Sunday, November 30, 2014

"Hvino": new look, new possibilities

30.11.2014 (Hvino News). Our regular readers have noted the recent change in the reader interface of Hvino News and its Russian version Hvino-Novosti: both wine news websites have now got background images. This is new way of advertising, available to companies which became Hvino's "Gold Partners". Hvino is pleased that the leading wine producers of Georgia are now using Hvino's background for their brands promotion.

Telavi Wine Cellar (Marani), one of Georgia's largest wine producers, became the first company to launch long-term cooperation with Hvino. Starting from September 2014, Marani has become "Gold Partner" of Hvino NewsIn November, yet another leader of Georgia's wine sector - Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking (KTW) - entered into "Gold Partnership" with Hvino-NovostiAs Hvino specializes in covering wine business news of Georgia since 2012, it is an honour for us to partner with this industry's leaders.

For Hvino, 2014 has been very productive. Earlier this year we launched the first online Georgian Wine Catalogue with an independent rating of wines. Currently the Catalogue lists all 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.

As a fast-growing company, now Hvino comes up with a new project, again. This time we are expanding beyond the limits of online mass medias, offering our first printed publication on Georgian wine. This is full-color 32-page leaflet entitled Selecting Georgian Wine, which will be distributed free of charge! Here you my watch a video pre-view of the leaflet.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Badagoni to begin exports to United States in 2015

28.11.2014 (Hvino News). According to Liza Bagrationi, PR officer at Badagoni, the company is in  negotiations regarding wine exports to USA in large quantities.

"Unfortunately, Georgian wine is still traditionally focused on the Russian market. What we are doing now will be a serious penetration into the US market, and we are preparing for it. We are talking about a rather serious segment, and we are  likely to begin exporting in 2015, "- she notes.

Badagoni Wine Company, previously known as Wine-Making Chevalier (Knight) was founded in the Kakhetian village of Zemo Khodasheni in 2002. Currently the company owns more than 300 hectares of vineyards of selected local grape varieties in the districts of Kvareli, Mukuzani, Akhasheni, Ojaleshi. Badagoni exports wine to 19 countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Poland, China, Germany, since 2007.

According to the National Wine Agency,  36 million bottles of wine were exported to  38 countries in 8 months of 2014 – that is 69% higher than in the same period of 2013. The leader of the export markets is Russia, its share in export of wine is 65% - during this period over 24 million bottles of Georgian wine have been sold in Russia. Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Poland and Belarus are included in the top five exporting countries.

© Hvino News

    Georgian Wine Catalogue      
 To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.

"The Japan Times": Get an early start when hunting for Georgian wines

by Melinda Joe

28.11.2014. Waltz, a tiny standing bar that specializes in natural wines, is nearly impossible to find the first time you try looking for it. On a recent Saturday evening, the bar’s obscure location — on a dimly lit backstreet between Tokyo’s Ebisu and Shirokane neighborhoods — confounded me and two of my friends, as well as the GPS function on my cellphone. Waltz’s service info lists no phone number, probably because the bar fills up so quickly that owner Yasuhiro Ooyama has little time to field calls from lost customers. By the time we arrived, the watering hole, which can fit around 10 guests, was already packed with regulars sipping glasses of unfiltered vin naturel in various hues and nibbling on homemade charcuterie — and the doors had only been open for 20 minutes. At 6:30 p.m., Ooyama began turning customers away.

My friends and I had gone to Waltz in search of Georgian wines. Earlier that night we’d attempted to visit La Pioche, a bistro in Ningyocho that importer Yasuko Goda of Racines had recommended for its selection of kvevri wines. Much to our dismay, La Pioche was closed when we got there, although I later learned that the bar usually offers a few Georgian vintages that change with the owner’s fancy (like several natural wine bars in the city, La Pioche rejects the notion of a regular wine list).

We were about to give up when I remembered that Goda had also suggested checking out Waltz and Rakki, a Chinese restaurant in Gaienmae owned by Shinsaku Katsuyama, who also runs the venerable natural wine bar Shonzui. As we had time for only one glass of wine, we headed to Waltz. Once again, however, luck was not on our side.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

"The Japan Times": Get a taste of Georgian wine at Festivin

by Melinda Joe

27.11.2014. In the four years since it started, Festivin has grown from an intimate gathering of natural wine enthusiasts to one of the most eagerly anticipated wine celebrations in Japan.

Like many avant-garde movements in the food and beverage world, the idea for Festivin began at a party, when Shinsaku Katsuyama, one of the early pioneers in the Japanese natural wine scene and owner of wine bar Shonzui in the capital’s Roppongi district, suggested that a group of importers, shop owners and journalists join forces to host a natural wine event. Approximately 2,200 people attended the third edition of Festivin in 2012, more than double the attendance of the first event, and the turnout is expected to rise when the fair returns to Tokyo on Nov. 30 for its fourth edition.

Part of what attracts so many people to the event is the fact that there’s something new to look forward to every time. Along with food and musical performances, Festivin 2014 will feature more than 300 natural wines from producers in Japan and around the world. This year’s lineup includes eight winemakers from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, who will be pouring a selection of unique wines fermented in large, egg-shaped clay vessels called kvevri.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking opened new plant

22.11.2014 (Hvino News). Today Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking (KTW) opened  its new plant in Keda, Adjara region.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili opened the plant and addressed the public at the ceremony with a speech.

The project costed about 1 million GEL (around 600 thousand USD), which was allocated based on law-rate credit of Agriculture Management Agency.

The plant is equipped with latest technologies and an international-standard chemical laboratory. The factory will process grapes collected from Guria and Adjara regions. The construction started in April, 2014.

© Hvino News

    Georgian Wine Catalogue      
 To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Georgian Wine: Rebooting the Cradle of Wine [Part 1 of 2 On Georgian Wine]

21.11.2014. Passport…check.  Power plug adapters…check.  Load up iPod with new music…check.  Pack clothes for as many different types of weather because I have absolutely no idea what to expect…check.  Girlfriend gives me drugs for the 12-hours of flight time each way…double check. That was pretty much the process I went through after I got the word that I was headed to the Republic of Georgia for an introduction to their wine & culture.

Although it’s known as Georgia internationally it turns out they have their own name for their homeland, Sakartvelo, a name derived from the core region of the country Kartli.  So why then is it known elsewhere as Georgia?  There are a few explanations, but it is likely that their devout national Christian beliefs and the patron saint of the country, St. George, have much to do with it.  This is not to mention that Georgian men named George are as common as Americans named John, and the the red cross of St. George is prominently featured through the middle of the national flag.

Another reason for the separate names is that it is very hard to establish an international identity when, throughout history, your country is constantly being invaded and absorbed into whichever conquering power is marching through the region.  The Ottomans, the Romans, the Persians, and the Soviets have all claimed it at some point. Yet somehow through it all they still remain proudly Georgian.


Upon my arrival it turns out that Georgia is completely unlike whatever few preconceptions I had beforehand.  The most important of which is this: Georgia is NOT…I repeat…NOT Russia! As a self-proclaimed map nerd I already knew that it has been a sovereign nation since the USSR dissolved in 1991.  But as you look at how close it is to Russia one starts to think that they must be pretty similar people.  Then as you continue to look at how many other cultures surround Georgia – Turkey to the southwest, Azerbaijan to the southeast, Armenia to the South – you start to see that this country is influenced by many different types of people, religion, and cultures.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

KTW to open new winery in Keda, Adjara

19.11.2014. (Hvino News) Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking (KTW) is planning to open its new plant in Keda, Adjara region, on November 22.

According to KTW's director Zurab Chkhaidze, the new winery will process about 600-700 tons of grapes.

The construction began last April, and costed 1 million GEL (about 559.000 USD). During the ceremony  of project launch Zurab Chkhaidze and Chairman of Ajara government Archil Khabadze declared that the enterprise will start to work by the end of the year.

Zurab Chkhaidze noted that a tourist complex would be located in the area of the factory, where visitors will be able to learn about the history of Georgian wine and taste it. Winery will have its museum and premium wine cellars. They will open next year.

The investor also plans construction of fruit processing plants in Keda.

© Hvino News

    Georgian Wine Catalogue      
 To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How to clean a qvevri (video)

by Alice Feiring

18.11.2014. During my last trip to Georgia, the country was in the middle of harvest and Iago Bitarishvili (Iago's wine) had a big problem.

He needed help cleaning qvevri.

This is one of the most important tasks when working with  those big vessels. Without a proper and throrough cleaning the  resulting wines would surely be a mouse bomb.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Georgia’s wine production statistical highlights

17.10.2014 (Hvino News). According to data released by Georgian government’s international monitoring center, 2013 was the best grape harvest in decades in Georgia. Georgia produced 12.6 percent more wine in 2013 than in 2012.

71.2 percent of the 183,381 tons of wine produced in 2013 came from households, and 28.8 percent from companies. In 2012, 74.3 percent was from household and 25.7 from companies.

Total 170 entities produced wine in 2013 (Hvino's database has 97 wine producers, see here).

In terms of volume, the top producers were Telavi Wine Cellar (Marani), Tbilvino, Georgian Wine and Spirits (GWS).

Winery Khareba was the largest employer.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Georgia, the cradle of wine

16.11.2014. When someone talks about “old world wines,” they usually mean ones from the three wine-producing powerhouses of Europe: France, Italy and Spain. But whereas French wines can trace their roots back 2600 years, 2800 tops, Georgia’s wine-making history goes much, much further.

Recent DNA studies of today’s cultivated grape varieties point to Transcaucasia (that area between the Black and Caspian seas that now covers Armenia, Georgia and eastern Turkey) as the birthplace of viticulture and Vitis vinifera grapes, which account for the majority of wines produced around the world today.

Estimates place the start of viticulture around 6000 BC, possibly even earlier. Shards of wine-stained pottery have been found at sites in Georgia (dated to 6000 BC) and northern Iran (dated to 5000 BC).

There is an ancient Persian fable that credits a lady of the court with the discovery of wine. Falling out of favour with her King, a Persian Princess attempts suicide by drinking a jar of spoiled grapes. Instead of dying, her mood is elevated. Apparently, the King likes her new attitude so much that he admits her back into his good graces.

Whether this fable is true or whether Neolithic-era farmers themselves discovered the effects of spoiled grapes, wine is more likely the result of a fortuitous accident than human invention.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking awarded with five medals in Hong Kong

13.11.2014. On November 6-8 the company Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking (KTW) participated in the international wine and spirit exhibition "Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition". This exhibition is one of the most prestigious in Asia, where the most famous sommeliers, importers and wine experts from all around the world are gathered. (More details on this exhibition results see Georgia wins 19 awards including gold in Hong Kong Wine & Spirit Competition)

Wine competition was held in the framework of the exhibition. KTW's products were awarded with five medals.

Gold medal: Saperavi Muscat 2012. It is an excellent match with the local cuisine - the Beijing Duck.

Silver medal: Georgian brandy Old Kakheti 17 Year Old, Premium Chacha (Classical) and Saperavi 2012.

Muscat Premium class was awarded with Bronze medal.

On November 8th Georgian wine tasting was completed by the famous sommelier Debra Meiburg. KTW's Kindzmarauli was presented at the tasting. At the same time, in the lobby of the exhibition hall (called Ice Bar) the chacha presentation was hosted, and variety of cocktails were prepared on the base of chacha.

Сompany news

    Georgian Wine Catalogue      
 To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Profession of sommelier undervalued in Georgia

11.11.2014. Interview with Shalva Khetsuriani, president of the Georgian Sommelier Association:

What is the Georgian Sommelier Association and what is its purpose?

The Georgian Sommelier Association was established in 2003 and is a member of the international association. Our main function  is strengthening and development of the culture of wine in Georgia and the popularization of Georgian wine abroad. Journalists in the field of winemaking, importers, distributors, government agencies, etc are involved in these activities. Especially, I would like to note assistance rendered by the National Wine Agency.

How are you going to implement your program aimed at popularization of Georgian wine and increase of  its export potential? Overseas,  demand for sommelier is quite high, especially in restaurants, what can you say about  Georgia?

In Georgia, the sommelier profession is  insufficiently appreciated yet, so we are trying to popularize it. The International Sommelier Association consists of representatives of 59 countries. They mainly operate in the premium segment, and much depends on  them in terms of the promotion of wine in the market. Georgian wine needs sommeliers as well and this area is gradually starting to develop. Everything needs time.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Georgian spirit producers want government to promote products

08.11.2014. Georgian companies producing spirits ask  the state to pay more attention to them.

According to Zaza Tabagari, a consultant for strategic planning of Gomi,  the entry into the  foreign market requires  very large amounts, for this reason the  brand  is not able to carry out large-scale activities.

Currently, the company exports its products only to  Turkey and Latvia, where Gomi vodka holds only 2% of the overall market.

Tabagari brings an example of the Georgian wine companies  promoted on the Russian market by the state.

"Do you think it’s  the  companies achievement  that their products are popular in the Russian market?

If Russians drink Georgian wine,  do you think Englishmen will not  drink? They  will also drink with pleasure, but they are not  aware of it, "- Tabagari notes.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Georgia wins 19 awards including gold in Hong Kong Wine & Spirit Competition

07.11.2014 (Hvino News) Georgia won 19 awards in the 2014's Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition (HKIWSC), including two gold awards.

Run in partnership with the London-based International Wine & Spirit Competition, which has been running for 40 years and is the world’s premier platform for recognising quality in the industry, the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition is created specifically for the Asian market by those who know and are intimately involved in the region. Judging is conducted by Asia’s most esteemed wine judges from China, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and India – including the competition’s Director and Master of Wine, Hong Kong-based Debra Meiburg MW.

The gold award winners are:
  • Chelti 2008 by Giorgi Mirianashvili
  • KTW Saperavi Moscato 2012, by Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking (Food & Wine Award)

Georgia’s historic city of Telavi hosts wine festival

08.11.2014. The sweet smell of Georgian wine is wafting through the air today in Telavi, the heart of Georgia’s wine-making area Kakheti, as the city celebrates the traditional Georgian tipple.

For the first time the city is hosting its first wine festival, named Telavino 2014. The one-day event coincided with the celebration of the day of the city.

Organisers said the wine festival aimed to promote Georgian wine, wine culture and vine and at Telavino 2014, guests will have the chance to taste 500 different types of wine produced by small and large wine companies.

Telavino 2014 will also host an exhibition and open markets that display national crafts. Selections of naturally-produced cheese and honey will also be available to taste and purchase.

Festival guests will have the chance to buy many varieties of Georgian wine with a 20 percent discount or taste the various wine offerings from a specially created tasting glass.

Kakheti is a historical area of eastern Georgia, located in the valleys of the Iori and Alazani rivers.


    Georgian Wine Catalogue      
 To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Georgian wines winning medals at ENOEXPO 2014 in Krakow

06.11.2014 (Hvino News). The results of 6th ENOEXPO 2014 Winemaking Competition in Krakow, Poland, have been announced. Among the winners are Georgian wines:

Gold medal:

winery/company’s name: MARANI 1915 Sp. z o.o.
producer’s name: Telavi Wine Cellar
wine name and vintage: Satrapezo Ice Wine Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
country of origin: GEORGIA
score: 91,6

winery/company’s name: ISC "Chateau Mukhrani"
producer’s name: ISC "Chateau Mukhrani"
wine name and vintage: Shavkapito, 2012
country of origin: GEORGIA
score: 91,6

winery/company’s name: "Wine Company SHUMI" Ltd.
producer’s name: Wine Company SHUMI
wine name and vintage: Napareuli 2012
country of origin: GEORGIA
score: 91,2

Georgia's Lado Uzunashvili to speak at Australian wine show

06.11.2014 (Hvino News) Well-known Georgian winemaker Lado Uzunashvili will be a speaker at "Talk and Taste" session of the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show (AAVWS), which kicks off today in Mildura (Victoria, Australia). 

Together with wine writer Walter Speller and Australian winemakers Glenn James, Corrina Wright and Bart Van Olphen, Lado Uzunashvili  will talk about the “ancient in modernity” over two sessions of AAVWS.

“The first session will be an exploration of Georgian wines and native varieties such as Kakhuri Mtsvane, Saperavi and Rkatsiteli led by Lado and the second sessions are geared for anyone who wants to explore non-conventional winemaking,” Jane Faulkner, chief judge of the show said.

Established in 2001, the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show is more than just a wine show and highly regarded in the Australian Wine Industry for its commitment to exploring the growing, making, marketing and drinking of these exciting new wines.

The show aims to provide an alternative to the mainstream wine shows, a dedicated forum for alternative or emerging wine varieties and to encourage alternative, more cutting edge judging procedures. It attracts over 600 entries from throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Each year the AAVWS organizes a series of events where members of the public and winemakers can taste the entries and learn more about alternative varieties in Australia.

© Hvino News

    Georgian Wine Catalogue      
 To add this Search Box to your website,  click  here. Many designs are available.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tbilisoba 2014: Celebrating Wine City

Photo N.Alavidze agenda.ge
by Tamar Khurtsia

05.11.2014. The wine tents in Rike Park encouraged wine lovers who visited the country’s most colourful and spectacular two-day festival – Tbilisoba, the celebration of the diversity and history of the capital city Tbilisi – to sip the Georgian wine offerings produced from all winemaking regions of the country.

Sampling, sniffing and savouring Georgian wines in Tbilisi is not rare occasion but when revellers can try samples of the country’s top wineries, taste some of the hundreds of wines on offer, and get the chance to take some home to enjoy at a discounted price, then it’s well worth it to enjoy a fun day at Wine City.

Some of the labels on show were Mukuzani, Shumi, Kindzmarauli, Iberiuli, Kakhuri and Qvevri Wine. The ancient history of Georgian winemaking, including the Qvevri wine-making method, is the most cherished cultural treasure of Georgia and has recently joined the UNESCO heritage list. Brandy, as well as Chacha, a Georgian traditional spirit drink produced from the remains of the squeezed grapes, were also served at Wine City.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Grape prices soar to a record high in Racha and Lechkhumi regions

by Aleko Tskitishvili

03.11.2014. The freak weather conditions of the 2014 year, which included a spring frost, hailstorms and a drought, greatly affected the vineyards of Racha and Lechkhumi regions. Not only that, the growers were beset with problems of grapevine diseases and sparrow attacks in fall, causing a drastic reduction in yields in both regions. Indeed, the growers still benefited from the vintage, as they were able to sell their rare grape varieties of Aleksandrouli, Mujuretuli and Usakhelouri, for a record breaking price.
The growers from Racha region expected the prices of Aleksandrouli and Mujuretuli to be 10-12 Gel. In the end, the market price for these varietals was set at 8 Gel per kilogram. In fact, Aleksandrouli and Mujuretuli cost the same last year as well. However, the yield was three times more compared to this year. Therefore, the growers were hoping that after smaller than expected crop, there would be a surge in demand for grapes, which would cause the prices to rise. The prices have not gone up, because the wine companies have had their own intentions. Still, it has not left the growers discontent since the prices of Aleksandrouli and Mujuretuli have hit a new high – 8 Gel per kilogram in the history of this national currency. Even during the Soviet time, these varietals didn’t cost this much and even before Russia placed an embargo on wine and other alcoholic drinks from Georgia (in 2006), the companies had not paid for Aleksandrouli and Mujuretuli grapes more than 4-5 Gel per kilogram.