Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Last year net profit of Teliani Valley increased by 65,5%

30.04.2014. Acceding to financial report of the company, in 2013 net profit of Teliani Valley equaled to 2,521 million GEL, in 2013 this data was 1,523 million GEL.

According to the same report, last year the company's revenue rom sales was 34,95 million, which is 5,8 million more than in 2012. Total profit from sales was 17,17 million GEL. It's noteworthy that amount exceeded to 3,4 million GEL before taxation. Respectively, the company paid 903 thousand GEL as a profit tax in the budget.

It's noteworthy that during last year actives of Teliani Valley increased by 9,2 million GEL and exceeded to 38 million.


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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lagvinari wines

by Kathy Sullivan

29.04.2014. Dr. Irakli Glonti of Lagvinari is a fascinating individual to talk with about Georgia and wine. We enjoyed visiting his marani followed by a comprehensive conversation and wine tasting outside of the marani. Visitors to Georgia will quickly realize how welcoming Georgians are to strangers. Dr. Glonti exemplified this by inviting us to his home in Tbilisi that night. Many thanks to Dr. Glonti for sharing his time, food, wines and life story with us.

We met Dr. Irakli Glonti, owner and winemaker, who preferred being called Eko. He warmly welcomed us to his marani where he has several qvevris, noting that qvevri is “a place of birth and burial. Fermenting is the process of decomposing.”

Eko has had an interesting wine journey beginning with an interest in consuming wine. He has always enjoyed wine. He tasted wine since childhood when he was three years old. He remembers when, at age five, he was allowed to drink wine mixed with water.  By the time he was 16, he could drink several bottles of wine.

Eventually Eko viewed a video about qvevri winemaking and decided to begin producing his own wine.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Burkhard Schuchmann on doing business in Georgia

28.04.2014. “When I first began it was not an easy time to start an agro business in Georgia, especially wine production,” says Burkhard Schuchmann, founder of Schuchmann Wines. “This was in the shock period following the Russian Embargo in 2006, but in the long run the challenge became a positive for Georgian wine producers and the wine sector as a whole. The diversification of markets and penetration in the global wine world was for Georgia the greatest achievement and success, and which still continues today. We all, our competitors as well as actors in the Georgian wine sector, should come together in pursuing the same idea and compete with world wines, establish and promote the country’s identity and the exclusiveness of Georgian wine. The Government has implemented a very interesting and effective project to support agro businesses and production.”

“Schuchmann Wines Georgia was the beneficiary of an agricultural cheap loan project and based on our example we have significantly increased our production. Also, what is very important and valuable is that Georgian wine producers have become very active on international markets towards global society, which will increase awareness of Georgian wine greatly. 2014 was a very successful year for the agriculture sector in Georgia, the ongoing trend is promising and this is one of the most interesting developing sectors in the Georgian economy,” he said.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The wines of Georgia – the “Alice Perspective”

Photo: Blue Danube Wine  Co.
26.04.2014. Wine has been an integral part of Georgian culture for thousands of years, yet the wines are just beginning to become known and respected outside of the country. As part of our effort this month to provide more in depth knowledge on Georgia, I conducted a brief interview with Alice Feiring. Alice is a respected, passionate wine writer with a keen interest in natural wines. She recently wrote a book on Georgian wine, so I knew her insights would be first hand and authoritative. I hope you’ll enjoy reading the interview below and get inspired to experience first hand this ancient wine culture.

1. What made you interested in writing a book about the wines of Georgia?

Actually, the Georgian government approached me. The country had already translated Naked Wine into Georgian and they wanted an “Alice” book on my perceptions of Georgian wine, but on my part, it was a love project. I am hoping to triple the pages on the book and get an American publisher on board. My agent was funny, he was like, who would be interested in Georgian wine? But when he started to read the book, he quickly changed his mind.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Film showcases Georgian wine culture and history (video)

25.04.2014. A documentary film featuring the ancient history of Georgian winemaking has been released to the global audience. The film showcases the unique culture of viticulture and wine-making methods in Georgia. The idea behind the film was to promote Georgian winemaking traditions and raise the awareness of Georgian wine all over the world.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Georgia reaches Top-3 largest wine importers in Russia, outrunning Spain

23.04.2014 (Hvino News). According to Russia's Customs Service, in the first quarter of 2014 Georgia became third largest wine importer in Russia, outrunning Spain.

Georgian wines took 14.1 percent of the total imported wine market behind France and Italy with 19.3 and 14.8 percent, respectively, in the first quarter of this year. Spanish wine claimed 13.5 percent of the market. See infographic.

This is actually larger than Georgia's share prior to the embargo: in 2005, Georgia held 9 percent of the total import market, which then amounted to 36.4 million liters, or 52 million bottles a year.

Interestingly, Georgian and Abkhazian imports together account for 18,8%, which almost brings the total import figure to the first place. While Russia's Customs service sees Georgia and Abkhazia as two separate countries, Georgia considers the breakaway Abkhazia as part of its sovereign territory.

Russia's Federal Consumer Protection Service banned imports of Georgian wine in 2006, complaining they did not satisfy Russian quality standards. Critics said at the time that the decision was a response to rising political tensions between the former allies.

About 7.4 million liters, or nearly 10 million bottles, of Georgian wine were imported to Russia between January and March this year. This was 71 percent of Georgia's total wine exports, according to Georgia's National Wine Agency.

Wines of Georgia master class in London

23.04.2014 (Hvino News) On Friday 23rd May, 7pm, London's Vinopolis will hold its master class on wines of Georgia, hosted by Senior Wine Expert, Tom Forrest. Participants will sample and discover six distinct and delectable Georgian wines in this master class, sponsored by the British-Georgian Chamber of Commerce.

The oldest winemaking nation in the world, Georgia harvests over 500 different varieties of grapes, using a traditional and unique method of wine production through the use of qvevri vessels. Winemaking in Georgia is more than just a celebration; it is a statement of identity and attachment to the land.

Let's do business - Georgian wine (video)

23.04.2014 (Hvino News). CBI (Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries) is an Agency of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is working with Georgian entrepreneurs, business support organisations and the local government to strengthen the Georgian wine market. CBI  contributes to sustainable economic development in developing countries through the expansion of exports from these countries. Below is the video published recently by CBI on Georgian wine:

See also here for more information on CBI's Mr. Theo Jansen.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

ICC Georgia is pleased to announce its new partnership with "We Help"

22.04.2014. “WeHelp”, innovative charity foundation that saves lives of people, has become a member and partner of ICC Georgia. This is a great relationship that brings additional support to the people that need help. Through increased awareness and visibility as an ICC Georgia member, more opportunities to receive aid will be an implied result of the partnership. “WeHelp” was established in September 2013 and has provided financial aid to over 20 people. We Help’s website can be found at http://www.WeHelp.ge and also a link will be added to the ICC Georgia webpage. Boris Kiknadze, founder of the foundation, stated: "WeHelp was established with the mission to promote charity culture in society. We are very pleased by joining ICC. We truly believe that cooperation between us and members of ICC will be beneficial for both sides." The ICC Georgia team is excited to be able to assist in the awareness and support of We Help.

ICC press release
Distributed by Hvino.com as proud member of ICC Georgia

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Deeper into Georgia: beyond grapes

by Sarah Abbott  

22.04.2014. Cheerful humility is essential for a career in wine. Just when you think you might understand something of a country/region, you realize that you’re doomed/blessed to be an eternal neophyte.

And so it was at my most recent experience in Georgia, for the 6th International Wine Tourism conference. I was there to present the “Grand Tasting” of Georgian Wine to an audience of predominantly tour operators, travel writers and travel agents. Their interest in and perspective on wine is broader than that of the ‘pure’ wine industry (which was also represented.)  Wine and culinary tours put wine into the context of experience, interaction and memory. And fun! You’re on holiday, after all.

My co-presenter was Shalva Khetsuriani, a fine Georgian from a winemaking family. Well-travelled, hugely knowledgeable and upliftingly enthusiastic, in his youth he won the Geoffrey Roberts travel scholarship and the attention of Jancis. Now a senior figure in the Georgian and Russian wine scene, he is also the official Georgian Wine Ambassador. Shalva’s passion for, and staggering knowledge of, his country’s wines was bursting at the seams of our allotted 90 minutes. I learnt so much just preparing the tasting with him.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Theo Jansen: Need for better pricing policy for Georgian wines

Theo and Elly Jansen
20.04.2014. A better pricing and logistic policy is required to raise competitiveness of Georgian wines on the international market. High grape prices and a monopoly in the Georgian logistic sector are two crucial factors that jack up the prices, said Theo Jansen, wine expert of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, who promotes Georgian wines in Netherlands. While attending Prowein 2014 on 23-25 March, one of the major wine fairs in the wine industry held every year in Dusseldorf, Mr. Jansen elaborated his opinion about Georgian wines and its marketing strategy in his exclusive interview with Georgian Journal.

Q: Georgian wines have been attending Prowein for 14 years already. Could you tell us what development you see for Georgian wines and where it is going to?

A: I was attracted to Georgian wines since 1992-93 because Georgia is the cradle of wine and it has unique wines, great varieties. These days there are so many good wines at cheaper prices that the main difficulty for Georgia is to find its niche. They can only find it by keeping its uniqueness, its unique varietals, and by making the wines a little bit softer, easier to drink but they should never leave and lose the identity of grape varietals - that’s why the consumer will buy Georgian wines, because they are a different new taste. And there is also still a market for more advanced wine drinkers who pay more and are looking for something new. These are target groups for Georgian wines. This really provides an opportunity especially in advanced countries. Qvevri wines nowadays have created a lot of interest with wine writers but they are more expensive.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

My first Georgian supra (with video)

by Jamie Goode

20.04.2014. For one evening, a bit of Georgia – and the world’s oldest unbroken wine tradition – came to east London. It was the Georgian supra, part of the Real Wine Fair.

To make this occasion more authentic, various Georgian ingredients had been smuggled in peoples’ hold luggage. And as well as a number of Georgian winemakers, we had a recognized tamada (a toast master) who at regular intervals stood up and led a toast, as is customary in these gatherings.

Apparently, one of the qualities of a tamada, in addition to being eloquent, is to be able to hold large quantities of booze without showing visible signs of intoxication. Another feature of the evening is signing. We left this to the Georgians, and their harmonies were quite beautiful.

Above all, the supra is about fellowship. Sharing together, with the food, wine and chacha (grape spirit) binding us together in a spirit of friendship and shared endeavor.

Happy Easter to our readers!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Russia promises not to impose embargo on Georgian wine and other products

19.04.2014 (Hvino News) Meeting between the deputy foreign minister of Russia, Grigory Karasin, and the special envoy of the Georgian President for settlement of relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, took place in Prague last week.

Karasin's statement which caused sensation was that Russia won’t put pressure on Georgia for signing the association agreement with the EU, i.e. it won’t launch an import embargo against Georgian wine, mineral water or agricultural products.

Before the Prague meeting, the head of the Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), Alexander Bortnikov, expressed gratitude to  Georgian authorities and special services for help in providing security at the Sochi Olympics.

Experts note these are the new rules of the game which were coordinated at the meeting between diplomats in Prague.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Georgian wine-tasting held at OIV in Paris

17.04.2014 (Hvino News) On 14th of April 2014 a selection of Georgian wines were presented in Paris at International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV). Based in France, OIV deals with technical and scientific aspects of viticulture and wine-making. The tasting was organized by the Georgian Embassy in France and the Georgian Wine Association.

About 300 guests attended the wine-tasting event, including vice president of OIV, representatives of the diplomatic corps, UNESCO, the French Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture, the French Agrarian Chamber and various international organizations were among them. "The exhibition was an initiative of the Georgian government," chairman of the national agency Levan Davitashvili told media. "Its purpose is to popularize Georgian wines to the international community and professionals."

According to National Wine Agency, seven Georgian wine companies participated in the promotion event in Paris:  Telavi Wine Cellar, Schuchmann Wines, Chateau Mukhrani, Tbilvino, Khareba, GWS and Teliani Valley.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Georgia to chair World Wine Trade Group

16.04.2014. Georgia will chair the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) for the next 12 months and lead international wine industry experts in discussions relating to global wine trade issues.

The WWTG is an informal grouping of government and industry representatives from wine-producing countries including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Georgia, New Zealand, the United States and South Africa.

Georgia acquired the position after US at the annual WWTG meeting in Brussels on April 10 and 11. Georgia will hold this role for one year, from April 2014.

The WWTG aimed to share information and collaborate on a variety of international issues and endeavors to create new opportunities for trading wine.

Within the session it was also decided the next plenary session would be held in Tbilisi from August 25 to 27 this year.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Georgian wine export stumbles in Belarus

14.04.2014. Export of Georgian wines has been stumbling over alleged technical problems in Belarus for five months already. Some sector players discern alleged political overtones tying the problem to the Kremlin which initiated the customs space of the so called Eurasian Union by gathering Belarus and Kazakhstan in alliance with Russia. The Georgian authorities deny the presence of any political factors and promises the situation will be cleared soon.

As the Belarus web portal Komsomolskaya Pravda reported on 28 March, Georgian wines have mysteriously disappeared from trade outlets in Belarus as no distributor has been enacting the Georgian export since the end of the last year. Belarusian supermarkets seem unhappy over this halt in Georgian wine supply because the product enjoys high demand in spite of high prices compared to the West-European and South African wines. According to the portal, reserves of Georgian wine are totally over, even the ones that were not popular. However, none of special importers [who according to the Belarusian law are mandated to implement the import to Belarus market] could explain why. Some surmised the quotes expired; some even tied the problem with the unified customs union of Belarus to Russia. Belarusian Trade Ministry called both reasons absurd explaining that an importer is free to choose the supply geography. The only state requirement is for quality, which demands all quality affirmation certificates to be attached to the imported product.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Georgia at the Real Wine Fair in London

12.04.2014 (Hvino News). The Real Wine Fair in London is delighted to announce that it will be holding a traditional Georgian Supra, a celebration of Georgian wine, gastronomy and culture, at its pop-up restaurant, The Unfiltered Dog on Monday 14th April 2014.

Several Georgian natural wine makers are participating in The Real Wine Fair this on 13th – 14th April 2014, including Winery of Zurab Topuridze, Aleksi Tsikhelashvili, Okro's Wines, Jackeli Wines, Nikoladzeebis Marani, Teleda, Kakha Berishvili, Nikoloz Antadze, Iago Bitarishvili, Pheasant’s Tears.

The supra banquet will be prepared by Georgian chef Giorgi Rokashvili and will feature a range of speciality Georgian dishes such as red beans with wild thyme, oyster mushrooms with tarragon and green plum sauce, chicken livers with caramelized onions and white wine, lamb chanakhi and churchkhela with honeycomb.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Qvevri wines of Georgia

10.04.2014. During the recent International Wine Tourism Conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, and the pre- and post-conference media tour, I became quite well acquainted with (not to mention a huge fan of) qvevri-made wines. A qvevri (pron. kveh-vree) is a clay vessel that is buried in the ground which can be of varying size, from a few litres to a few thousand litres, in which grapes are fermented into wine.

Styles of qvevri-made wines vary just as much as European-style wines. Some are made with the intact grape clusters, others have been destemmed and crushed, some will have only a portion of whole berries, others only ferment the juice. Some of my favourite wines made in qvevri are referred to as “amber wines”, made with the white varietals as whole grapes, or a mix of grapes and juice (not just the juice pressed off, as most of us are familiar with here and elsewhere in the world for whites) which allows for up to 6 months of skin contact, and produces amazingly complex delicious amber-coloured wines: white wines with some tannic structure. It seemed to be an acquired taste for some, and others never acquired it, but I loved them from the start!

ICC Georgia Youth participates in seminar of volunteerism and social responsibility held by Helping Hand

10.04.2014. On April 8 at Tbilisi State University Non-profit organization Helping Hand  Executive Manager Tinatin Meskhi held a seminar for the ICC Youth in Volunteerism and Social Responsibility. The seminar was very interactive and students participated in a workshop "I am a citizen".  A guest speaker from Helping Hand and a Peace Corps volunteer from the United States, Egle Vilkelite, shared her thoughts about being a volunteer.  Specifically, she discussed the advantages she has gained from being involved in many international and cultural activities. The seminar also provided  more information to the Youth about the importance of citizenship and that being a volunteer is a cultural attitude each person should share.  ICC Georgia offers its thanks and gratitude to Helping Hand for conducting the event and spreading such an important message.

ICC press release
Distributed by Hvino.com as proud member of ICC Georgia

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Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking gets ISO certificate

10.04.2014. On 03 April 2014 the company Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking was certified according to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 22000: 2005 approving spotless reputation of producing goods. ISO 22000 focuses on the food safety management that means the desire to release the goods that are safe for human health.

Certification audit was conducted by the German expert company TÜV SÜD Management Service GmbH, as an independent organization accredited for work on the certification of management systems at the German Council on Accreditation.

Company News

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

12 Georgian wine companies take part in exhibition in Italy

07.04.2014 (Hvino News) 12 Georgian wine companies take part in 48th international wine and spirits exhibition Vinitaly  2014 in Verona (April 6-9). Georgia is represented by traditional qvevri wine producers, including:
Alaverdi Monastery
Artanuli Gvino
Chveni Ghvino (Our Wine)
Iago's Wine
Jakeli Family Organic Vineyards And Wines Ltd
Niki Antadze's Wines
Nikoladze Wine Cellar Ltd.
Okro's Gvino - Golden Groud Ltd
Pheasant's Tears
Teleda Wine
The Nika Wine Cellar
Tsikhelishvili Wines
Vinitaly 2014 has 4,100 exhibitors from more than 20 countries. More than 50,000 visitors are expected from 120 nations.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Official: Georgia's wine export statistics for March 2014

08.04.2014 (Hvino News). According to the Georgian Wine Agencyб total of 5,497,787 (0,75L) bottles of wine were exported to 19 countries in March, 2014. The overall export as of July amounts to 15,488,184 (0,75L) bottles, being 243% higher vs last year same period.

Five leading export destinations of Georgian wine are as follows: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Poland and Latvia, where Russia holds 71% of total volume of exports. China and Lithuania being on 6th and 7th places in volumes respectively.

Exports in value as of March 2014 amounted to US$ 51,202,154 which is 290% higher vs last year same period.

Besides, in March 2014 there are 939,758 bottles (0,5L) brandy exported in 5 countries, and as of March 2014 – in 9 countries with 3,940,202 (0,5L) bottles. In value, the brandy exports amounted US$ 14,486,685 as of March 2014, being 113% up as compared to the same period of previous year.

Ukraine is leading Georgian brandy exports with 2,504,520 (0,5L) bottles as of March 2014, whereas Russia as second with 1,242,408 (0,5L) bottles the same period, with March only figures of 426,180 and 409,026 (0,5L) bottles, respectively.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sarajishvili brandy made in Georgia

by Harriet Lembeck, CSS (Certified Specialist of Spirits)

06.04.2014. Sarajishvili was founded in 1884 by David Sarajishvili, who had studied philosophy in Germany. At that time, even though Georgia was part of Russia, he wanted to develop the Georgian economy. While his specialty had been wine and cheese, he was influenced by all the spirits he had seen in Germany, and he decided to study Cognac production, and to go to France to do it.

Since he didn’t have traditional Cognac grapes, he substituted the Georgian grapes closest to the desired French grapes: Chinuri, Goruli Mtsvane, Kakhuri Mtsvane and Tsitska, looking for high acidity and resistance to humidity.

He purchased casks of Georgian oak (‘Iberica’), Limousin oak, and some Bulgarian Oak. Then he built distilleries in 3 different regions of Georgia, all with copper pot stills.With a majority of 400L casks, he also ordered casks of over 2,000 L, and a few at 6,000 L, which today are the oldest casks in Georgia.

The aging cellars in Tbilisi hold filled casks of varying ages, with the minimum age being 3 years. The Chief Technologist and Director of Science, David Abzianidze, keeps the cellars at 85 to 90% humidity. When asked why there was no visible black mold on the walls and ceilings of the cellars, he said “we take care of that.”

Friday, April 4, 2014

PROWEIN 2014 - Georgian wines marked at par

04.04.2014. Prowein 2014, one of the most esteemed international wine fairs, which was held on 23-25 March in Dusseldorf, Germany, marked Georgian wines at par with the worldwide fames. A big turnout of visitors at the relatively small pavilion of Georgian wines and the incessant negotiations buzzing around during the three-day long exhibition indicated the increasing demand for Georgian wines. The high quality and authenticity of Georgian wine varieties laid ground to this success.

Represented by 16 wine companies, Georgia offered a full package of over 100 wine varieties both white and red ranging from sparkling to dry, semi-dry, sweet and semi-sweet wines.

Prowein which celebrated its 20-year anniversary this year is one of the major players in the international wine industry and to show up at this wine Beaumont is a must for every reputable wine producing country and company in the world. Otherwise you will disappear from the global wine map, Levan Davitashvili, Head of National Wine Agency of Georgia, said in the interview to Georgian Journal. NWA, together with Georgian Wine Association, organized Georgia’s attendance at the Prowein that summoned more than 4 000 participants from 50 countries this year. This is the place where wine producers meet their already contracted as well as potential partners, distributors and dealers from all over the world, conclude deals, sum up their year results and make future plans. The most celebrated wine writers, sommeliers and wine connoisseurs, the people who dictate trends to the global wine industry and shape out opinion come to this venue. Therefore regular attendance at the Prowein is crucial because it creates a sort of credit history to every wine producer, Giorgi Margvelashvili, Director General of Tbilvino that has been attending Prowein since 2000-2001, said.

IWINETC sees world’s first and most comprehensive qvevri museum

03.04.2014. The Georgian Kakheti Wine Trails offer many surprises. Each winery has its own wine customs. Twins Wine Cellars is a sort of living museum of Georgian wine history and qvevri production. From their family’s pre-soviet prosperity to Russian domination poverty and imprisonment, they provide a snapshot of how blessing comes through suffering and perseverance. The twin brothers Gia and Gela Gamtkisulashvilis resurrected their family’s ancestral wine producing cellar that had been confiscated by the Russians and turned into a communal farm for the area. It had been destroyed over time and only the pressing trough and roof beams survived. From ashes they built the largest qvevri cellar in Georgia with 107 actively used qvevri out of many more. Their mission: to make qvevri wines popular internationally. Their wines are currently sold in Georgia, Japan, Germany, Britain, Russia, and China.

Twin Wine Cellars offers twelve hotel rooms, four western styles and eight hostel styles, for visitors. The more modern western style rooms come complete with a qvevri built into the wall with a glass viewing panel, which was developed and patented by the twins. During the harvest and fermentation season guests will be able to watch the wines in their room qvevri. In addition, Twins has developed guest packages that offer harvest participation, local bread making, and Chacha making enjoyed with regional BBQ, spicy grape sauce, and fresh bread.

Putting Georgia on the wine tourism map

04.04.2014. To raise awareness of Georgia as a wine tourism destination, Tbilisi hosted the 6th annual International Wine Tourism Conference on 29-30 March. This was the first IWTC ever held in Georgia and is expected to make Georgian wine and wine tourism popular. “As a matter of fact, people in the world are still unaware that Georgia is the cradle of wine. Wine is not just a drink to us and the grape simply a fruit – both are a part of the culture and tradition of our nation,” Giorgi Sigua, Head of National Tourism Administration of Georgia, admitted. He believes wine tourism is one of the key priorities of Georgian tourism and expects a big demand in this direction this year.

The two-day conference summoned more than 150 representatives of 13 countries. Masters of wine, wine sector pundits, wine-writers, and tour operators from France, Canada, Russia, Italy, Ukraine, Sweden, Singapore, Poland, Germany, the UK, the US, the Czech Republic and Slovakia got together at IWTC venue in Tbilisi to discuss the major issues and trends of wine tourism. To disclose the wine tourism potential of Georgia, wine tours were held in the Georgian wine growing regions.
According to Anthony Swift, founder of IWTC, the interest of international bloggers, wine writers and photographers in the IWTC is increasing and hosting this kind of events is a good opportunity to raise awareness about the country as a wine and culinary, cultural tourism destination that gives an impetus to the entire tourism development at large.

Our Wine Rkatsiteli 2010

by Andy Besch
04.04.2014. I first I stumbled upon the grape Rkatsiteli years ago at a New York State wine fair in Watkins Glen. It was made by the mega Finger Lakes winery Dr. Konstantin Frank, and I loved it instantly. As for the grape, all I knew was that it came from eastern Europe, it was very old and that Dr. Frank was one of the only wineries around making wines from it. I carried Dr. Frank’s Rkatsiteli in my shop each year, while supplies lasted, and those who were courageous enough to take my word for it shared my enthusiasm.

Flash forward several years later, and along came Our Wine Rkatsiteli into my life. Now we’re not only in love but engaged. This is an Rkatsiteli of a different color, literally. While Dr. Frank’s is white, slightly fruity, fresh and crisp, Our Wine is a classic amber (orange) Georgian wine, and is savory, smoky, leafy, resiny, deep and full bodied. Night and day, as it were.

The wine is made as it has been since as far back as 8000 B.C. – so they’ve had time to work out the kinks. First and foremost the grapes are farmed biodynamically. While the American version is fermented in stainless steel, in Georgia it’s fermented in qvevri, or clay pots, similar to amphorae but without handles. The qvevri is lined with a thin layer of beeswax, and the grapes are put inside with skins, stems, seeds and all, crushed, and then sealed and buried in the ground. Combining all of the parts in fermentation gives the wine enough stability to make preservatives unnecessary. This is natural winemaking at its most natural. The grapes can remain in the qvevri for years, but the Our Wine is fermented for just six months, and then bottled without filtration.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lisa Granik MW: Georgia – the region of historical, quality wine

03.04.2014. Georgia, a small South Caucasian country, may become a historical, quality wine region on the global wine map if it matches its multi-millennial viticulture traditions with the modern standards and technology, Lisa Granik - a New-York based Master of Wine who is one of 275 MWs in the world - believes.

While attending the Prowein 2014 on 23-25 March in Dusseldorf, Ms. Granik gave her opinion on Georgian wines in an exclusive interview with Georgian Journal.

Q: How important is it for Georgian wines to be represented at the Prowein?

A: Prowein is really one of the most important, or the most important wine fair in the West, and for people who are in this business it is the place where important meetings are held and trade deals are made. So, it is of critical importance to be here and have a really coherent professional presentation.

Q: How did you like the Georgian presentation?

German business association going to launch wine production and tours in Bolnisi

03.04.2014 (Hvino News) German Economic Union (DWV) in Georgia plans to add wine production. Local grapes will be  used in the production. Hotel-restaurant and a mill have been operating in Bolnisi in the Kvemo Kartli region with the support of DWV.

Along with the revival of wine production,  Georgian - German group is also going to offer 1-2 week tours throughout the country.

The Germans immigrated to Georgia in the early 19th century. One part of the immigrants chose one of the cities to live due to the best natural conditions, which was named Bolnisi a few years later.

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Opening our qvevri wine

03.04.2014. We returned to Twins Wine Cellar in Napareuli six months after starting a qvevri wine. The Rkatsiteli grapes fermented and remained on its chacha (grape skins and seeds) until April 1, 2014. During the six months the wine aged and natural filtration took place in the qvevri.

When we arrived the surface of the qvevri was covered. There was a layer of black sand over the covering. Gela Gamtkitsulashvili, one of the twins that owns the winery, helped me clear away the black sand. It was a bit dry, so water was added to moisten it. That cut down dust particles that were airborne. A brush was used to brush the sand into a corner to make it easier to remove.

Terry then grabbed the slate covering and lifted it. There was suction between the lid and the qvevri so it took a bit of force to lift the cover. On the reverse side of the qvevri a ring of clay could be seen. This clay formed a seal between the slate cover and the top of the qvevri.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

First online Georgian Wine Catalogue opens under slogan “Place for the Best”

01.04.2014. (Hvino News) Hvino.com, Georgia’s business news and information portal specializing in wine industry and tourism, has recently started the first online Georgian Wine Catalogue at http://cat.hvino.com. Georgian Wine Catalogue is a buying guide targeted at international audience interested in Georgian products, which provides independent rating of Georgian wines.

Currently the Catalogue lists all the Georgian wines, which either have won gold medals at the world’s largest international contests, or have been rated by leading international wine rating institutions.

Since February 1 the Georgian Wine Catalogue has been open for winemakers, who started to submit their products to the database. Leading wine producers Chateau Mukhrani, Georgian Wine and Spirits (GWS), Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking, Tbilvino became the first companies to officially provide product information to the first online Catalogue. Total number of Georgian wine producers whose products are listed in Catalogue so far is 21.

On April 1 the Catalogue officially opens to general public. “The keyword of Hvino’s Catalogue is independent rating”, - said Inge Olsson, project manager at Hvino.

Chinese "qvevri" may be banned in EU and US

01.04.2014. (Hvino News) Last year the Georgian method of wine making in qvevri (giant clay jars) was given the status of the Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. It has become one of the factors of extraordinary growth of popularity of the method of qvevri wine production worldwide. Chinese manufacturers took advantage of increased demand for qvevri jars - now almost all the major online sellers offer qvevri made ​​according to Georgian designs.

American and British qvevri enthusiasts examined the China-manufactured jars whether they could affect the quality of wine produced. It turned out that in order to reduce mailing costs, Chinese manufacturers were minimizing the weight of their products. Experts have found that in some cases the jars consisted not of natural clay but of composite materials. "It's almost plastic. We do not know how it will behave in a year's time", said  Bysshe Shelley of British Union of Organic Winemaking to a BBC correspondent.