29.03.2014. This morning, the 6th Annual International Wine Tourism Conference was opened by Anthony Swift, IWINETC Director and Shalva Pipia, Minister of Agriculture of Georgia to welcome everyone attending the 2-day conference in the packed ballroom of Tbilisi Marriott Hotel.
The first icebreaker session was delivered by Giorgi Sigua of Georgian National Tourism Administration and Levan Davitashvili of the National Wine Agency as they discussed Georgia being the Cradle of Wine in their enjoyable and informative speeches.
Both speakers spoke highly of the importance of wine which is deeply embedded in their culture through religion, arts, poetry, polyphonic songs, architecture, alphabet, script and even in their money. Georgia has the oldest history in wine making that dates back 8,000 years ago. The method of which is through fermentation and storage of wine underground in egg-shaped earthenware vessels called qvevri, which has been declared by UNESCO as a significant intangible cultural heritage.
Because of this historical importance and the big amount of unearthed clay vessels for wine making , the country is planning to put up its first wine museum to house all the artifacts that had been collected and to share this to the world. Wine tourism has been steadily growing in Georgia over the years and with this, there are a lot of concrete plans to underline its importance by developing wine tourism sites with good quality, wine routes and diverse promotional campaigns.
This two-day conference promises to be full of discovery into the world of Georgian wines as producers showcase their products and different international speakers discuss diverse and interesting topics about wines.