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.