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.
Partners check each other whether or not they are represented each year because everyone is interested to have a strong and reputable partner, Veriko Sujashvili, Brand Manager at GWS, underlined. To raise awareness about Georgia as a reputable wine producer it has been attending Prowein for 14 consecutive years already, said Tina Kezeli, Director Executive of Georgian Wine Association. During this period Georgia has promoted itself from the scarcely known wine producing country to the west into the one being at par with the worldwide industry today. Kezeli remembers Georgia’s first appearance at the Prowein 2000 when the western world had a dim idea about Georgia that gave a birth to wine.
“We even had to explain the difference between Georgia as a country and Georgia that is a state of the US,” Kezeli recollects. While step-by-step awareness has been increased and now people came to the Georgian pavilion not at random as 14 years ago, but on purpose to taste Georgian wine varieties. “They ask for not only well-known sorts like Rkatsiteli or Saperavi, but also require rare [endemic] varieties such as Chinuri, Chkhaveri etc., and this list as well as the demand for our wines is increasing every year. We started with five, six companies at the Prowein and now Georgian wines are represented by 16 companies all at par with other wine producing countries, we are equally mandated to have our say and have nothing to shy away from,” Kezeli elaborated.
The 8 000 years of history of Georgian wine, its unique Qvevri technology, a large pool of endemic grape varieties [exceeding 500 as originally cultivated though around 30 are industrially used at the moment] coupled with high quality, attracted the attention of the world wine market which is looking for new tastes.
“Georgian wines both have an extraordinary history and, more recently, are really of an extraordinary high quality. And while they are not necessarily wines for the basic entry-level consumer right now, among so many people who know wine they are very excited about Georgian wines,” Lisa Granik, the New York-based Master of Wine, said.
Theo Jansen, who promotes Georgian wines in Holland, recommends the cultivation of red wine varieties because this segment of Georgian wines is relatively poor compared to the ample choice in white wines.
“The most popular of Georgian wines with the biggest potential is Saperavi, it can make a great, very high quality wine. But, I need more varieties in red wine when I have tastings,” he said. What was remarkable about the Prowein 2014 is that it showed a balanced demand ranging from the well-probated post-Soviet markets to the new markets of the Europe, the US, and Asia including China and Hong-Kong. To respond to the increasing demand, Georgia plans to have a twice bigger space at Prowein.