Saturday, March 28, 2015

Georgian-EU project will organize two workshops on Georgian wine in Tbilisi

28.03.2015 (Hvino News). Georgian-EU project "Promotion of private sector development in the wine sector in Georgia" is a part of the implementation of agreement on "Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area", signed in June 2014 by European Union and Georgia (read more here). Next week in Tbilisi two workshops will be held within the project's framework: one about the Qvevri Cluster, another on education in the wine sector.

The workshops "Development of the Qvevri Wine Value Chain for International Marketing: 
A Cluster Approach" and "Development of a Wine Education Centre" will be held at the Wine Laboratory on March 30 and 31, respectively.

The project is organized by GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) and AFC Consultants International GmbH (read more here).

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Friday, March 27, 2015

10 Georgian wine producers take part in China Food & Drink Fair in Chengdu

27.03.2015 (Hvino News). On March 26-28 10 Georgian winemaking companies are participating in China Food & Drink Fair (CFDF) in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

The following companies take part in China Food & Drink Fair: Armazi Wines, Bagrationi 1882, Batono,  Kakhuri Wine Cellar, Kindzmarauli Marani, Shalvino, Vaziani, Winery Khareba, Sarajishvili, Shalvino.

In the framework of the fair Georgian wine master classes will be conducted by Chinese wine experts Fongyee Walker, Adam Huang and Debra Meiburg.  After CFDF, "Three Cities Roadshow" in the China's cities is planned in the cities of China.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Winery Khareba and South Africa's organic wine producer in bilateral exchange

24.03.2015 (Hvino News). Young winemaker Tornike Chakhvadze from Georgia's Winery Khareba will be spending two months at Stellar Winery, South Africa’s largest organic wine producer and the world leader in the production of no-added-sulphur wines. The cellar is situated at Kys Halte, in the Western Cape Province.

An exciting exchange program between South Africa and Republic of Georgia, the first of its kind, began this week with the arrival in Cape Town of Tornike Chakhvadze. The Georgian Ambassador Beka Dvali flew in from Pretoria to meet Tornike. The 2015 harvest is currently underway and this is the perfect time for him to gain experience of South African vineyard practice and winemaking.

This exchange was initiated and supported by South Africa-Georgia Chamber of Commerce (SAGCC). It will be followed by a reciprocal visit of a South African winemaker to Khareba Winery in Georgia.

On the photograph (from left)  Tornike Chakhvadze (Winery Khareba), Emma Webber (Stellar Winery), Beka Dvali (Georgian Ambassador), Lee Griffin (Stellar Winery).

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Georgian wine exports to Russia still stalled

23.03.2015. Georgian wine exports to Russia are still pending. In 2015 Tbilvino has not exported a single bottle of wine  to Russia, according George Margvelashvili,  company's director, who commented for Georgian radio Kommersanti. Mr. Margvelashvili expected the situation would change in March  and still hopes that supplies would be restored in April. However, he adds that Russia’s share in  total exports would be much less. So far, Russia’s share in the company’s exports  is about 25% of the total exports. In his words,  because of the delay, the company is not suffering  losses, but due to the lost income and opportunities, the company’s profit figures at the end of the year  may be smaller than last year.

In this regard, Schuchmann Wines chooses a more flexible policy.  According to the company’s CEO Nutsa  Abramishvili,  the company is going to make some concessions, decreases prices and reduces the profit margin. In her words, due to the ruble devaluation, there are still delays, however, the stopped cargo vehicles are  gradually entering the Russian market, and the situation is more or less stabilizing. At this point, Russia’s share accounts  30% of Schuchmann Wines export though the company is working to reduce this  shares to at least 15%. She says  all wine producers must carry out  diversification  and balance the risks, enter  stable markets that  is not so simple in the short term, but this can be achieved with the state support.

Tbilvino's  George Margvelashvili doesn’t see an alternative to the Russian market within the next 5 years. However, the companies agree on the need of  diversification in order  the Georgian wine to find its niche in Europe and Asia. He believes  the Georgian wine needs a higher level of marketing campaigns to make product more competitive.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

What you need to know about orange wines

by Courtney Walsh

22.03.2015. Orange wines - no, not a wine made from oranges - have become all the rage at restaurants and wine bars nationwide. Named because of the extended skin contact the wine receives which imparts amber or orange hues, orange wines can be viewed as a sort of foil to rosé wines. As rosé wines are essentially red wines made in the style of a white, orange wines can be seen as white wines made in the style of a red.

While red wines are allowed to sit on their skins to extract color, tannin and flavor, white wines generally see little to no skin contact during the winemaking process. The grapes are generally pressed and the juice is quickly removed from the skins. With orange wines, however, the white grapes are allowed to sit on their skins for extended periods of time, ranging from several days to several months. This extended skin contact imbues these wines with a rich phenolic structure, resulting in a tannic grip and explosive aromatics unfamiliar to many white wine drinkers.

Thus, to taste these extended skin contact whites is an experience unlike any other. Those expecting a soft or creamy body will find a rustic grip on their palate. Notes of dried apricots, honey and a slight nuttiness are also common flavor profiles due to the oxidation many of these wines undergo. Explosive aromatics often jump from the glass, evoking exotic spices with a somewhat ethereal quality.

Friday, March 20, 2015

"Meininger's": Orange is the new white

by Robert Joseph

20.03.2015. I came across my first orange wine way back in the late 1980s, on a trip to Georgia with a group of British wine buyers. We had just finished sampling a set of traditional red wines in a picturesque monastery, when the monk who was conducting the tasting poured us each a glass of liquid that looked like very, very old Sauternes. I remember the look of surprise on my companion’s faces when they saw the deep gold colour, and the downright shock when, after experiencing the dry, tannic, slightly bitter, and earthy yet weirdly fruity flavour. We were told that it was only three years old and had been drawn from a qvevri (amphora) set into the floor of the room where we were sitting. This, it was explained, was a style Georgian winemakers had been making for thousands of years. If we were to visit any of the farmers’ houses we’d driven past that day, we’d find a qvevri full of skin-contact wine produced for the family’s own consumption.

When we were asked if we thought there was a market for this style in Britain, the buyers, who represented a range of different kinds of retail and wholesale distributors, all laughed at the very idea. We were far from alone in thinking that this was an odd local tradition of little relevance or interest to anyone outside the region. Authoritative books like Jancis Robinson’s Wine Companion and the 2005 edition of Tom Stevenson’s Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia mentioned Orange in Australia and Orange River in South Africa but remained silent about Georgian skin-contact wines.

"Travel Weekly": Drinking in Georgia's rustic charms

by Felicity Long

20.03.2015. You would never have known it was 3 a.m. in Georgia's Tbilisi Airport when our Lufthansa plane landed. Flights were arriving and departing, passport control was packed and the airport was brightly lit.

In fact, most air service in and out of Georgia takes place in the middle of the night, and locals are clearly used to these arrivals, for, like the airport, the Holiday Inn Tbilisi was fully staffed and busy when I checked in.

Admittedly, these quirky arrival times, along with a few other drawbacks we encountered in the days to follow such as long stretches of roads without basic amenities and an unsophisticated tourism infrastructure, could be an issue for the casual or inexperienced Europe visitor.

For the right traveler, however, these inconveniences are minor in return for what Georgia has to offer: ancient castles and churches as beautiful as anything in Italy and France, but without the crowds; a wine culture of increasing international renown; a stellar cuisine; and a warm reception from locals, who seem to have hospitality in their DNA.

"We know this is an unusual trip," said Max Johnson, founder and head of product development for the Great Canadian Travel Co., which, together with the Georgian National Tourism Administration and Living Roots, an inbound travel company, arranged the itinerary.

"We know travel agents may have only one or two clients who are looking for new, interesting programs like this, and we focus on them," he said.

Wine culture

The biggest draw for most of us, and the reason Georgia is slowly making its way onto mainstream radar, is its wine, which we sampled during a prelunch wine tasting at Vino-Underground, a wine cellar in Tbilisi.

Monday, March 16, 2015

20 Georgian wine producers take part in ProWein 2015

16.03.2015 (Hvino News). 20 Georgian wine producers are participating in ProWein wine fair in Duesseldorf, Germany, on March 15-17. The event is recognised as one of the most prestigious events in the wine industry of Europe.

Georgia takes part for the sixteenth time in ProWein. It was first showcased at the ProWein Düsseldorf exhibition in 2000 with only five companies.

Hvino News is proud to be the official media partner of ProWein since 2012 - the only one representing Georgia.

The following Georgian companies take part in ProWein:

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Robert Joseph on Georgia's wine marketing (video)

14.03.2015. Last month Robert Joseph - a renowned British wine expert and writer -  visited Tbilisi, participating in development of the marketing strategy for Georgian wine. On February 4, Georgian Wine Club interviewed Mr. Joseph. The interview is published below.

Mr. Joseph is recognized as one of the most influential authorities in the wine world. He is one of the founders of the magazine Wine International and London International Wine Challenge, editor of  Meininger's Wine Business.  Besides, Robert Joseph is the author of over 28 books, twice winning the Glenfiddich award for wine writings.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Georgian natural wine tasting in Paris

13.03.2015 (Hvino News) French natural winemaker Thierry Puzelat organized two tastings in the capital of France in early March. The shop La Cave hosted the public tasting on March 8-9. On March 9 the restaurant Chateaubriand held a reception for sommeliers, owners of restaurants and wine bloggers. Both places are located Avenue Parmentier in the 11 district.

Georgia was represented by two companies – Pheasant’s Tears and GoldWine (OkroGvino). GoldWine is taking part at La Cave and Chateaubriand wine tastings for the second time. The company presented Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane oldened in qvevri in 2010 and 2013, Budeshuri Saperavi (2013), and its first natural sparkling wines – Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane.

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Georgian wine heritage presentation at Berlin travel show

13.03.2015 (Hvino News) On March 7 the Georgian wine heritage presentation was held at ITB Berlin - the world’s leading travel show. Unique qvevri wine-making method, prehistoric wine artifacts, as well as longest and unbroken wine culture facts were presented by Davit Jishkariani, member of Georgian Wine Club. The event was supported by Georgian Experience and Georgian National Tourism Administration. Presentation was followed by tasting of  Alaverdi Monastery wines.

ITB visitors, wine tourism professionals as well as students from Faculty of Tourism studies at University of Primorska (Slovenia) attended the event.

"Interest was quite high, especially from the tourism management students from Primorska University. Wine tourism is the key for the future development of both sectors, hence more focus needs to be applied to common activities and communication", - noted Davit Jishkariani.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Georgian wine export decreased threefold in January - February

10.03.2015. In January and February only 3 million bottles of Georgian wine were sold in the international markets, which is three times less than in the same period of 2014.

In January-February 2014 the Georgian winemakers were able to sell 9.8 million bottles.

The National Wine Agency explains the decline in exports of wine by the situation in Russia and Ukraine. Exports to Russia decreased by 85%, Ukraine – by 66% as evidenced by statistical data.

Despite this, Russia remains the main export market, where in January and February a total of  1 007 231 bottles of wine were sold, followed by Ukraine – 477 384, Kazakhstan – (458 922), Poland (220 082) and China (216 842).

“Export volume suffered a  decrease only in comparison with  2014, when a boom  was observed due to the peak volume of wine exports to the Russian market. In January-February 2009 a total of 918 180 bottles of Georgian wine were  exported ,  in 2011 – 1 758 654 bottles,  in 2012 – 965 825 bottles , in 2013 – 2 523 870 bottles, “-  comments the Agency.

In January-February, Georgian wine was exported to 22 countries. The rate of sales has increased on such strategic markets like China – 64%, Japan – 39%, Canada – 32%, Estonia – 9%, and others.

During this period, revenues from wine exports amounted to $ 8 445 416.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

4 gold and 2 silver medals awarded to Georgian wines at MUNDUS VINI

06.03.2015 (Hvino News). Six Georgian wines have won top awards at prestigious competition MUNDUS VINI International Wine Award 2015 in Germany:  four gold and two silver medals.

The gold prizes were awarded to:

2011 Saperavi Qvevri red dry, Corporation Kindzmarauli
2012 Chateau Mukhrani Saperavi, Chateau Mukhrani
2013 Khvanchkara Iberiuli, Wine Company Shumi
2012 Mukuzani Series "Mikitani", Corporation Georgian Wine

The silver medals were awarded to:

2013 Tamada Saperavi, GWS

The MUNDUS VINI Great International Wine Award is one of the most prestigious wine awards in the world. It awarded 38 Grand Gold, 731 Gold and 946 Silver medals. A 150-strong international jury tasted and judged wines from almost 40 winegrowing countries over a period of three days. Sitting at the top of the medals tally is Spain with 408 awards, followed by Italy (377) and Germany (206). France and Spain came next with 183 and 158 medals.

"The Washington Post" focuses on Georgian food

06.03.2015 (Hvino News). A recent article published in The Washington Post is covering Georgian food and wine in some detail. The article by Whitney Pipkin is entitled "Georgian cuisine the next big thing?".

Writing about the wine, the author notes: "The wine from Georgia looked the shade of brandy but tasted nothing like it, with tongue-smacking tannins, dried apricot and golden raisins overwhelming any anticipated sweetness".

“Soon, I hope, there will be a Georgian restaurant here,” said Tsereteli, 52, a professor of international studies at Johns Hopkins and American universities and owner of the Georgian Wine House, an import business. “I have a sense that it’s coming.”

Manhattan embraced its first dedicated Georgian eatery in 2013, and two more opened to rave reviews there last year. Tsereteli and others mention that frequently, as if to say, “It’s only a matter of time.” If the success here of Georgian wines — and, more recently, of a pizza-like food called khachapuri — is any indication, Georgian cuisine is primed to be Washington’s next international discovery. If it is, Tsereteli could say he played a role, both as an importer who first brought Georgian wines to the city in 2005 and as a member of a little supper club that’s sharing Georgian cuisine with a side of culture.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

6 Georgian wine producers take part in Foodex Japan exhibition

04.03.2015 (Hvino News). 6 Georgian  wine producers  have registered to take part in the international food and beverage exhibition Foodex Japan 2015, opened on March 3 at Makuhari Messe exhibition complex near Tokyo (Nakase, Mihama-ku, Chiba-city).

Georgian wine producers participating in Foodex Japan are:  Kakhuri;  Kakhuri Gvinis Marani, Qimerioni,  Telavi Wine Cellar, Shumi, Winery Khareba.

A separate stand is occupied by Georgia's Embassy to Japan. Georgia's Ambassador Levan Tsintsadze was present at the opening ceremony.

Foodex Japan 2015 has been held since 1976,  creating tangible business meeting opportunities for both inbound and outbound. This year, the 39th year of Foodex Japan, some 2,800 exhibitors from more than 80 countries and regions all over the world, including food and beverage companies and trade companies, are scheduled to exhibit their products.

Foodex Japan 2015 is expected to attract 75,000 visitors including trade partners. Foodex Japan 2015 will be opened until March 6.

Last month Georgian wines have won awards at Japan’s wine contest Sakura 2015, see:  Japan women’s wine contest awards two Georgian  wines.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Georgia occupies special place as "entire country" in American list of natural wine makers

02.03.2015 (Hvino News). Food Republic - an American "site for people who want to eat and drink well, and to live smart" - has recently published a list entitled "16 Important Names To Know In Natural Wine (Plus An Entire Country)", authored by Richard Martin and Chad Walsh.

The "entire country" mentioned in the title is Georgia, which occupies position #5 in the list. The paragraph on Georgia reads:
5. The Entire Country of Georgia
Although recent discoveries indicate that the oldest known winery was actually in Azerbaijan, Georgia has perhaps the world's longest continuous history of winemaking (much of which would be considered "natural" now, as there is no other option when the stuff is made by individual families with small plots of grapes). Producers in this ex-Soviet Union state are not only reviving old traditions but also incorporating Western European and New World expertise.