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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Euronews: The wine industry’s unusual suspects

23.06.2013. They may not be top of mind when it comes to wine-producing nations, but smaller players like Turkey, Lebanon and Georgia are being described as countries to watch at the largest wine and spirits fair in the world.

The common denominator that these countries share is their prime growing conditions, say experts at Vinexpo, which was happening in Bordeaux, France, last week (read more here).

Georgia, for example, produces a marginal 25 million bottles a year. But despite the small output, the country’s ideal geographical location (it borders the Black Sea, Turkey, Armenia and Russia) and the quality of its soil have helped Georgian wine producers snag top prizes at international wine competitions.

Vinexpo organizers point out that Winery Khareba, for example, the largest producer with an output of 9 million bottles, took home a gold medal at the World Wine Competition in Brussels [correction: at Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in Bratislava - HN] recently (read more here).

Lebanon is also carving out a reputation as a quality wine producer, thanks to a wine-growing history that can be traced back as early as 3,000 BC and adventurous wine makers who are trying to revive the ancient tradition in a country often cited as the “cradle of wine.”

The leading wineries in Lebanon who are also exhibiting at Vinexpo this year include Chateau Kefraya and Chateau Ksara. The country produces about 6 million bottles of white, rose and red wines a year.

Turkey also enjoys ideal growing conditions, particularly in its hills bordering the Mediterranean, the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara, which produce about 1,500 grape varieties, including Emir, Narince, Sultaniye and Kalecik Karas.

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