Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hvino to launch Georgian wine catalogue with independent rating

31.12.2013 (Hvino News). Hvino.com in 2014 will launch the first online catalogue of Georgian wines. According to Alexander Kaffka, the head of Hvino.com, the Georgia's online portal will work to add a much-needed wine catalogue to its services.

“We receive signals from international consumers, who say they need help in picking the wines from the shelf, while shop assistants cannot provide this help in many cases. This is why Hvino will launch our own online catalogue, which will provide independent expert rating, and easy-to-read information on many Georgian wines”.

Hvino has been working on its own multi-source rating system for some time. Hvino’s original rating formula takes several international ratings into a singe account, as well as medals and other awards won at international wine contests. This multi-source rating formula will ensure neutrality, which will make it easy for consumers to select the wine.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Georgian wine to be presented at Sochi Winter Olympics

29.12.2013 (Hvino News). Georgian wine will be presented during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games through numerous Georgian restaurants in Sochi, Russia, but not through "Georgian House". The idea of having a dedicated "Georgian House" at the Sochi Olympics was has been abandoned.

"At the moment, negotiations are underway with several famous Georgian producers interested in selling their wine brands during the Olympics. The quantity of wine will be determined by Russian importers,  who distribute Georgian wine in Russia", - said Levan Davitashvili, head o National Wine Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, in his interview to Russian daily Izvestia.

According to him, Khvanchkara, Kindzmarauli, Tvishi, Saperavi and Mukuzani are in highest demand in  Russia.

Georgian delegation at the Sochi Olympics will be headed by Leri Khabelov, president of National Olympic Committee.

© Hvino News    DRINK GEORGIAN!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Georgia's wine export to Turkey is below market quota

26.12.2013 (Hvino News) Georgia will  not fully master the wine quota of one million bottles on the Turkish market in 2014.

National Wine Agency explains that Georgia's wine quota exceeds the demand on Turkish market. Also, the Turkish market is characterized by bureaucratic difficulties.

NWA predicts that next year 50 thousand liters of wine will be exported from Georgia to Turkey. Currently, tens of thousands of bottles have been exported to Turkey.

© Hvino News    DRINK GEORGIAN!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A rainy night in. Georgia?

24.12.2013. 23rd December.  It's raining.  It's blowing a gale.  It's party time.  But not at Purple Teeth's temporary London HQ.  After facing the queues on Oxford Street just to buy the perfect cheese for our Christmas dinner, and being almost swept away Mary Poppins style, I decided:  I'm not going out there, and you can't make me. But London, I promise you, I'm not tired of you yet.

So this begs the question.  Which wine should I enjoy while Mr Purple Teeth had gone to watch Arsenal vs Chelsea in the local boozer?  There are lots of lovely wines laid in for the festive season, and doubtless, 6 kinds of dessert wine will be too many.  But the lure of sharing something unusual with you, proved too much.  So to Georgia I went on this rainy night.

How many of my dear readers have tasted Georgian wine?  I've had only a small, but imperfect tasting (from a plastic cup, in the early hours of a Monday morning, after myriad flavoured vodkas) of a sweet Georgian wine made from the Saperavi grape.  So when I spotted a Saperavi in the "fine and rare" section of the John Lewis food hall (also available from Waitrose Wine online and Ocado) in my first week in London, seeing it was on special offer at the time, I couldn't resist popping it into my basket.  This 2007 Orovela is one of just 8880 bottles made in the foothills of the Caucasus mountains.  Orovela is apparently a kind of Georgian ploughing song, which could be heard echoing through the hillsides in days of yore.  Luckily now, it's an accessible brand of wine that means we don't have to go to a specialist.

Monday, December 23, 2013

East and West

23.12.2013. After 'North' and 'South' came 'East and West'. Kind of predictable but as one expert fretted, 'West' was going to be tricky given that only non-vinifera and hybrid varieties could be said to originate there if by West one meant America.

Not to be daunted by  trifle like that, the organisers of this tasting decided to focus on the Seven Percenters of California - the growers who make wine from grapes other than Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and the like plus a Baco Noir from Oregon.

Perhaps more by bad luck, the East didn't shine on this occasion and it was the West that provided the best and most popular wine.

The two absolute favourites, satifyingly enough, represented both sides. From the East, Verdernikov's Krasnostop Zolotovsky (Rostov-on-Don) was a big hit and the  Forlorn Hope 'Suspiro del Moro' Alvarelhao was so popular a second bottle had to be opened. The winners on both sides were:


Mavrud. This Bulgarian speciality really shone. The other Bulgarian favourite, Melnik came second being rather over tannic in comparison. The Bulgarian crosses were disappointing.

The Georgians failed to hit their usual mark which was quite a surprise and the Hungarians were also surprisingly disappointing. This was bad luck because we have tasted fabulous examples of many of these wines previously as you can see by entering the names some of these grapes in our Search Engine.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Korea: Georgian envoy upbeat about wine marketing

by Kang Hyun-kyung

22.12.2013. The Embassy of Georgia threw a wine-tasting party at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Wednesday, weeks after the Georgian wine-making techniques made the list of the world’s intangible cultural heritage.

More than 100 people, including experts in the wine industry and foreign diplomats based in Seoul, showed up at the year-end event to explore the taste of Georgian wines.

This is the third time that the embassy has hosted a wine-tasting event, following two events last year.

Ambassador Nokoloz Apkhazava vowed to work more actively to promote Georgian wine in Korea, saying that the wine-tasting event marks the beginning of that resolve.

He said that there are several things which make Georgian wines “special and unique.”

“Unlike wines from other countries, Georgian wineries use a clay vessel, which we call a kvevri, and store wines for several years deep underground,” the envoy said. “Georgians are the first producers of wines in the world and our long history in wine production makes our wines unique.”

Monday, December 16, 2013

Georgia doubles wine exports as Russian market reopens

16.12.2013. Russia bought almost half of all wine exported by Georgia in 2013, just months after a longtime ban was lifted, Georgia’s agriculture ministry said Monday.

Georgia sold 21.8 million bottles to Russia after Moscow ended an embargo in June that had been imposed in 2006.

The level of demand has prompted the Caucasus nation to double its forecast for Russian wine sales in 2014 from 12-15 million bottles to more than 30 million, Georgy Seturidze, head of the Georgian-Russian Economic Cooperation Center, told Prime news agency.

The reopening of the Russian market helped Georgia to double wine exports this year to 44.7 million bottles, the ministry’s annual report showed. It sold wine to 48 countries worldwide in 2013.

In March, Russia’s consumer rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, cleared 36 Georgian winemakers and four mineral water producers to resume deliveries to Russia. Exports of Georgian wine and other agricultural goods to Russia resumed in June.


Friday, December 13, 2013

A Taste of Georgia in London

by Sophie Ibbotson and Max Lovell-Hoare

13.12.2013. Taste Georgia, the first Georgian Christmas Fair, took place in London last week [correction: from November 28 to December 1 - HN]  introducing thousands of Londoners to the country’s finest foods, wines and culture. Set in the historic Cathedral Square in Southwark, visitors were treated to live performances as well as tasty treats.

HE Alexandra Hall, Britain’s ambassador to Tbilisi, said, “I am thrilled the Taste Georgia is taking place in London. This is a fantastic opportunity for people living or visiting London to get to know the rich Georgian culture and taste the wonderful food and wine this country has to offer.”

Her enthusiasm for the project was echoed by Master of Wine, Sarah Abbott, who concurred: “It was wonderful to see so many people discovering and enjoying the great treasures of Georgian wine and food.”

The smiles of the hundreds of happy customers packed into the square each lunchtime was certainly a tribute both to the quality of the food and its appeal to London’s palate.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Teliani Valley Tsinandali honoured with 88 rate by "Wine Spectator"

12.12.2013. At 2013's Wine Spectator blind tasting Teliani Valley Tsinandali has been honoured with the 88 rate, highest among other Georgian wines. Only two sorts among other type of Georgian wines have been graded with such high rate. The first 88 rate was awarded to the Teliany Valley Mukuzani in 2010. Teliani Valley's other wines were also awarded with high points: Tsolikouri Lechkhumi – 87 score, Saperavi Kakheti – 86 score, Saperavi Kakheti Unfiltered – 85 score, Cabernet – Saperavi Kakheti Reserve – 83 score.

The most reliable, rigorous and critical wine degustator – Wine Spectator -  is the leader publication in this sphere, its editors annually conduct blind tastings of thousands of wines. Wine Spectator's description for Teliani Valley Tsinandali:

Redolent of green apple and spice, this features plenty of pastry notes in the mix. Quite creamy midpalate, with hints of pumpkin on the crisp finish. Drink now.

Company News

Director of National Wine Agency explains an expected price hike for wine by increased demand

13.12.2013 (Hvino News). The National Wine Agency is not going to interfere with the companies’ decisions on the expected price hike. As director of the Agency states to Georgian Commersant radio, they do not have the opportunity to influence legislation. Levan Davitashvili says that the market will regulate situation and companies will continue to increase prices until the market allows this.

Davitashvili explains the decision on wine price increase by the increasing demand for wine but notes that up to 80 manufacturers are operating in the market, including those who will meet the market demand with a relatively lower price.

© Hvino News       |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2013's Media Rating of Georgian Wine Companies: Tbilvino leads again

11.12.2013. (Hvino News).  This year's Media Rating of Georgian Wine Companies became known today. For the second time Hvino News prepares its analytic report, which is now based on 20 months of our global media monitoring.

Compared to 2012's data, both leaders - Tbilvino and Teliani Valley - have confirmed their strong position in the media, as they keep their Gold and Silver positions respectively for the second year in row.

Congratulations to Tbilvino's management and PR team for the most successful media outreach!

The Bronze shifted  from Pheasant's Tears to Wine Man. Wine Man showed excellent progress from the 7th position in 2012 to the Top-3 in 2013!

Shuchmann Wines, who shared Silver in 2012, went down to 4th place, but with just a minimal gap.

The number of mentions of other companies can be seen from the tables (Click on the images to enlarge).

2012's Media Rating results can be found here. Our media data includes both the international English-language media monitoring and the articles published by Hvino News under its own copyright. Hvino News was the first to conduct regular media analysis of Georgian wine industry.

© Hvino News 

This article was reposted by:

Georgian Wines for Winter Warmth (in Philadelphia)

11.12.2013 (Hvino News) The holidays are here! Get in the spirit with our Winter Coat drive and Georgian wine Happy Hour!

WHEN: December 15, 2013 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
WHERE: Jet Wine Bar
1525 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146, USA
COST: Free Samples, Free Cocktail with Donation

From 4-6, we will be offering samples of wines from the Republic of Georgia. Wine-making likely began around Georgia, and its ancient techniques have been awarded UNESCO Protected-Heritage status. We will try several of its wines, including dry & semi-dry, still & sparkling. All are available in select PA stores, so taste some ideas for gift-giving!

Further get yourself in the spirit of giving by bringing your new or gently-used winter coats, or new hats, & gloves to Jet for the charitable organization, Feel The Warmth. Bring in a coat, or a hat/glove combo, or a new toy and receive a free Georgian cocktail – our take on Chacha.

© Hvino News   |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hvino.com joins the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) of Georgia

10.12.2013 (Hvino News). Hvino News  is pleased to communicate that our parent company Hvino.com has become the member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) of Georgia. ICC is one of the most influential business associations, which unites more than hundred companies and organizations operating in Georgia, including major business players such as Bank Republic, Radisson, KPMG, Forbes.

As  an  ICC  member,  Hvino.com will  be  invited  to participate  in ICC meetings with government officials, meetings with leaders in the business community, and ICC seminars, commission meetings and social events. We hope that membership in ICC will allow to enrich our news service, to raise popularity of our medias, and to broaden our readership. On behalf of our organization we take this opportunity to say thanks to ICC for the invitation.

© Hvino News   |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Wine business soars as ATÜ Duty Free sales surge at Tbilisi Airport

10.12.2013. ATÜ Duty Free sales have surged by +40% year-on-year at Tbilisi Airport (from January to November), with Georgian wines making a strong contribution.

News of the performance was reported by The Financial newspaper, and confirmed with ATÜ Duty Free by The Moodie Report.

The growth comes amid plans for further investment in the Tbilisi store by ATÜ in 2014. As reported, the company will also expand its Georgian business to a third location (after Tbilisi and Batumi) with the opening of a 148sq m shop at Kutaisi Airport early next year.

At Tbilisi, a Wines of Georgia outlet that opened two years has proved a big success, said ATÜ Duty Free. The shop has helped to promote Georgian wine culture as well as driving sales, it added.

The store represents 11 leading Georgian wines, with Teliani Valley said to be the best-selling brand. Sales at the Wines of Georgia store have leapt by +32.3% in the January-November period compared to a year ago, the retailer said.

Other top-selling national items include Khvanchkara semi-sweet red wine, Sarajishvili XO, Ch.Mukhrani Chacha grape spirit, Marani Kindzmarauli semi-sweet red, Teliani Khvanchkara red, Badagoni Khvanchkara semi-sweet red and Satrapezo Saperavi dry red.

ATÜ Duty Free is Turkey’s leading travel retailer with an increasing portfolio of operations overseas. The company is a joint venture between TAV Airports and Unifree, in which Gebr Heinemann is principal shareholder and supplier.


Over the mountains and far away in Georgia (in Williamsburg/Brooklyn!)

Photo: stuartpigott.de
10.12.2013. Seldom have I experienced a tasting like that of Georgian wines which Lisa Granik MW presented this afternoon at Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg / Brooklyn. Even in New York Wine City (NYWC) where the culture of excellence and plain old hot competition drives standards up, sometimes with bizarre results, I never before experienced a tasting where the winemaking background and the cultural background to the wines were presented in such fullness and with such a clear feeling for what is decisive or essential. What I mean is that Lisa didn’t just dump an avalanche of detail on us and leave us to try and find the connections. The fact that she lived in Georgia for a year at the beginning of the 1990s obviously helped, but I promise you I’ve been to tastings of French wines by people who’d lived in France for a year that were rubbish compared to this tasting! Although I’d been to Georgia in the Caucasus in June 2008 just weeks before that ugly little war with Russia erupted and been given a crash course in Georgian wine and culture, but this afternoon I still learnt a lot of vital stuff.

For most of the other participants it was like being thrown in the deep end of an olympic diving pool, because all the comparisons with Western Europe and most of the paradigms and metaphors we derive from the wine cultures of those nations don’t help you make sense of Georgian wines, rather they make it way more difficult to piece the information your palate is telling your brain into something resembling a coherent picture reflecting the reality on the ground. For me it was not only the chance to refresh my memory, but also to catch up on what several major producers have done during the last few years. The most important of those was Vinoterra in Kakheti (in the east of the country where the majority of the vineyards are).

Saturday, December 7, 2013

"Decanter": Georgian winemaking method joins UNESCO heritage list

by Caroline Gilby MW

07.12.2013. Georgia's traditional winemaking method of fermenting grapes in earthenware, egg-shaped vessels has been added to the world heritage list of the United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organisation (UNESCO).

Georgia’s traditional winemaking method of fermenting grapes in earthenware, egg-shaped vessels has been added to the world heritage list of the United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organisation (UNESCO).

The UN body said this month that Georgia’s ancient qvevri winemaking method is part of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity  [for more detail, read Georgian qvevri wine-making method approved for UNESCO's Intangible Heritage List - HN]

It joins a relatively exclusive club of wine-related items recognised by UNESCO, including the areas of Tokaj, St Emilion, the Upper Douro and the island of Hvar.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Georgian wine is now an element of UN's 'Intangible Heritage'

05.12.2013. The UN's cultural agency, UNESCO, has added ancient Georgian wine-making techniques to its list of "intangible heritage" in need of being preserved.

UNESCO said in a statement issued late on December 4 that envoys picked 14 new listings --- including the Georgian method of making wine -- at a meeting in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku [for more detail, read Georgian qvevri wine-making method approved for UNESCO's Intangible Heritage List - HN]

Later it announced that a Romanian and Moldovan Christmas ritual, the Feast of the Holy 40 Martyrs spring festival in Macedonia, and decorative painting in Ukraine's Petrykivka village were also added to the list.

Among the other new entries were traditional Japanese Washoku cooking methods, the Mediterranean diet, and the traditional use of the abacus for counting in China.

Additions to UNESCO's shorter List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding include a traditional Azerbaijani horse-riding game.

Established in 2008, the Intangible Cultural Heritage list comprises some 100 traditional events from around the globe and, according to UNESCO, is designed to "help demonstrate the diversity of this heritage and raise awareness about its importance."

RFE/RL's Daisy Sindelar wrote about the list and some of "heritage" elements vying to get on it, from yurts to kimchi. And yes, Georgian wine.


Georgian qvevri wine-making method approved for UNESCO's Intangible Heritage List

05.12.2013 (Hvino News). According to UNESCO official release published on December 4, the ancient Georgian traditional qvevri wine-making method has been approved for inclusion into UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

According to UNESCOPRESS, 14 new elements were inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity at the 8th session of the UNESCO's Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage in Baku.

Among the titles of the newly inscribed elements there is "ancient Georgian traditional qvevri wine-making method - Georgia":
Qvevri wine-making takes its name from the distinctive egg-shaped earthenware vessel – the Qvevri – in which wine is fermented and stored in villages and towns throughout Georgia. The tradition plays a vital role in everyday life and celebrations, and forms an inseparable part of the cultural identity of Georgian communities, with wine and vines frequently evoked in Georgian oral traditions and songs. Knowledge of this heritage is passed down by families, neighbours and friends, all of whom join in the communal harvesting and wine-making activities. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A unique wine tradition: the art of Georgian toasting

03.12.2013. Everywhere we have traveled in the Republic of Georgia, there has been toasting. The Georgian toasting traditions are unique in the world. They make you think twice about what is important in your life. If you know about Georgian toasting traditions, you may want to incorporate some of them in your own relationships with your family and friends. In any case, you should be prepared if you plan to travel to Georgia or have Georgian friends. That’s why we would like to share our experience with you in this article.

Georgians tend to invite their guests to elaborate meals, where they generously serve Georgian wine (and brandy). A Georgian meal can last for hours. Dishes are put on the table in seemingly random order. If one is finished, new food is supplied. Some key foods on the Georgian table are bread (including the delicious khachapuri or cheese bread) and dishes with rich, mildly spicy sauces. Common flavors in Georgian cuisine include coriander, fenugreek and walnuts, but many more herbs and spices are used.

The meaning of Georgian toasting

Although Georgian cuisine is tasty and interesting, it is not complete without Georgian wine. Be aware that wine drinking in Georgia is certainly not about getting drunk. Georgians take the whole process of wine production and consumption very seriously. Toasting is a very important ritual at a Georgian table. Georgian toasts are like speeches or stories, in which the speaker says something personal about an important, emotional theme. While this is serious business, there is also a lot of humor and warmth in this tradition. There is singing and dancing during the feast. Those of you who have already visited Georgia, will understand the feeling.

The price of Georgian wine set to increase from the New Year

03.12.2013. The prices of red wine will be increased by 25 percent and white wine - by 5 percent from New Year onwards, according to Georgian winemaking companies. Khvanchkara wine will see the highest increase in price and will be sold with a 70 percent rise in price. The reason for the increased prices of Georgian wine is that winemaking companies purchased the grapes of vintage 2013 for higher prices than in previous years.

Aleksandrouli and Mujuretuli grape varieties which are used for making Khvantchkara wine are the most expensive grapes, whose price reached GEL 8 this year, while it was GEL 4 in 2012. More than 900 tonnes of Aleksandrouli and Mujuretuli were passed as this year’s vintage.

As the industry representatives say, Georgian wine will be sold at increased prices mainly on export markets and not in Georgia.

The average price of Georgian wine today is GEL 10-15 for white wine and GEL 15-20 for red wine. The prices for white wine start from GEL 3.80 and go up to GEL 151. As for red wine, prices start from GEL 5.80 and go up to GEL 200. The most expensive wine today is Saperavi, according to the wine store Vinoteka.

Georgia/Moldova: wine companies target European export growth

By Keith Nuthall

03.12.2013. Wine producers from Georgia and Moldova will be hoping for a marked rise in exports to the European Union moving forward, following the signing of trade deals last week.

The two Eastern European countries signed agreements with the EU on Friday (29 November). The deals include commitments to reduce and remove tariffs on all products traded between the signatories.

As regards wine, Georgian and Moldovan exporters pay a range of duties when selling into the EU depending on the type of product, for instance of EUR13.10, EUR15.40 and EUR32 per hectolitre of wine.

Last year, Georgia exported US$9.2m (US$12.5m) of wine to the EU. Moldova exported US$21m in 2012.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sales of beer and spirits set to increase, claims report

by Mariam Papidze

30.11.2013. Sales of Georgian alcoholic beverages are expected to grow fast, according to the Euromonitor International summary provided exclusively to The Financial. The main threat to stable growth of the market is a possible delay in the economic recovery in the country, but this is not very likely. The categories which are expected to experience the fastest growth by 2017 are beer and spirits.

Sales of spirits and beer grew much faster, with beer witnessing its strongest growth in 25 years. Sales of spirits increased the most in 2012, reflecting the increase in demand for vodka in recent years. As for wine, it grew more slowly than other alcoholic drinks categories, as it is among the most traditional alcoholic drinks in Georgia and is quite mature, according to Euromonitor International.

“Georgian consumers have gradually switched from wine to various other spirits, in particular, vodka. Traditionally, Georgians would drink mainly wine during so-called “supras” - traditional festivities, where people consume numerous Georgian dishes and make different toasts. However, in recent years, Georgian consumers have gradually decreased the amounts of food consumed and instead focus on smaller quantities of stronger spirits. As a result, sales of vodka increased visibly in 2012. As long as the imported and local vodka brands are priced similarly, imported brands prevailed in the preferences of local consumers, because Russian and Ukrainian vodka have a better image,” says the report.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Georgia on my mind

by Shelley Boettcher

29.11.2013. A couple of years ago, I had an incredible opportunity to travel to Georgia, thanks to my friend Alla Wagner at Lotus Vini. I wrote about my trip last fall for City Palate magazine, a food magazine based in Calgary, Canada. Since the story isn’t available online, and that issue of the magazine is no longer on newsstands, I thought I’d repost it here. Sometimes I still dream about that trip. It’s a beautiful, wonderful, friendly country and I hope to one day take my entire family there.

The scent of woodsmoke. An ancient Lada car, packed with watermelons — on the roof, in the trunk and crammed into the passenger seats. Bushels of corn lit by fall sunshine. A lamb carcass — or is it a goat? — outside a shack by the side of a gravel road. A bloodied cleaver is jammed into a butcher block beside it. Nearby, men squat and talk. Flies buzz. Then, a child’s small, smiling face, bright as a star.

I memorized everything I could see while travelling through the small towns and countryside in the republic of Georgia, a small but fierce country that borders the Black Sea to the west, Russia to the north, Turkey and Armenia to the south and, in the southeast, Azerbaijan.

At every corner, it was clear that Georgia is a country of contrasts — eastern and western influences, rural and urban. The capital city, Tbilisi, features designer shops, lively bars and fancy restaurants, but a visit to the countryside is a step back in time. Everywhere I looked, I was mesmerized by Georgia’s fascinating history and its rich food and wine culture.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Government cautions about reliability of Russian market

28.11.2013 (Hvino News) Minister of Economic Development Giorgi Kvirikshvili recently stated that the Georgian business should not rely on the Russian market. The minister said that after initialing of the agreement with the European Union there are theoretically economic risks from Russia. The government warns the business community that the Russian market is not 100% reliable.

The Georgian businessmen interviewed by Commersant radio largely agree with the statement about the risks on the Russian market. Schuchmann Wines Georgia's director Nutsa Abramishvili explained  that the association agreement with the EU will promote the development of wine making, and relations with the Russian market gave companies some experience. During the Russian embargo period Schuchmann  carried out diversification activities. In her words, each market should be treated with caution because there is a danger of potential risks. With regard to a possible pressure from Russia, Schuchmann Wines's head said that risks are more long-term, because the association agreement takes a number of procedures and long time.

According to Tbilivino's director Giorgi Margvelashvili, Western Europe is marked by a greater stability, while certain  risks exist in all the post-Soviet countries. Noting that Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan are the countries where Georgian wine is more famous, he said that for some periods crises are observed in these markets as well. He added that Tbilvino is trying not to become excessively dependent on Russian market and if before the embargo 50% fell on exports to Russia, today the figure is only 20%.

© Hvino News   |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Found a Saperavi in Portland

by Terry Sullivan

26.11.2013. In another grocer store in Portland, I discovered another wine from Georgia. Fred Meyer had a 2007 Saperavi from Mildiani Family Winery. Upon further investigation of the back label, I noticed the wine was produced by Tsinindali Old Cellar. The wine was a dark purple color with a dark ruby rim. There was black fruit and oak influences on the aroma. The taste was complex and changed as the wine was in the glass. On the fruit side there was black berries, plum and cassis. On the woody side there was leather and a touch of smoke. The wine is more acidic than people may be use to for a red. The wine should be drunk with food, as we did, a Quinoa and Black Bean Salad.

Saperavi is an old grape, indigenous to Georgia, the birthplace of wine. The grape is used to make European-styled wines as well as traditional Kekheti wine made in a qvevri. Saperavi is the predominant red grape in Georgia; however, many Georgians refer to the grape as a black grape since the wines are often dark purple to black in color. The price point for this 2007 Saperavi from Mildiani Family Winery was under $10 at Fred Meyer. At that price, it is easy to give the wine a try.

We have also come across wines made with Saperavi at McGregor Vineyard and Winery Dundee, New York. While in Georgia we had many wines made from the varietal Saperavi. The ones we enjoyed the most were made in qvevri. We tasted a few Saperavi made in qvevri that I could easily drink with dinner instead of Caymus Special Select or Shafer Hillside Select. They are quite a value if you can find them.


Monday, November 25, 2013

"The Korea Times": Ambassadors pitch 'New World' wine

25.11.2013. Envoys from non-traditional wine-growing countries have gotten aggressive recently trying to attract Korean consumers as wine consumption here is on the rise following a brief sales slump in 2009.

Ambassadors from Argentina and Georgia have been especially active in trying to turn Korean consumers’ attention to so-called “New World” wines.

In a speech at a wine-tasting event at Banyan Tree Hotel in Seoul, Monday, Argentine Ambassador Jorge Roballo claimed that Malbec wine from Argentina has “conquered” the European and North American markets. “Now, Argentine wineries are targeting Asian markets, especially Korea, to increase their market share as Koreans have begun discovering the taste and value of Argentine wines,” the envoy said.

The wine-tasting event was the fifth of its kind held in Seoul. More than 100 people, mostly wine shop owners and importers, were invited to the promotion.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Georgian wine to be served at Vilnius summit events

24.11.2013 (Hvino News). Some time ago Hvino News posted information that Georgian wine might be presented at the Vilnius summit (see here). The plan to use Georgian wine at official events of Vilnius summit is now confirmed.

Georgian wine will be offered during lunch to participants of Eastern Partnership Summit  in Vilnius, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event will be held at Vilnius Litexpo exhibition hall, and will be attended by high representatives of EU member states and Eastern Partnership participant countries.

Over 100 bottles of wine,  Georgian brandy and chacha are delivered to Vilnius for serving at this event. The bottles carry special labels "Georgia welcomes the Lithuanian EU presidency 2013", which were prepared for the Georgian products.

"Georgian wine corner" will be also arranged at Litexpo, where the participants will be able to get information about Georgia and the products, souvenirs and brochures.

The third Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius will be held on the 28-29 November, 2013.

Georgian drinks will also be served on the 27 November, during lunch at the Parliamentary Forum, which will be held on the eve of Eastern Partnership summit.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Georgian Christmas Fair in London

22.11.2013. London will host the first Georgian Christmas Fair from November 28 to December 1 on Cathedral Square, of Borough Market, London Bridge. British Georgian Chamber of Commerce (BGCC) with the support of the Georgian government is organizing the event.

“The initiative to hold a fair came from the local municipality who contacted us, BGCC, and offered to start a tradition to have a Georgian Christmas fair,” says Mako Abashidze, the Director of BGCC.

The idea of the fair is to introduce Georgian agricultural products to the British market, promote Georgia as an exquisite food and wine destination and at the same time underline and promote the intercultural nature of London and specifically Southwark, which boasts world class attractions including Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, Vinopolis and Borough Market.

“This is a unique opportunity to promote Georgia in a complex marketing campaign as it involves cultural, art and cuisine elements. However, the big highlight comes with promoting Georgian wine with the help of a local wine PR Company together with Sarah Abbott Master of Wine and Isabel Legeron,” she noted, adding that the event has a commercial agenda as the viewers will have an opportunity to buy various Georgian goods and products.

According to Keti Kandelaki, Acting Director Department of International Cultural and Humanitarian Relations at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, international promotion of Georgian culture is high on the Georgian government’s foreign policy agenda.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Winery Khareba showed artwork by Gigisha Pachkoria

20.11.2013 (Hvino News). Winery Khareba organized presentation of new artworks by Gigisha Pachkoria, well-known ceramicist (pottery artist). Gigisha Pachkoria presented wine vessels, among other artworks. Winery Khareba also held a wine tasting session.

The exhibition was held with support of Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia. Event was attended by VIP guests including diplomats working in Georgia.

© Hvino News   |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Daily Mail": Make mine an amber nectar! Marks & Spencer serves up orange wine surprise from Eastern Europe...but is £8.99 tipple really the drink of the gods?

    No ordinary plonk: The new wine called Tblvino Quevris is from Kakheti in Georgia
  • The wine called Tblvino Qvevris has come from Kakheti in Georgia
  • Follows an 8,000 year tradition where it is aged in traditional clay amphora
  • Specialists said they were impressed with the 'complexity' of the wines
by Sean Poultier

17.11.2013. Colours have long been used as a simple cue to help identification. Children’s medicines are a sickly pink, Ferraris are red, apple juice comes in green cartons and wine is red and white – or rose.

However, a new orange or amber wine has arrived on shelves from Georgia, an eastern European country not universally known as a producer of fine vintages.

In fact the Tbilvino Quevris wine, which comes from Kakheti, Georgia, has a long and intriguing history.

Georgia lays claim to being the birth place of viticulture and this wine is made from Rkatsiteli grapes, which are one of the oldest known varieties in the world.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

7 Georgian wines win at Enoexpo 2013 in Poland

16.11.2013 (Hvino News) Several Georgian wine producers participated in the Enoexpo 11th International Wine Trade Fair, which took place on November 13-15 in Krakow, Poland. The aim of this competition, according to the organizers, was to select the best wines in specific categories, and to award them with ENOEXPO® 2013 Trade Fair Medals.

Seven Georgian wines became the winners of the Enoexpo medals:

Gold Medal Enoexpo® 2013:
  • Schuchmann Wines Vinoterra Kisi White Dry 2011
  • Schuchmann Wines Vinoterra Saperavi Red Dry 2009
Silver Medal Enoexpo® 2013:
  • Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Kakheti 2011
  • Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Khvanchkara 2012

Friday, November 15, 2013

Russia becomes the leading importer of Georgian wine

by Georgy Kalatozishvili

15.11.2013. According to the Agricultural Ministry of Georgia, from June to September 2013, i.e. when the Russian market became open for Georgian wine and up to date, Georgia exported 8.917 million bottles of natural wine, which is 33.7% of the whole wine export of the country in nine months of the current year. The Ministry stresses that “Russia again is the leading importer of Georgian wine for the first time in a long period.”

In general Georgia exported 26.458 million bottles of wine to 49 countries from the beginning of the year; the index is by 71% bigger than in the same period of the last year. The second place is taken by Ukraine where 8.523 million wine bottles were exported, but not in fourth months, but during the whole 2013.

The top-five also includes Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Poland – 20.7% of the whole export. They are followed by Latvia, China, Lithuania, Estonia, the U.S.A., and other countries. This year Georgia has begun to export wine to Brazil, Turkmenistan, Egypt, Italy, Singapore, Jordan, Sweden, and Spain.

If Georgian wine export to Russia continues to grow in such a pace, it may surpass the export volume to all other countries together, like it used to be till 2006 when Gennady Onishchenko banned import of Georgian wines, explaining this by a low quality and a big number of falsified products.


Monday, November 11, 2013

The comeback kid: Georgian wine outperforming expectations in Russian market

11.11.2013. Russian demand for Georgian wine has exceeded predictions, creating an exciting potential for Georgian exports returning to the market for the first time since the 2006 embargo. Investor.ge spoke to Château Mukhrani, Georgian Wines & Spirits Company and Teliani Valley about their sales to the Russian market and how it will influence future production.

After seven years of embargo, Russian wine drinkers welcomed Georgian wine with open arms, purchasing seven times more wine since the market reopened in June than anticipated, according wine producers like Château Mukhrani and Georgian Wines & Spirits Company.

The Ministry of Agriculture reported that Georgia exported 1.7 million bottles of wine to Russia in just the first month after the embargo was lifted; 65 wine companies and four mineral water producers received permission from Moscow to export their products to the Russian market.

"The conclusions of the first months are that the Russian consumer has not forgotten the Georgian wine, but on the contrary rushed to the shops to buy the first wines imported from Georgia leaving our distributors in a difficult situation to fill up the shelves in Russian shops," noted Jacques Fleury, CEO of GWS (Georgian Wines & Spirits Company).