Wednesday, December 30, 2015

1200 GEL in a bottle of wine: John Wurdeman charity auction raises 20 000 GEL

30.12.2015. On December 27, in an informal setting in Vino Underground  Map , the natural wine manufacturers and enthusiasts conducted auction in support of John Wurdeman and sold rare Georgian natural wines from private collections [read more here].  Unique wines from almost all wine regions of Georgia - Kakheti, Kartli, Imereti, Guria, Samegrelo and even Meskheti (wines from there are not available now in Georgia) were represented in the auction. These were, for example, Tsitska-Tsolikouri 2010 and Tsolikouri 2013 from Nicoladze Wine Cellar, Iago's Wine 2003, Naotari’s Kisi 2012, Our Wine’s Rkatsiteli Tsarapi 2006, Amber-coloured Chkhaveri 2010 by Iberieli, Saperavi 2012 by Kakha Berishvili and others.

56 bottles of wine sold in total (23 retail, and 33 in lots) and the sales amounted to 18 020 GEL. Niki Antadze’s Rkatsiteli 2010 was sold at 1200 GEL that was the most expensive wine sold in the auction. Iago’s Chinuri and Jakeli Organic Vines and Wine’s Saperavi Khashmi were sold at 1010 GEL. Particularly interesting was activity of women in the auction, who did not let Mandili’s (Marina Kurtanidze, Tea Melanashvili) Mtsvane to anyone and bought this wine at 850 GEL.

The most expensive among the wines grouped in lots was a lot consisted of Saperavi 2013 by Kakha Berishvili, Iberieli’s (Zurab Topuridze) Chkhaveri 2009, Coupage of Jani and Skhiltaubani and Mtsvane by Okro Wines.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Rare wines auction and crowdfunding campaign to support John Wurdeman of Pheasant's Tears

26.12.2015 (Hvino News) On December 27th, at 4 PM, the friends of John Wurdeman and the Georgian natural wine invite you to the charity event to be held at Vino Underground, G. Tabidze Street 15, Tbilisi  Map .

There will be an auction of rare and collectible Georgian natural wines that are not found anywhere else on the market.

John Wurdeman is founder of Georgian wine brand Pheasant's Tears and a well-known advocate of Georgian natural wine and culture. John's friends and colleagues are joining forces to support him, because on December 11th Wurdeman's house in Sighnaghi (Kakheti) was completely destroyed by fire. All his personal possessions and the ethnographic artifacts that he and his wife have been gathering over past 20 years are lost in fire.

The fire also damaged Pheasant's Tears wine cellar  Map   where John hosted his guests. It was the house where John, born and raised in the U.S., settled in the 90-es. Read more about John Wurdeman here: How a CD in Virginia led to a wine rebirth in Georgia and Pheasant’s Tears wine blends traditional elements of Georgian culture. Just days ago Hvino News wrote about one of Pheasant's Tears wines featured in Bloomberg's top wines list.

Earlier, an emergency crowdfunding campaign in support John Wurdeman was launched, which already raised $23,750 out of  $30k needed. All funds will be used by John and Ketevan to rebuild their home.

For everyone interested in helping John Wurdeman and his family to rebuild his home and cellar, here is the link to his crowdfunding page: https://www.gofundme.com/m2ej8rb2

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Georgian Rkatsiteli in Bloomberg's best wines list, called "fascinating"

24.12.2015 (Hvino News). "I am always asked if I drink inexpensive wines. Of course, I do – if the wines are really good. Happily, I can report that it is easier than ever to buy great stuff without spending a fortune,” - says  wine critic Elin McCoy, who authored article on the Bloomberg website that lists the 50 best wines under $50 USD.

"Fermented on grape skins like a red, this delicious apricot-y white from the Republic of Georgia is an “orange” wine aged in clay amphoras", - says McCoy about the only Georgian wine in her list - Pheasant’s Tears Rkatsiteli wine (see Hvino's Catalogue's three entries here). It is listed at price $20 USD. The author tasted all of the wines including Pheasant’s Tears Rkatsiteli and says the wine delivers plenty of value for the price.

Elin McCoy placed Georgian wine into a group entitled "Wines for Geeks - Fascinating niche bottles" - together with: 2004 Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Reserva; 2012 Paolo Bea Umbria Bianco Santa Chiara; and Valdespino Fino Inocente Sherry (which all have higher price tags).

Bloomberg is one of world's leading  media companies, a major source of  financial data.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Georgia in "Condé Nast Traveler" list of "hottest wine destinations 2016"

21.12.2015 (Hvino News). Georgia is listed in "The Hottest Wine Destinations of 2016" by luxury travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler.

"The Hottest Wine Destinations of 2016" is a list compiled by Condé Nast Traveler's Laura Giannatempo, published on December 17.

The magazine reads: "We asked some of the country’s top wine experts to tell us where they’re excited to go in the New Year. What we got is the wine lover’s definitive list of regions to explore." About Georgia:

"Georgia — the former Soviet Union country, not the American state, and one of the oldest wine regions in the world — has become a wine hotspot in the past few years. The traditional Georgian method using kvevris — beautiful, amphora-type clay vessels for fermenting, storing, and aging wine underground — is now being replicated by many natural winemakers all over the world. “The land, the history, the culture, the food, the wine, the people—it was one of the most powerful wine trips I’ve ever taken,” says Pascaline Lepeltier, beverage director of Rouge Tomate Chelsea, NYC."

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Schuchmann Wines to build wine spa

17.12.2015 (Hvino News). Schuchmann Wines Georgia announced plans to promote wellness tourism in the country, wine therapy (vinotherapy) in particular.

Nutsa Abramishvili, head of Schuchmann Wines, said that work on design of "Schuchmann Wine Spa" complex has already begun.  It will be a complex offering relaxing, spa and wellness procedures. In her words, the company's goal is to create local brand focused on recreational tourism that has great potential in Georgia. She notes it is the so-called "luxury" trend and prices are slightly higher than average, however, they will be available for the guests of the complex.

One of the first a "Vinotherapy" spa hotels was opened in La Rioja, Spain. Vinotherapy makes use of the benefits from the grape and the vine extracts to provide effective skincare treatments, with anti-ageing action. 

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Introduction to Georgia: Discussing producers and grape varieties

12.12.2015. [Part of interview with Stetson Robbins, sales manager at Blue Danube Wine Company, a U.S. importer of Georgian wines].

Let’s talk about the producers. How would you introduce them?

S: I’ll start with Kindzmarauli Marani and Shumi who share a similar story. Both are larger, modern wineries, producing “European-style” wines. This means that instead of qvevri they use stainless steel and/or oak barrels. They are located on either side of the Alazani River, in Kakheti — Georgia’s largest wine region — within two major appellations. Kindzmarauli Marani is on the left bank in the Kindzmarauli appellation Map , known for semi-sweet reds. Shumi is on the right bank within Tsinandali Map , an important white wine appellation. Even though both are considered large wineries, there is so much care that goes into the wines. Instead of purchasing fruit, both source from their own estates. Both are also dedicated to Georgia’s viticultural future. You can find experimental vineyards at both estates with hundreds of varietals, both indigenous and international. The goal is to see which grapes are most successful in their conditions. It’s encouraging to see this interest in supporting Georgia’s rich viticultural heritage from large and small producers alike.

The rest of the producers employ more traditional methods, using qvevri for fermentation and aging. If you want a window into the past, drink the wines from Shavnabada Monastery. This Orthodox monastery is located on the outskirts of Tbilisi Map , where classical wines are made under the strict supervision of the Monks. These Monks have been instrumental in making high quality qvevri wines for many centuries. The monastery is so far off the beaten path that we would not have known about it had it not been for Jean-Michel Morel of Kabaj in Slovenia. He apprenticed at this winery and was the one that introduced us to the wines. Drinking these wines is an almost spiritual or sacred experience.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Private Georgian wine tasting in Washington on January 12th

07.12.2015. Georgian wines have been making their way onto wine lists at some of DC’s trendiest restaurants lately, but the wines themselves are anything but faddish. Georgia is home to the world’s oldest continuous winemaking tradition, stretching back more than 7,000 years. Its most talented vintners are making natural wines using native grapes and ancient fermentation methods that yield complex flavors you won’t find elsewhere. Join Wendy Stuart of Food Works Group and Jenny Holm of The Georgian Table for a guided tasting and discover the fascinating stories behind these one-of-a-kind wines.

Guided Georgian Wine Tasting
Five wines plus light snacks and sweets
Tuesday, Jan. 12, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Private residence near U St. NW in Washington, DC (Address will be sent after ticket purchase)
$40 per person


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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Hvino starts Christmas Sale - best shopping season for companies interested in international promotion

06.12.2015. As holiday season is coming, we at Hvino.com have prepared a big load of presents to our clients and friends - wine producers and other companies who want to raise their brand visibility among international readership.

Since our launch in 2012, Hvino has grown into a multi-function portal consisting of 6 independent web resources. It includes new unique services such as first Georgian Wine Catalogue, and first interactive Wine Map. Our core daily English news service Hvino News with ever-growing traffic reaches every country of the world (to be exact, 169 countries!).

With 6 independent web platforms, we now have all kinds of various advertising options - for any purpose and any budget. And even more discounts and special offers! In addition to simple banners, clients may advertise on Hvino Map (Premium map markers can make your winery or shop immediately visible on the map); add new wines labels to Catalogue; or even buy the whole background space on some sites! We have got so many options that the list would be too long. So we decided to save time of our clients and friends:

Instead of a long list of all our marketing and advertising possibilities, discounts, and bonuses on all 6 sites, we are making one simple Holiday Season Offer. We give 1-3 months of FREE BONUS SERVICE and/or 25%, 35% and 50% DISCOUNTS from usual price, and we advise which our services are most cost-efficient for your goals!

If you are a company interested in promotion with us, simply tell us  which target group you want to reach with your message, and what's your budget limit. That's all.

Our marketing professionals will quickly (in 24 hours) present SEVERAL alternative packages for your choice. Our proposals will be made individually, to meet your specific needs, based on optimal use of ALL our tools. 

We hope this approach will help you save time (and money). Take advantage of Hvino's Holiday Season Offer. It's the best time to plan your 2016 Hvino marketing campaigns with huge savings.

Happy holidays!

Hong Kong's lifestyle magazine covers more Georgian wines

06.12.2015 (Hvino News). Last October Post Magazine, a popular Hong Kong's magazine published by South China Morning Post, has featured an article on Georgian white wines. Today the Chinese lifestyle periodical explores the theme further with its second take on Georgian wines, by the same author Sarah Wong.

Entitled "Three outstanding wines from Georgia", the article covers Georgian qvevri-fermented reds available from local distributor in Hong Kong:
  • Badagoni Alaverdi Tradition Red 2007, price in Hong Kong HK$760 (almost 100 US dollars);
  • Pheasant's Tears Shavkapito 2010, HK$330;
  • Teleda (Orgo) Saperavi 2007, HK$420.

Sarah Wong writes: "Gaumarjos! Georgia, as mentioned in these pages recently, has a wine history that dates back to ancient times. The tamada, or toastmaster, has long played an integral role in the ritual of wine drinking. A tamada is similar to a master of ceremonies, and his job is to introduce each toast during feasts and other celebrations... Cheers, or, as they say in Georgia, gaumarjos!"

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Georgia once again in focus of Vogue magazine

04.12.2015. (Hvino News). Just a couple months ago Hvino News reported about American Vogue magazine's mentioning Georgian wine on top of the Vogue's list of orange wines (read more: Vogue magazine lists Georgian Iago's Chinuri as number one orange wine).

On December 2 Georgia appears again in the focus of Vogue's attention. This time the renown magazine goes further in exploration of Georgia. Vogue published five reasons why one should visit Georgia, in the article “Why Georgia (the country) is the secret gem of Europe”.

The author Liana Satenstein starts her article with a direct call to action:
"This holiday season, forget the plane ticket to Milan. Cancel Berlin. And don’t bother with London. Instead, head to Georgia".
The first of Vogue's reasons is Georgian food and wine:
Over the past few years, a wave of Georgian restaurants have become a hit stateside... And there is no doubt about why this Eastern European cuisine has crossed the Atlantic.... Georgian wine—it’s fermented in a kvevri, a B.C. tradition that involves a clay vessel buried far underground.
Besides delicacies such as khachapuri ("bread is in the shape of a pinched boat, stuffed and baked with a traditional Georgian cheese called suluguni"), other attractions listed by Vogue include Georgian ballet, sulfur baths, and Tbilisi's architecture. A little bit oversimplified list, in our view, but anyway thanks to Vogue for covering Georgia.

We hope the readers who will visit Georgia will report many other really unique attractive features of Georgia, and discover that it is a gem indeed.

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