Thursday, October 31, 2013

Georgian chacha to export to Russia

31.10.2013. The Gomi company will begin to export the Georgian traditional  chacha (grappa) to Russia in 3-4 months, according to Georgian FM radio Commersant.

The company has already received the export certificate for Russia. Gomi plans to export one million bottles to Russia. Currently Gomi exports its products to six countries.

Another manufacturer of spirits, Ushba is also preparing to launch exports to Russia. According to director Dmitry Abesadze, negotiations with one of the largest distribution companies are already completed in Russia. Ushba already exports its products to Ukraine and Turkey.

© Hvino News   |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kondoli Vineyards Saperavi-Merlot grabs gold

30.10.2013. Kondoli Vineyards Saperavi-Merlot 2010 grabbed gold and a special Press Prize at 9th International Competition “Emozioni dal Mondo Merlot e Cabernet Insieme”, where 209 samples produced in 17 Countries all over the world have been tasted by 7 committee composed of 81 judges from 27 Countries. The judges were technicians, journalists and consumers.

Talking about the results of the tasting session, Sergio Cantoni, the Director of the Competition, said “The level of the samples was once again really high. OIV (Organisation International de la Vigne et du Vin) states that only the 30% of total amount of sample taking part in the Competition could be awarded. This year we had to stop at 87/100. The Competition regulation states that in order to reach the Gold Medal a sample should reach 85/100. Stopping at 87/100 we awarded Gold Medals only. It’s a great result!”

According to the competition regulations only the wines produced of Merlot or Cabernet Sovennion should be submitted. JSC Telavi Wine Cellar (Marani) submitted its Kondoli Vineyards Saperavi-Merlot 2010, which grabbed gold and a special Press Prize.

This is another big success of Marani wines at the European market and simultaneously, highlights the big potential of Georgian wines in general.

Company news

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Vinograd" company started a work on a factory design that is to be built in Georgia

29.10.2013 (Hvino News). "Commersant" radio station has learnt the company’s name which will build wine processing enterprises in Georgia on the Russian capital.

The Russian capital -based company "Vinograd" has already begun the design of one plant, and in total three enterprises are planned to be built. We are talking about a 10 million USD investment. According to the Coordinating Center of International Investment, the enterprise will be located in Kakheti and the construction will be launched as soon as the design is completed.

The center representatives claim that "Vinograd" enterprises will become the largest exporter of wine toRussia. The presentation of the enterprises will be held in December.

© Hvino News

Friday, October 25, 2013

Georgian wines winning medals at EnoExpo 2013

25.10.2013 (Hvino News) On October 25 the results of 5th ENOEXPO 2013 Winemaking Competition in Krakow, Poland, have been announced. Among the winners are Georgian wines:

Gold Medal:

winery/company’s name: SCHUCHMANN WINES GEORGIA LTD
wine name and vintage: VINOTERRA KISI WHITE DRY 2011
country of origin: GEORGIA
score: 90,4

winery/company’s name: SCHUCHMANN WINES GEORGIA LTD
wine name and vintage: VINOTERRA SAPERAVI RED DRY 2009
country of origin: GEORGIA
score: 92,0

Silver Medal:

winery/company’s name: MARANI 1915 SP. Z O.O.
producer’s name: TELAVI WINE CELLAR
wine name and vintage: MARANI KAKHETI 2011
country of origin: GEORGIA
score: 88,0

Zurab Abashidze doesn’t see any contradiction between returning Georgian product to Russia and Free trade with EU

25.10.2013. Prime Minister’s special representative for Russian relations Zurab Abashidze doesn’t see contradiction between the return of Georgian product to the Russian market and free trade regime with EU.
Abashidze commented on the 20 October statement of federal service of veterinary and phytosanitary surveillance. The Russian party states that in near the future, all restrictions on Georgian products for the Russian market will be lifted. In early October, Georgian fruit, citrus and vegetables were given the green light; our alcoholic beverage and mineral waters have been exported to Russia from July.

“It is the result of dialogue we started in late 2012. We don’t see any contradiction between the return of our products to Russian market and free trade regime with EU”, Zurab Abashidze said, who added that Georgia as a small country and limited economic space, is interested in free trade and gaining new markets in all geographic directions. 

He says that Georgia has active trade relations with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and other leading trade partners. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Great changes in Georgia-Russia relations not expected due to Gennady Onishchenko’s resignation

24.10.2013. Georgian wine companies surveyed by Commersant radio station do not expect big changes in Russian - Georgian relations due to Gennady Onishchenko’s retirement.

Russia’s Chief Sanitary Doctor, whose name is associated with the imposition of the trade embargo against Georgia, has resigned. Tbilvino's Director General explains that Russia used the Russian Sanitary Service as an instrument by means of which blocked the Georgian products. According to Giorgi Margvelashvili, trade relations between Georgia and Russia are regulated by political relations and not by the sanitation department.

Tbilvino's position is shared by Badagoni company. Director of the company said that Gennady Onishchenko’s resignation will not affect trade relations between Russia and Georgia in terms of wine. Giorgi Shengelia believes that only political decisions have an influence on the wine business in relations with Russia.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Record of grape price for Khvanchkara

23.10.2013. Zaza Dugladze, head of Dugladze Wine Company, says that this year, varieties Alexandrouli and Mujuretuli, from which Khvanchkara wine is made, cost 8-10 lari (1 kg). In its turn, 1 bottle of Khvanchkara costs $15, and this price does not include cost of transportation, customs clearance and other expenses, he notes.

Demand on semi-sweet Khvanchkara is mainly observed in Asia and not in Europe and America.

Global demand on sweet wines is reduced, and it is basically consumed in post-Soviet countries, Dugladze notes and adds: correspondingly, Khvanchkara is very welcomed in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, so we rely on these markets.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Vintage-2013" was the most successful

22.10.2013. You will rarely see disappointed farmers with this year's vintage in Kakheti, the newspaper reports.

As the experts note, preferential loan project and opening of Russian market have facilitated successful conduction of vintage.

According to Levan Davitashvili, chairman of Wine National Agency, realization of Georgian wine is increased this year by 20% excepting Russia, while including Russian market - by 70%.

"The most significant thing is that private sector has purchased 4 times more grapes comparing to the previous years", expert Lado Uzunashvili declares and adds: "State's interference is not necessary anymore and it is very good".

As Telavi Wine Cellar notes, "Demand on Georgian wine has increased, so all companies have replenished their reserves and nobody remained with grapes for sell". The company has processed 6,000 t of grapes in this year, reaching highest mark in own history.


Monday, October 21, 2013

State companies Akura and Gruzvinpromi will not produce branded wine

21.10.2013. Chairman of National Wine Agency Levan Davitashvili said that state-owned wine companies Akura and Gruzvinpromi will not produce branded wine. They will only provide wine stock to private companies, he noted.

State companies do not compete with private companies, “they have only reserve function”, Davitashvili declared. However, he found difficulty in naming of price and form of such activity.

According to Davitashvili, state companies accounted last year for 65% of total grapes’ purchases (i.e. for 36,000-37,000 t), while this year – for up to 17% (15,000 t).

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Farmers of Kakheti Region net 100 million Lari during the vintage season

19.10.2013. The vintage season has come to an end in the Kakheti and Racha regions, where 88 companies processed more than 92,000 tons of grapes.

This year, 72 tons of the Rkatsiteli grape mainly from the Tsinandali area was purchased at 1.40 Lari per kilo, and 98 tons of Mtsvane Kakhuri from Manavi sold at 1.45 Lari per kilo. The Saparavi processing peak was observed on September 12 when during a 24 hour period, 4,500 tons were processed, which is a record figure. The Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane processing peak was observed on September 25, when 3,800 tons of grapes were processed in 24 hours.

The demand is growing for Saperavi grapes harvested in the Mukuzani, Akhasheni and Kindzmarauli regions. Because of this, the price of Saparavi per kilo increased to 2.10 Lari, up from 1.20 at the start of the harvest.

Export Sales Manager, Giorgi Teimurazashvili, of the GWS Company, noted that the demand for Georgian grapes is quite high. As such, the company purchased around 5,000 tons of the grapes.

“It should be noted that the vintage season is very well organized and successful. The Ministry of Agriculture and the National Wine Agency (NWA), in coordination with the private sector, are behind this improvement,” he said.

Friday, October 18, 2013

979 tons of grapes gathered in Racha this year

18.10.2013 (Hvino News). According to the National Wine Agency, 24 companies took part in the grape processing. They say that if in recent years the price of grapes out of which Khvanchkara is made ranged within 5 GEL per one kg, this season a kilo of Mujuretuli and Aleksandrouli grapes costs 7-8 GEL this year.

Due to the high cost, the state subsidy has not applied to Khvanchkara. The law enforcers were monitoring a vintage ongoing process in Racha. According to the National Wine Agency, the reason was to avoid confusion of the species and to get a true Khvanchkhara.

© Hvino News

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Illegal use od Sarajishvili trademark revealed

16.10.2013. Investigation Service of the Finance Ministry reported that Nika Shavliashvili was detained on a charge of illegal usage of Sarajishvili trademark and adulteration of production. Besides, Tamar Bluishvili and Ruzana Gogochashvili were reported as persons, against whom criminal proceedings are launched on this case.

The Service said that the mentioned persons produced and put in trade 427 bottles of adulterated alcoholic drinks, worth of 8,000 GEL, illegally bearing trademark of Sarajishvili, well-known brandy producer. Investigation is underway, the Service reported, noting that Criminal Code envisages imprisonment for 3-5 years for the mentioned crime.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

US bio-lab in Georgia violates Biological and Toxin Convention, Russia seeks its shutdown

15.10.2013. The bio-laboratory that’s been opened in Georgia with the US aid could well be used for sabotage against Russia, the Head of the Federal Service on Surveillance for Consumer Rights Protection and Wellbeing, Chief Russian Sanitary Authority, Gennady Onishchenko, said on Monday.

"We are pointing out again that we are extremely concerned about the activity of the laboratory that the Georgian authorities are not in control of," Gennady Onishchenko said.

"According to our estimates, the laboratory is an important element of the offensive part of the US military-biological potential," the Head of the Russian Service on Surveillance for Consumer Rights Protection said.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Russian watchdog prepared to open market to new Georgian winemakers

14.10.2013. Russia's public health watchdog is prepared to allow new Georgian alcohol products onto the country's market under guarantees from the Georgian authorities.

"Russia is currently considering the issue of allowing in, under guarantees from Georgia's National Wine Agency, some enterprises that were not permitted to ship," Russia's chief public health officer, Federal Consumer Rights Protection Service (Rospotrebnadzor) head Gennady Onischenko said.

He said this will happen if Georgia provides guarantees that winemakers will address violations found by the Russian watchdog.

"We're prepared to consider this issue next week," Onischenko said. "We're prepared to take this step, despite statements by the person holding the highest government post of Georgia that are below elementary norms of etiquette. We attribute this artefact to the middle of autumn, when the particulars of the psyches of certain categories of people exhibit themselves more keenly," he said.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

11 wine companies to take part in Sighnaghi Festival

13.10.2013 (Hvino News) National Tourism Administration informed that on October 13 Sighnaghi will host wine festival, where 11 wine companies will participate. The companies will exhibit wine made according to "European" technology, while local winemakers of Sighnaghi district will represent wine made according to “peasant tradition”. The festival will also host performances of folk ensembles and a fair of local handcrafts.

Sighnaghi (Signagi) is a town in Georgia's easternmost region of Kakheti, dominated by the production of wine, traditional carpets and Georgian traditional food. Sighnaghi has recently undergone a fundamental reconstruction program and has become an important center of Georgia's tourist industry.

© Hvino News  |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Vintage 2013: Companies talk about better management and less state pressure

12.10.2013 (Hvino News). "Such a well-organized vintage has not  been carried out  in the previous years", director of Telavi Wine Cellar Zurab  Ramazashvili commented. He says that  in the framework of Vintage 2013 an unprecedented fact was observed when the state  did not involve in the acquisition process of the grapes and wine companies purchased grapes in equal conditions.

According to Ramazashvili,  this year the state-owned  companies Gruzvinprom and Akura received grapes after the satisfaction the needs of privately owned companies, while  in previous years these companies were competitors of  the private sector.

"I do not remember such a well-organized vintage. Ministry of agriculture calculated every detail this year and wine companies were in equal conditions," – says Ramazashvili. He added  that this year Telavi Wine Cellar bought 600 tons of grapes.

Ramazashvili noted also another advantage of this year's harvest. He says that if earlier the government announced about the opening of the vintage ahead of schedule and the companies had to buy substandard grapes, this year the companies do not face such problems.

A winegrower Giorgi Japaridze assesses the current harvest unprecedented  and claims  that  last year manufacturers were forced to take more grapes than needed. In his words, if the trend continues in future and the Ministry of Agriculture carries out a vintage in such a way, wine business will face less problems.

© Hvino News   |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

More than 9 million bottles of Georgian wine are exported to Russia

10.10.2013 (Hvino News). As the minister of agriculture Shalva Pipia said at today’s briefing, Georgian wine, alcoholic drinks and mineral water exports are have increased by 70%. As for Russia's statement with regard to the rejection of 28 types of the Georgian wines and spirits  (for more information and list of producers, see here), Pipia said that this matter is not worth politicizing. "28 types were rejected and 633 types were accepted," - said the minister. More than 9 million bottles of Georgian wine were exported to Russia this year after lifting the embargo.

© Hvino News   |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Deputy minister of agriculture responded to Russia's statement

10.10.2013 (Hvino News) Deputy minister of agriculture David Shervashidze responded to statement of Russia's State Sanitary Service, who rejected 28 Georgian wines and spirits (for more information and list of producers, see here).

"I want to believe that sales of Georgian products on Russian market will have no problems", Shervashidze said. "In this particular case, we will thoroughly study the issue and then make statements accordingly", he added.

Jimi Chkhaidze, founder of Askaneli Brothers - one of the companies mentioned in Russian statement -  declared that Russian agency told him that "it was old information and now there is no problem with the company".

© Hvino News   |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

National Wine Agency will strictly control production of Khvanchkara wine

09.10.2013. National Wine Agency of Georgia will strictly control production of Khvanchkara wine, according to the head of the agency Levan Davitashvili. He is in the region of Racha. Mr. Davitashvili said that the Agency employees will strictly monitor to ensure that other species of red grapes don’t enter Racha. Harvesting of grapes in Racha starts today.

“This wine is the property of the state, its regulation is strictly determined. The state is entitled to administer correctly and the National Wine Agency is obliged to control the quality of wines of origin”, Levan Davitashvili said.

“The exact number of raw material for Khvanchkara will be determined to end the speculations whether Khvanchkhara is really produced from the Racha grapes”, Davitashvili says.

The micro-zone of Khvanchkara is located in Racha, Ambrolauri area, at 450-750 meters above sea level, on the right bank of the River Rioni in the valley. It includes the villages adjacent to Khvanchkara. Racha is the geographical part of Georgia is located in the Northeast portion of West Georgia in the valley of the river Rioni and its tributaries.

© Hvino News   |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Russia's chief sanitary doctor warns Georgia over wine quality

08.10.2013 (Hvino News) Russia’s state consumer protection agency, Rospotrebnadzor, has so far blocked 28 sorts of alcoholic drinks, produced by seven Georgian companies, from entry into the Russian market citing their failure to meet “hygienic standards.”

Rospotrebnadzor published the following list of negative expert conclusions:

- 9 conclusions on wine of company "Imedi 96";
- 5 conclusions on wine of LLC "Schuchmann Wines Georgia";
- 5 conclusions on brandy of "Askaneli Brothers";
- 4 conclusions on brandy of LLC "Akhalsheni 2005";
- 2 conclusions on wine of LLC "Shalvino";
- 2 conclusions on wine of LLC "Tsinandali-the best wines of the XXI century";
- 1 conclusions on wine of LLC "Saamo".

“It makes us to again cast doubt over Georgian side’s willingness to build long-term stable and civilized relations, which in substance can only be based on stability of quality of wine products,” head of Rospotrebnadzor, Gennady Onishchenko, told Interfax news agency on October 8.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Georgia: the wine in the midst of politics

07.10.2013. Can wine be part of politics? Why not? The wine of Georgia, for instance, once a favourite of the Soviet Union’s nomenklatura (a small elite group), was banned from the Russian market for the past seven years. Officially, the ban was due to the low quality of Georgian wine. Unofficially, Russia’s “niet” was purely political.

Whatever the reason, Georgian wine producers suffered a heavy blow. Licking their wounds, they started exporting their product to other international markets by changing not only the taste of the wine, but also adopting a marketing strategy that highlighted the country’s numerous indigenous varieties.

Now, a change in the political scene has enabled Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, to reopen the doors to the Russian market, though not in the imported quantity of yesteryear.

A historical perspective 

Georgia is home to the earliest wine culture in the world. Archaeologists have excavated the remains of vineyards and evidence of wine production dating back to the Neolithic period (8500-4000 B.C.). Wine has always been an integral part of the country’s history.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Modern makeover for Georgian chacha

Photo: Molly Corso / Eurasianet.org
by Molly Corso

06.10.2013. After centuries of being looked down on as wine’s poor moonshine cousin, Georgian chacha is finally getting the chance to unveil its smoother, more urbane self.

Created by distilling the waste left over from making wine, chacha is better known for its powerful punch and “medicinal” value than its taste – making it an odd choice to showcase at the rebirth of the Mtatsminda restaurant, a former icon of Tbilisi culinary life that reopened this summer for the first time in nearly two decades.

But its legacy as a purely Georgian beverage tempted a team of consulting drinkmasters from the United Kingdom, brought in by the GMT Group to create a tableau of Georgian cocktails for Mtatsminda’s new Funicular Lounge.

A grappa-like drink made from the grape skins and pulp left over from wine production, chacha normally clocks in at around 60 proof and is consumed neat, in 100 ml shots to fight off colds and/or catch a fast buzz by Georgians of nearly every age, sex, and economic class. Those who are too young to drink it are, in western Georgia at least, forced to rub it on their arms and legs to fight off the sting of mosquitos in the summer.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A new Georgian investment: The new plant of Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking opened in Patardzeuli

05.10.2013. On September 28th in the village of Patardzeuli village a brand new winery of  Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking (KTW) was opened. To the opening ceremony of the plant came many guests, among whom were ministers, members of parliament, winemakers, company partners from different countries, representatives of the diplomatic corps.

Mr. Zurab Chkhaidze, CEO of KTW, said: “When the discussion began about returning of Georgian wine  back to the Russian market, we have taken the urgent decision to build a new, modern plant in order to increase our industrial capacity.

Our "Old Kakheti" brandy already holds the leading position in Ukraine spirits market, and with it we have ambitions to be well represented also in the Russian market. In result, we have invested into winery construction on our own territory near the Patardzeuli village, near the town of Sagaredjo. The result is here for all to see.

Wine Trail Traveler’s impressions of Georgia (Sakartvelo)

05.10.2013. Georgia stands at a precipice for potential wine tourism, on par with Napa, Bordeaux and Toscana. Terry and Kathy have journeyed to, explored and written about over 1,000 wineries and vineyards in North America, Europe and Oceania. As our wine travel experiences around the world builds, we looked forward to a land that has something different to offer wine enthusiasts. Georgia is that land.

We will return to Georgia in March 2014 to present at the International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC) held in Tbilisi March 28 – 29. The IWINETC will showcase Georgian wine. The conference also provides an opportunity for winemakers, winery owners, wine tour operators and hoteliers to gain knowledge about wine tourism.

In September 2013, when we reached the country of Georgia, we discovered that the people of Georgia call their country Sakartvelo. With the help of the National Wine Agency, it was in Georgia, where we experienced the greatest diversity of grapes. Georgia has more grape varieties than any country our travels have taken us. There is also great diversity in winemaking procedures. Their beautiful alphabet, language and customs are different from what we have previously experienced. This is a country wine enthusiasts and travelers need to visit.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

President Saakashvili hosted wine-makers from California and Kakheti

02.10.2013 (Hvino News). President of Georgia hosted a meeting between wine-makers from California and Kakheti region at a newly opened Teaching Center of Wine-Making in Kvareli. President Saakashvili met with local wine-makers together with the guests.

According to official president's site, Mikheil Saakashvili noted that American guests Ronald and Lisa Semlers had great experience in producing wine, which should be adopted in wine-making in Georgia. According to the president, Georgia is passing through a very difficult period, but this is the issue, on which working should be continued.

The guests visited president's vineyard and tasted Georgian wine made according to European and local technologies. Ronald Semler thanked Georgian president for invitation. He talked with local wine-makers not only about his technologies of wine making, but shared his business experience. He said Georgia was one of the ancient wine-maker countries,  and Georgians can be proud of it.

© Hvino News   |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Rkatsiteli accounts for almost 65% of processed grapes

02.10.2013 (Hvino News). Ministry of agriculture of Georgia reported that as of September 29, 80.098 tons of grapes were purchased and processed in Kakheti, the main wine-growing region of the country, exceeding by 54% total volume of grapes processed last year (52.000 tons). Rkatsiteli (white variety) accounted for 64.5% (51.661 tons) of total processed grapes, while saperavi (red variety) – 31.9% (25.571 tons).

The Ministry noted that special demand is for saperavi, harvested in specific areas of viticulture such as Mukuzani, Akhasheni, Kindzmarauli, which is used for making wines of origin appellation. Significant price growth was fixed recently, reaching 2,10 GEL per 1 kg. However, only 76 tons of grape were purchased at this price, the Ministry pointed out. Harvesting saperavi grape has already finished and its daily processing rate makes up approximately 30-40 tons.

The highest price of rkatsiteli reached 1,40 GEL per 1 kg, for which 72 tons were purchased, mainly in Tsinandali zone.

Highest price of kakhuri mtsvane reached 1,45 GEL, which was paid for 98 tons of grape, purchased mainly in Manavi zone, the Ministry noted.

Vintage, started on August 25, should be completed soon.

© Hvino News   |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Croatia, Georgia and Hungary – the haven of production Central & Eastern Europe

01.10.2013. The typical American consumer would probably fail to point out Eastern European countries like Georgia, Hungary, Croatia, or Slovenia if they were given a map of Europe. However, in terms of wine production, this region is actually a major player in the world market. Once the heart of the Eastern Bloc, these countries create some of the most treasured wines, using ancient wine making methods supported by land and history.


Croatia is a completely unique dividing line, where Western and Central Europe meet from the Adriatic Sea to Albania. The coastal regions of Croatia have given birth to the nation's best wines. Istria, near Slovenia, is the home to a large variety of red wines made from Merlot, Carbernet Sauvignon, and Teran grapes. They have also given unique white wines, like Istriana, a very rich version of Malvasia.

The Pelješac peninsula vineyards have yielded dense, fragrant Plavac Mali wines with a variety of scents that range from dense, meaty, and earthy to light, floral, and herbaceous. The nearby islands of Hvar and Korcula have given us crisp, fragrant white wines from the local Pošip grape.