateli grapes.

It wasn't good. Tom ended up taking a second bottle home.

Orange wine -- named for its color -- is a result of maceration, or skin contact, that is more common to red wine. Usually, winemakers remove the skins after the crush to keep the color pure. The gold color usually comes from barrel contact and aging.

In the Republic of Georgia, however, it is all about tradition. These orange wines have been made in qvervis — ancient clay vessels — buried in the sand for 5,000 years. To the winemakers, extended maceration of white grapes is not just a novelty.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Georgian wine export statistics for 6 months

21.08.2014 (Hvino News). We have prepared the summary of Georgian wine export statistical data for 6 months in a graphic form.
Georgian Wine Export Statistics For 6 Months Period, 
February – July 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grape harvest season 2014 kicks off

Photo agenda.ge
20.08.2014. As summer draws to an end the country’s grape harvest season is just beginning with experts estimating 126,000 tonnes of grapes this year will be picked.

Despite the current hot, sunny skies, weather problems earlier in the year negatively affected crops so this year’s yield is expected to be 15 percent less than 2013.

A coordination centre for grape vintage under the supervision of the government, Rtveli 2014 said up to 110,000 tonnes of grapes would be purchased by wine producing companies this season.

The remaining 16,000 tonnes will be produced by local farmers. Since the harvest is about to kick off the Ministry of Agriculture believed farmers will not have problems selling their produce this year.

One of the reasons the country purchased more grapes this year was because of expansion into new markets including Russia. But wine producing companies said they had reached success in other markets too, like China.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Georgia will host next festival of house wines

19.08.2014. It is well known that Georgia is the cradle of viticulture and winemaking. Real Georgian wine long has been valued in the world.  High quality and excellent taste of Georgian wine was created by generations of Georgian farmers and winemakers. Today, connoisseurs and lovers of Georgian wine know not only popular brands, but also traditional family brands, which for decades are symbols of a rare quality of so-called home-made wines.

Not by chance, Racha-Lechkhumi Festival will be held on August, 24 in the city of Ambrolauri, informed the organizers of the festival under motto "Combining traditional winemaking Georgia".

Local winemakers present wines made by traditional method, in own wine cellars (marani).

"The guests of the festival will have an opportunity to try and taste the great wines of Racha Lechkhumi. During the festival will be organized tasting of unique local cheese and honey, and will be held a concert, which will featured by folk ensembles and the "Canudos" group - promise the organizers.

Monday, August 18, 2014

How to preserve historic marani cellars

by Aleko Tskitishvili

18.08.2014. Wine tourism in Georgia would flourish if the government’s one of the top priorities is to restore and administer those historic and architectural monuments, where traditional Georgian maranis are preserved. At the same time, additional research has to be done in order to designate hundreds of national buildings as historic-cultural monuments. Unfortunately, these valuable historic resources are ignored nowadays and many unique buildings are being destroyed right before our eyes.

It’s worth noting that according to the order issued in 2012 by the Minister of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia, qvevri (the unique and ancient winemaking clay vessel in which wine had been fermented and stored in villages and towns throughout Georgia for ages) was designated as a significant intangible cultural heritage. The same status was granted to qvevri according to No 91 order of February 8, 2012 issued by the President, not to mention last year’s historic decision made by UNESCO. Still, no further steps have been taken by the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection since this legislative breakthrough. Indeed, the ancient qvevris carrying the status of a significant intangible cultural heritage, are preserved in those historic cellars most of which are very damaged and are going to be demolished in several years due to the neglect and improper care.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The ancient art of terracotta-fermented wines gets new life in Oregon: Wine Notes

by Katherine Cole

For most of us, the sight of a wine cellar laden with wooden barrels is a charming reminder that some traditions are timeless. But for devotees of "natural wine" (the oenophile's version of the Slow Food movement), bent-oak barrel staves represent a relatively recent blip on the winemaking timeline.

The what's-old-is-new-again fad in food and beverage has, in winemaking, delved deep into antiquity in recent years, as winemakers all over the world have begun experimenting with clay vessels, very like the amphorae used by the ancient Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans.

Until now, American winemakers looking to dabble in clay had to rely on imports from Italy or the European nation of Georgia, where winemaking and oversized pottery production have never fallen out of style.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Georgian wine evening in Berlin

Photo: vinoge.com
10.08.2014. On August 7, an evening of Georgian wine was held in Berlin, at the Museum of European Cultures and hosted by Malkhaz Kharbedia, the President of the Wine Club. The event was part of the Georgian Culture Days festival that started on July 31 and will last till August 30. The Georgian Culture Days have been organized by the Georgian Embassy in Germany and supported by Georgian National Wine Agency.

In the beginning of the evening, Malkhaz Kharbedia gave a brief presentation about Georgian wine that summed up the history of viniculture and explored Georgia’s Protected Designations of Origin in the end. The presenter touched upon the earliest traces of winemaking and viticulture found on the territory of Georgia, which had led the country to acquire the title of “The Cradle of Wine.” He also talked about the wine producing regions of Georgia, the current state of Georgian viniculture and more importantly, about the traditional method of qvevri winemaking, the topic, which Malkhaz Kharbedia discussed closely during his speech.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Berlin Museum of European Cultures hosts Georgian Culture Days

by Nino Sharashidze

15.08.2014. The European Heritage Days in 2014 is dedicated to the love of life. To mark this occasion, the Museum of European Cultures in Berlin devotes its space to Georgian culture. From July 31 until October 5 the museum is presenting an exhibition “Wine – Culture” and degustation of Georgian wine and cuisine.

The Museum organizes similar events since 2000, and it has already hosted days of Polish, Venetian, Tatar, Estonian, Croatian, Romanian, Sardinian and Slovak cultures. 

Along with the Georgian Ministry of Culture, the event is also supported by Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation; Embassy of Georgia in Berlin; The National Museum of Georgia in Tbilisi; The Museum of European Cultures in Berlin; Supreme Council of Adjara; The National Film Center; and National Wine Agency. 

The presentation of Georgian wine culture shows up that eating and drinking are not only a necessity but often a cause for celebration. And the dining culture is an important component of social life. The exhibition displays photographs by one of Georgia’s famous photographers. Dimitry Ermakov (1846 -1916), illustrating the wine-making process in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Georgian Duty Free: Wine is a big success

11.08.2014 (Hvino News). Turkish operator ATU Duty Free has upgraded its duty free shops at Georgia’s Tbilisi and Batumi international airports. ATU’s decision to upgrade its airport duty free offer in Georgia comes at a time when international business and leisure passenger numbers are growing at airports across the country.

ATU Duty Free opened its Wines of Georgia store in Tbilisi Airport in 2011. The shop offers a wide selection of famous Georgian wines, which passengers buy both for personal consumption as well as gifts for business associates. ATU entered Georgia’s airport duty free market in 2006 when the company won concessions to operate two shops in Tbilisi International Airport and one outlet in Batumi International Airport.

“Opening the wines of Georgia store has been very successful both in financial and sustainability terms to preserve and promote Georgian wine culture,” said ATU Duty Free Deputy General Manager, Pinar Sener-Harput. “It is enjoyed by passengers using Tbilisi Airport."

Friday, August 8, 2014

"Pay by Wine": Hvino's unique promotion offer for Georgian winemakers

08.08.2014 (Hvino News). Is it possible to use wine instead of money in a business-to-business transaction?

Hvino.com - Georgia's primary international wine business portal - says "Yes!"

With its PAY BY WINE Special Offer the Georgian winemakers can actually pay by their products for Hvino's promotion services, such as banner advertising.

This unique and innovative offer was conceived by Hvino's marketing team especially for the smaller companies and individual winemakers, to make it easier and more affordable for them to promote their products internationally. The offer is, however, open to wine producers or wine traders of any size. For the first time in world history, web promotion is offered for wine!

Inge Olsson, manager at from Hvino.com, explained: "It's that simple: you choose the type of banner you want (banners are here); we make a usual invoice, but you do not pay. Instead, you deliver your wine! Price of your wine is based on average shop's retail price, and the sum is equal to invoice".

Winemakers make big savings, because their winemaker's wholesale price is lower than retail price.The offer is very profitable for winemakers, as they actually receive up to 60% discount from Hvino's standard advertising rates.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Official: Georgia's wine export statistics for July 2014

07.08.2014 (Hvino News). According to the National Wine Agency of Georgia total of 31 376 279 (0,75L) bottles of wine were exported to 35 countries as of July, being 95% higher vs last year same period.

Five leading export destinations of Georgian wine are as follows: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Poland and Belarus, where Russia holds 65% of total volume of exports.

Exports in value as of July 2014 amounted to US$ 102,186,500 which is 117% higher vs last year same period.

Besides, as of July 2014 in 12 countries 6 455 295 (0,5L) bottles brandy were exported. In value, the brandy exports amounted to US$ 22,973,604 as of July 2014, being 66% up as compared to the same period of previous year.

The Ukraine is leading Georgian brandy exports with 3 341 904 (0,5L) bottles as of July 2014, whereas Russia as second with 2 636 904 (0,5L) bottles the same period.

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Georgian wine exports surge with Russia major market

07.08.2014. Export of Georgian wine is on the rise with 65.3% of over 31.3 million 0.75-liter bottles exported in the first seven months of 2014 going to Russia, according to the National Wine Agency of Georgia (NWA).

31,376,279 bottles, exported in January-July 2014, represent 95% increase compared to the same period of last year.

Wine export value increased 117% year-on-year in the first seven months of this year to USD 102.18 million, according to NWA.

Ukraine, which was the largest market of exported Georgian wine before being replaced by Russia after the latter lifted embargo last year, is now second, followed by Kazakhstan, Poland, Belarus, China, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Azerbaijan.

Georgian winemakers say that Russia’s intention to suspend free trade agreement with Georgia will increase price of Georgian wine exported to Russia by about 20%, which will most likely cause decline in sales, but executives from wine producing companies say it is now difficult to predict a precise impact.