Monday, December 26, 2016

Welcome to Georgia campaign kicks off for the holiday season

26.12.2016. Enterprise Georgia is welcoming tourists arriving to the country through any of the three international airports of Tbilisi, Batumi or Kutaisi, with a newly initiated Welcome to Georgia campaign, through which all guests will receive a branded bottle of Georgian Saperavi at passport control.

The label of the bottle of Georgian wine from the Kakheti region will also contain information on the success of the wine-making business in Georgia. 60,000 bottles of Saperavi will be given away within the framework of the marketing campaign which is being run for the fifth time this December.


 Win FREE bottle of organic white wine in Win!Wine Lottery: Just write a comment to this photo. Happy holidays! 

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Why the word for wine is similar in many languages

by Joe Slater

22.12.2016. I’ve observed that the Greek and Hebrew words for wine, oinos and yayin, are similar. Does this imply that there was a Mediterranean trade in alcoholic beverages?

The making and consumption of grape wine (as opposed to such “wines” as date wine, rice wine, etc.) had spread all over the Mediterranean world and parts of Europe by an early historical period, and the similar words for wine that exist in many European and Semitic languages all point to a common source for both the beverage and its name. Thus, to take a small sample, besides Greek oinos and Hebrew yayin, we have Latin vinum, Russian вино, Lithuanian vynas, German Wein, Welsh gwin, Armenian gini, Georgian ghvino (ღვინო), and Amharic (the main language of Ethiopia) weyinina , to say nothing of such farther-flung cognates as Swahili mvinyo and Maori waina.

Many of these words are obviously borrowings. Ancient Russians, Lithuanians, Germans, and other central and northern European peoples did not grow grapes or make wine, and a widely disseminated word for it could not have originated in any of their languages, just as it could not have done so in Amharic, Swahili, or Maori. And although such a word theoretically could have originated in Latin vinum, Greek oinos,or Hebrew yayin, since ancient Italy, Greece, and Palestine were all grape-growing and wine-making regions, this, too, is unlikely, because the earliest grape cultivation and wine production that historians can point to took place in the Caucasus.

Magical festive fair „Bulbuli Christmas Market“ on the 24th of December

22.12.2016 (Hvino News). By the time holiday sounds fill the air throughout the city, „Bulbuli Christmas Market“ will transform the „Muza“ Cultural Centre into a magical wonderland, complete with the delicious aroma of a Christmas bakery, mulled wine, local specialties and plenty of inspired crafts, ideal for any last minute Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers.

The „Bulbuli Christmas Market“ will feature a Christmas village atmosphere, highlighting the most interesting and your favourite participants (restaurants, winemakers, handcrafts, eco-products, etc.). Beautifully decorated stalls will offer you traditional Georgian dishes such as Satsivi, piglet roast, Elarji, wine, Chacha and hot alcoholic drinks, as well as, some well-known and beloved European and Asian food.

Soak up the Christmas atmosphere while picking out artisan-handcrafted gifts for loved ones, including handbags, art pieces, jewellery, bath and body items, home goods, toys and much more!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Badagoni wine company celebrates 10th anniversary in London

20.12.2016. After a celebration dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Badagoni Wine Company held in the region of Kakheti last November, the Institute of Directors in London hosted a follow-up event organized by the Georgian Wine Club.

The Georgian Wine Club is a UK-based wine importing company, founded by Berdia Qamarauli and his business partner Dennis Muriu, with an online presence selling exclusive, Georgian Fine Wines.

“The event was one of the most important for us. Badagoni Wine Company is our biggest supplier and a trusted partner,” said Qamarauli. “This year was especially important for them as it is their 10th year anniversary. The celebratory event was also a very important evening for Georgian wine in general. No such event has been held in the UK before and we are very proud that we managed to do it together with Badagoni and in association with British Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Georgian Embassy to the UK. The event was attended by representatives of the British government, business persons, UK media, and Georgian diaspora. The Georgian Wine Club intends to organize such events in future to help promote Georgian wine in the UK even further.”

Monday, December 19, 2016

Readers win free wine, more valuable prizes to come

19.12.2016 (Hvino News). Hvino's “Win!Wine - magic winter wine lottery”, launched with start of holiday season,  is bringing fruits. The first prize winners have been announced - Gia Gagua (Tbilisi) and Keti Svimonishvili (Telavi). The winners have already received the wines from Jakeli and Milorauli, and are quite happy with the prizes: see the photos.

Six Georgian companies have already contributed their wines to the lottery fund. More winemakers who wish to join Win!Wine project are coming up.

Prize drawings are held on Tuesdays. In addition, according to lottery organizers, some very exclusive and expensive wines (up to 100 US dollars worth) will be offered for win during New Year's night and Christmas night!

Win!Wine was conceived not only to entertain readers of Hvino News, but also to help high-quality smaller wine producers to promote their products cost-efficiently. “Even the smallest winemaker can afford to contribute a bottle of his wine as a prize to the lottery, and we will publish the label and description of his product”, - said Inge Olsson from Hvino News, who is manager of the lottery project.

The rules of the lottery are simple: The photo of prize bottle is posted in facebook page. To enter the lottery, just write a comment to the photo of bottle. After 7 days, the winner is drawn randomly from people who wrote comments. (Attention: Just a “like” is not enough, you must write comment - any text in any language)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

History of Georgia’s winemaking exhibited in labels

17.12.2016 (Hvino News). Georgian National Museum / Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia invites you to the exhibition "The Art of Labels" which is dedicated to the famous Georgian brandy manufacturer David Sarajishvili.

The exhibition will be open on December 20, 2016 -  January 9, 2017.

"The Art of Labels" is the first large-scale exhibition of Georgian wine labels, which will showcase up to 200 labels from the end of the 19th century and early 20th century.

Georgia's wine and spirits industry was presided by Giorgi Bolkvadze, David Sarajisvhili, Zakaria Jorjadze, Alexandre Chavchavadze, Ivane Mukhran-Batoni, Achille Murat, Dimitri Kipiani, Philipe Chelidze, Katsia Adanaia, Giorgi Danelia, The Kostava brothers, Chachibaias' and Sesiashvili. They produced wine, brandy, champagne, vodka, fortified wines, grape juice and vinegar, which were prominent not only across Georgia, but in Russian Empire, United States and Europe. Their wines have received numerous awards, Grand Prix, medals and diplomas.

The success of the Georgian wine, along with the quality, was also determined by its design. Wine manufacturers produced high-quality labels printed locally (Constantine Meskhishvili, E. Kheladze, Arsen Kalandadze print shops), and outside Georgia - Lodz, Warsaw, Baku, Vilnius and other cities.

The exhibition "The Art of Labels" will showcase wine label collections from Georgian National Museum, Grand Prix and diploma of Dimitri Kipiani, labels from private collections and early samples of cognac from David Sarajishvili's collection.

The project is organized by the International Film Festival Kinovino and supported by the National Wine Agency. The curator of the exhibition is Nino Kacharava, consultants - Bondo Kalandadze and Giorgi Sarajishvili.

Address: Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia, 3 Shota Rustaveli Ave. Tbilisi, Georgia.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Hudin reveals Georgia's wine secrets

16.12.2016. In the December issue of Meininger's Wine Business International, wine journalist Miquel Hudin has written an article entitled "Who's Who in Georgia". A regular feature in their bimonthly magazine, this article works to explain the inner workings of Georgian wine to those in the trade and acts as an industry reference to the multiple layers that make up the current Georgian wine sector by delving into the large, "wine factory" production as well as the "boutique" qvevri producers.

Miquel was selected to write the article after traveling extensively throughout the entire country during 2016 for his new Georgian wine guide. As the first independent guide to the wines, wineries, and history of Georgian wine, the book is set for release in Spring of 2017 with global availability.


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Thursday, December 15, 2016

‘Well, Hello Saperavi’: US hosts Georgian wine tasting series in December

15.12.2016. Wines from Georgia are exploding in popularity in the United States this month thanks to a new campaign ‘Well, Hello Saperavi’ to promote Georgian wine made with the flesh and skin of red Saperavi grape varieties across Washington D.C.

Throughout December wine lovers, wine professionals and enthusiasts in the US are invited to try the unique taste of Saperavi wine during various wine events held in Washington D.C.

People will be able to taste dry Saperavi, best-buy Saperavi, qvevri Saperavi, natural-wine Saperavi, oaked Saperavi, young-vine Saperavi, old-vine Saperavi, Saperavi rose, semi-sweet Saperavi and juicy Saperavi.

During the one-month campaign different wine shops, restaurants and cafes in the city will host wine tasting events, which are being organised by the Georgian National Wine Agency.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Tbilisi's new organic restaurant launched by winemaker and film director

11.12.2016 (Hvino News). The polyphonic choir of Tbilisi's food and wine scene just got a new singer: Poliphonia is the name of a new restaurant in Georgia's capital city. It is a joint project of two creative people - an organic wine maker John Wurdeman and a film director Levan Koguashvili.

Poliphonia was inaugurated yesterday with an opening reception, which gathered Tbilisi's intelligentsia including writers, diplomats, journalists, business people representing tourism and food sectors.

A film director's touch is felt immediately in the colorful setting of the restaurant, opened in Tbilisi's historical neighborhood Sololaki, at Amaghleba Street 23 Map . The cozy interior is a mixture of European art-nouveau style with its century-old original chandeliers, and just a bit oriental chic with old carpets and traditional tablecloths.

A winemaker's influence is clearly reflected in the restaurant's menu, thought its wine list is not bombarding visitors with hundreds of hard-to pronounce wine names, like some other "shrines of wine" in Tbilisi do. The wine list is compact but carefully selected: all wines are organic (made without use of fertilizers and other chemical add-ons) from smaller boutique wineries.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Hvino's Win!Wine Lottery's first winner announced

30.11.2016 (Hvino News) Many readers of Hvino News already know about the holiday present which we have prepared - our Win!Wine winter wine lottery.

Win!Wine is not only about entertaining our readers, but is also aimed to help high-quality smaller wine producers to promote their products without spending large marketing budgets.

After seven days from launch the first prize drawing was performed online, which can be seen here. The first winner was George Gagua from Tbilisi. He is apparently quite an expert in Georgian wines so he appreciated the rare and exclusive organic saperavi which he won. "Winning a car would not have pleased me as much!" - reads Mr. Gagua's facebook page, where he is inviting his friends to taste his prize wine together (see screenshot).

The prizes will be drawn every week, on Tuesdays. Currently the second prize - a bottle of qvevri-made white Kisi wine from Milorauli - is available for win! To participate in lottery, just write any comment to the photo: http://bit.do/prize-2. (Attention: Just a “like” is not enough, you must write comment - any text in any language).  This lottery is for people in Tbilisi region.

All the ongoing lotteries, with calendar, locations and description of prizes are posted on special lottery page.

"Win!Wine is non-commercial and completely free for everybody including the winemakers", - explained lottery organizers. “Even the smallest winemaker can afford to contribute a bottle of his wine as a prize to the lottery, and we will publish the label and description of his product”. The lottery will be international, so people from many regions of the world will have the chance to win free bottles of best quality Georgian wines. The readers are only requested to like Hvino News page.

Happy Holidays and good luck!

Georgia wine exports to China reach historic high

by Natalie Wang

10.12.2016. Georgia’s wine exports to China registered the highest growth rate among all countries in the first 11 months of the year, the strongest sign yet that the eastern European country’s push into one of the world’s biggest wine markets is paying off.

According to the latest figures released by Georgia’s National Wine Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture, wine exports to China grew by 128% to about 4.89 million bottles, making China the country’s third largest export destination following Russia (about 24.9 million bottles) and Ukraine (about 5.18 million bottles).

Georgia has spent US$500,000 to “tell the stories of its wines in China”, wrote China Daily, and a centre on Georgian wines was set up in Beijing in 2015 to promote its wines and wine culture.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Real old world: Georgia's ancient vineyards

by Rob Crossan

07.12.2016. Why are Stalin’s favourite wines on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List? We head to Georgia’s vineyards to find out.

TWO LITRES OF wine. In one gulp. From out of something that looks a lot like a horn transported from deep in the Austrian Alps.

"Yes, it happens," says my guide, Eka. "Sometimes to really get the feast going, it's considered necessary for each man to drink this much. That's before the party really gets started, of course."

This is the kind of wine consumption that would put lesser men (and women) into the nearest accident and emergency unit. But for a genuine supra – the Georgian word for an endless all day feast of food and wine – this kind of heroic (or suicidal) quantity of quaffing from a horn-shaped vessel is judged as the quickest and most efficient way possible to get a proper Georgian bacchanalia (aka drunken celebration) underway.

Luckily, the wine produced in this little-known corner of the Caucasus is a cut above what you might expect from a country on the fringes of the former Soviet Union.

Official: Georgia increased wine exports by 40%

07.12.2016 (Hvino News). According to official data, this year wine exports from Georgia in January-November to 53 countries exceeded 45.6 million bottles (0.75 l), which is 40% higher than in the same period last year.

In January-November 104 million USD worth of wine have been exported, that is 17% higher than the similar data of the last year.

The tendency of growing export was observed in the beginning of the year  reached its maximum in November: January - 1 521 802 bottles, February - 3 009 754, March - 2 877 640,  April - 3 862 589, May - 3 220 323, June - 4 327 983, July -3 766 752,  August - 3 793 843, September -4 049 034, October - 5 264 684 and  November - 6 665 311 bottles.

Increase of export is notable not only to EU but also to USA and other  traditional markets:

China - 128% (4 886 145 bottles), Ukraine – 73% (5 179 454), Belarus - 62% (1 060 806), Russia -  48% (24 914 877), Poland - 47% (2  123 500), Estonia - 37% (588 450), Canada – 30% (198 456), USA – 27% (294 382), UK-25% (87 428), Latvia – 15% (1 139 706), Japan - 14% (144 126), Kirghizia – 9% (202 666), Germany - 4% (270 176).

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

You can win free bottles of best Georgian wine in the new international lottery

30.11.2016 (Hvino News) As the holiday season is coming, Georgian wine business publisher Hvino News launched its “Win!Wine - magic winter wine lottery”. The lottery is international, so people from many regions of the world will have the chance to win free bottles of some best quality Georgian wines.

The winemakers, on the other hand, got a new marketing tool for attracting attention to their products. “This is especially useful for new and small winemakers, who make excellent wines but have small marketing budgets, because Win!Wine is non-commercial and completely free for everybody including the winemakers”, - said Inge Olsson from Hvino News, who is manager of the lottery project. “Even the smallest winemaker can afford to contribute a bottle of his wine as a prize to the lottery, and we will publish the label and description of his product”.

The rules of the lottery are very simple:

  • The photo of prize bottle is posted in facebook page. To enter the lottery, just write a comment to the photo of bottle. That’s all! After 7 days, the winner will be drawn randomly from people who wrote comments. (Attention: Just a “like” is not enough, you must write comment - any text in any language) 
  • Every lottery is open for certain city, for example Tbilisi or Warsaw. So you must be in this city to pick your prize yourself from a shop (it’s because sending wine by mail is restricted). No need to worry - the lotteries will be held for people in many cities and regions of the world. Just make sure you enter the lottery for your location. 
  • The prize drawing procedure will be performed online. It will be possible to see how the programme picks the winner (here is the drawing procedure: https://youtu.be/K02z10VBU88). Winner can pick the prize immediately. 
  • After the winner gets the prize, he/she is asked to take a “selfie” with the prize bottle, and to post as a final comment. 
Yesterday the first lottery was launched. The prize is a bottle of organic unfiltered Saperavi by Jakeli Wines. To participate in lottery, just write a comment to this photo: https://goo.gl/XP6K39. This lottery is for people in Tbilisi region. The readers are requested to like Hvino News page at https://www.facebook.com/hvinocom.

All the ongoing lotteries, with calendar, locations and description of prizes will be posted on special lottery page at: http://news.hvino.com/p/winwine.html.

Happy Holidays and good luck!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Badagoni to present new trade mark

29.11.2016. Badagoni celebrates the 10th anniversary with a new wine brand. The wine company has submitted new trade mark – GAU5 and signed a contract on export of 5 million bottles wine on Chinese market.

“I am sure, that GAU5 will be successful on Chinese market as well. This is the biggest positive conditioned due to the diversification of the market. This will be absolutely stabile market for Georgia”, – George Kvirikashvili declared while visiting Badagoni.

Chinese corporation Wenzhou Bydoway Import & Export Co will be partner of Georgian company in the wine export. According to George Kvirikashvili, the best traditions of Georgian wine making and modern technologies are well merged in Badagoni.

“Success of Georgian wine and establishment in the premium niche is possible at the expense of this synergy. Our wine really deserves premium niche. Georgian wine is not only the subject of wide consumption, and it will be in the premium niche, as Georgia is the cradle of winery. It is well-known and it is true”, – Georgian Prime Minister declared.

It should be noted, that export of Badagoni wine is made in 32 countries of the world. The PM congratulated the company signing of an agreement with Chinese company and hoped that the document would be renovated with new figures in the nearest future.


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Georgian wine tasting in Sydney

29.11.2016. Iago Bitarishvili, who lives in the village of Chardakhi, in Mtskheta region makes Georgian wine more than 10 years and his wine is sold in 11 countries worldwide. The secret of the different taste of his wine is a special technology of wine-making he uses. He does not use pesticides and additional ingredients. His wine was included in the menu of a very prestigious hotel -The Ritz in London (read more here). Currently, Iago is in Sydney and the wine-maker talks about an interesting story he has been through in Australia.

Tell us about experiences two days ago in Australia?

We were invited to Australia as natural wine makers and few days ago we had a really interesting case in one of Melbourne cafes. I could not help sharing this story in social media, because for me personally, it was very pleasant to hear about the love and warmth which was expressed from Georgia after hearing the story. Its been a week since we had arrived in Australia. Some people might think how you can sell Georgian wine to one of the biggest wine-producer countries, but when it comes to natural wine we can see that it is sold exactly in big wine culture countries like Italy, France, England and therefore, it turned out more interesting in this sense in Australia than i expected. It was pleasant and unexpected what sommelier association prepared for us. Our schedule was very busy.

What do you think what will you take from Australia after your visit is over?

"W i n ! Wine" International Georgian Wine Lottery

“W i n ! W i n e” lottery by Hvino News has started. Don't miss your chance to win best quality Georgian wine!

Our simple rules: 
  • The photo of prize bottle is posted in our facebook page (you must like Hvino News page). Simply write a comment to the photo of bottle. After 7 days, the winner will be drawn randomly from people who wrote comments. (Attention: Just a like is not enough, you must write comment - any text in any language)
  • Every lottery is open for certain city, for example Tbilisi or Warsaw. So you must be in this city to pick your prize yourself  from a shop (it’s because sending wine by mail is restricted). Don’t worry - we will hold lotteries for people in many cities and regions of the world. Make sure you enter the lottery for your location.
  • The prize drawing procedure will be performed online. You will see how our programme picks the winner. No waiting: Winner can pick the prize immediately.
  • After you get your prize, please take a “selfie” with your bottle, and post as a comment. 
Current prizes and dates will be posted HERE. 

Today we opened the first lottery:

Lottery 1:
Dates: November 29 - December 6. Status: OPEN!
Location of prize: Tbilisi
To enter lottery, please write a comment to this photo

Happy Holidays and good luck!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Paried with Lukasi Saperavi 2013

by Miquel Hudin

27.11.2016. When in Tbilisi, Culinarium Khasheria is one of those must-eat stops for most anyone. I was there just recently while working on the last bit of research for the Georgia book and like previous times, the food is brilliant, formed of this fusion from new and old Georgian recipes that I’ve found in precious few other spots. The service at the restaurant is, in keeping with the theme of most restaurants in Tbilisi, horrible. There’s generally a group of spacey guys who are more interested in watching videos on the computer than serving or then there’s been recently a girl who was basically yelling at me when seating and taking my order.

Given this theme, the wine list is also hit and miss in that it lists a lot of hits, but they’re a miss as they rarely seem to have them in stock. Again, like servers watching football matches instead of working, this is a common problem in Georgian restaurants. During this last trip, after finding several bottles to not be stocked, I asked the guy serving me to show me what they had, which is how I came to taste this wine from Lukasi.

While the rage for smaller producers in Georgia is kvevri these days, there are still some who are producing in the more international methods of using oak or stainless steel tanks and Lukasi is one of them. If you don’t know it well, Saperavi is a grape with no end of color and tannin so skin contact can be reduced to the point of none and you will still arrive with a red wine by any general classification, not a rosé wine like if you’re to make Grenache or Syrah without any lengthy skin contact time.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Georgia banned imitation wine brand Khvanchmarauli from sales in Russia

25.11.2016 (Hvino News). Large amount of Russian-made imitation of Georgian wine was withdrawn from retail network Agora in Krasnodar (Russia), according to statement by Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia.

According to official information, in September 2016 National Wine Agency learned that Agora sold wines under labels  imitating Georgian protected wines names Khvanchkara and Kindzmarauli. Particularly, one of offered wines was labeled with name Khvanchmarauli (see photo).

As result of  concerted efforts by Georgia's Wine Agency and  Intellectual Property Center  “Sakpatenti” the wines in question were removed from retail sales.

“The fact that in 2016 Georgian protected wines names Khvanchkara and Kindzmarauli were registered by “Sakpatenti”  in Russian Federation was important. National Wine Agency keeps working on international protection of Georgian wines of protected appellation” - stated deputy of National Wine Agency Andro Aslanishvili.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A brief Intro to Georgian wines and where to get them [in New York]

by Eileen M. Duffy

22.11.2016. This Thanksgiving [New York] city dwellers might do well to consider wines from Georgia (as in the country) to accompany their turkey feast. Thanks to a recent push by Brooklynite and Master of Wine Lisa Granik, more and more retailers and sommeliers are putting the wines on their shelves and wine lists. Granik works as  the market adviser for the National Wine Agency and has been bringing visitors to see the dramatic landscapes and vineyards where, many say, wine was first made around 6,000 BC as evidenced by pips dating to that era.

Georgian wines are mostly white and fermented and aged with the skin on, which results in an amber colored wine. Yes, these are the orange wines you’ve been hearing about but don’t call them that to a Georgian, or to Granik for that matter.

“These are amber wines,” she says. “Not orange. First, because they’re not made from oranges and because they really are amber in color.”

What makes these wines great with Thanksgiving is they can be drunk throughout a meal from appetizer to entree and even with dessert.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Telavi Wine Cellar and Gotsa Family Wines win at Enoexpo 2016 in Poland

21.11.2016 (Hvino News). On November 16 - 18 in Krakow, Poland, 13 Georgian wine companies participated in the international wine fair ENOEXPO 2016: Askaneli Brothers, Besini, Corporation Kindzmarauli, Kakhuri, Khareba Winery,Corporation Georgian Wine, Dugladze, Georgian Vine and Wine Company, Maranuli, Nagdi Marani, Qimerioni, Tsereteli Wine and Spirits, Wine Man.

Within the fair a 8-th ENOEXPO 2015 Winemaking Competition was held. According to recently announced results, four Georgian wine are winners: 3 silver medal awarded to Telavi Wine Cellar, and a bronze awarded to Gotsa Family Wines.

Telavi Wine Cellar's:
  - Satrapezo 10 Kvevri 2013
  - Marani Kondoli Vineyards Sami 2012
  - Marani Reserve 2007

Gotsa Family Wines's Gotsa Tavkveri 2014

Saturday, November 19, 2016

New taste of wine by young winemaker

19.11.2016. 19 years old Jemal Khatiashvili created a new brand named “Butrana”. Butrana united together wine and cheese products and he keeps the cheese in saperavi [wine] using French traditional methods.

How did you start your business?

I started everything when I was 14. I made wine for the first time then. After that, the wine got older and I opened it 3 years later. I discovered that it was very delicious. This has become my first motivation to make wine which would be available for everyone.

How did you choose the name for the company?

I named the company after “Butrana” because close to the village Tibaani, there is a 14 hectare land where vineyards are located and it’s more fertile than anywhere else.

Where is it possible to buy your wine currently?

You can purchase Butrana products in Paliashvili  street in “Cheesehouse”, in Nutsubidze street “Cheese corner” and in few shops on Leselidze.

What do you think is important to reach success in this field?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Georgian wine presentations held in Tallinn and Riga

18.11.2016. Baltic countries still are strategic export markets for Georgian wine,  National Wine Agency is planning active marketing arrangements for the next year. This information was announced by  National Wine Agency's  Marketing and PR  Department Manager Irakli Cholobargia after Georgian wine presentation in Estonia and Latvia.

Georgian wine presentation-degustation - “Wines of Georgia”, lead by Irakli Cholobargia, was held in Tallinn and Riga. The presentations were attended by native and foreign importers, sommeliers, owners of restaurants, Wine Club members, wine journalists and bloggers. One of the presentations in Tallinn was held in Sommelier School of Estonia.

“Baltic countries are traditional markets for Georgian wine, though we are working on a new segment – young generation, to let them know Georgian wine culture and traditions. It's important for Georgian wine popularization and publicity growth, that Georgian wines are in the Estonian Sommelier School program. Also, next year, National Wine Agency is  planning active marketing arrangements in Baltic countries, as strategic export markets for  Georgian wine” - stated Irakli Cholobargia.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Georgian documentary "Prime Meridian of Wine” awarded at Spain's film festival

16.11.2016 (Hvino News). At the International Film Festival “MOST 2016” in Spain, the Georgian documentary "Prime Meridian of Wine” (original title: Ghvinis Nulovani Meridiani) was awarded with title Best International Film of the Year.

Earlier, this documentary was recognized as the Best Oenological Film at Oenovideo wine film festival in France.

Documentary was directed by Nana Jorjadze (also spelled as Dzhordzhadze), the Georgia's only Oscar nominee; writers: Shalva Khetsuriani, Tamar Bartaia. The film was financed by the National Wine Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia and Marani Khetsuriani.

This is how Debra Meiburg - a Master of Wine based in Hong Kong, who is interviewed in the film  - describes the plot:
In the 1960s, one of greatest discoveries in wine world was the acknowledgment of Georgia as the birthplace of wine. A young man, dreaming of emigration and seeking his place in life, starts traveling the wine route: England (greatest civilization of wine commerce) and France - (Château Margaux, Château d'Yquem, Château Smith Lafitte, Château Branaire-Ducru). The discoveries during his wine adventure bring him back to the birth place of wine, his own birthplace: Georgia.

Wine experts in Ireland interviewed on Georgian products

16.11.2016 (Hvino News). Earlier in November Hvino News informed our readers about a wine masterclass in Ireland featuring Georgian wine by Iago Bitarishvili (read more: Iago's wines featured in Ireland). It took place on November 10 at the five star Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore.

The event's organizers were sommelier Thierry Sauvnot, importer Pascal Rossignol, and Michelin star chef Martjin Kajuiter. Hvino News contacted them with several questions, and now we wish to thank the wine experts for doing this small interview. The answers are below.

Hvino News: How did you learn about Georgian wines? 

Thierry Sauvnot: I did learn about wine from Georgia about 5 years ago when I was working in London through tasting organized by Les Caves de Pyrenne but also someone called Isabelle Legeron MS.

Pascal Rossignol: I discovered Georgian wine at the first Real Wine fair in London in 2011; my initial reaction was of surprise and I wasn’t sure how we could import them and sell them over here, as the taste was so different than what we are used to. But after a couple of years, including a supra in London where the wines were served with local food and dishes, I was convinced we should import some into Ireland.

In June 2014 I went to Georgia and discovered the vineyards of Iago, Pheasant's Tears, Ramaz Nikoladze and Didimi. We are now importing these wines in Ireland.

Hvino News: Why have you selected Iago's in particular? 

Thierry Sauvnot: It's probably one of the best - I did try both in Ireland and London. I wanted to show it.

Pascal Rossignol: We needed an orange wine for that evening and Iago is one of the best ones I’ve ever tasted.

Hvino News: What's the overall performance of Georgian wine vs other wines at the event?

Thierry Sauvnot: It was very surprising for all the guests because those wines only landed in Ireland this year. We did actually serve a wine from Didimi. When we explain the wine, we said to the guest that those wines are for drinking with food and that you can really see the differences in a glass. Those wines are very versatile.

Pascal Rossignol: The Georgian wines surprised people at first, but they made a lot of sense when the food was served with them. I think the reaction has been quite good towards them.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Record number Georgian wine companies participate in ProWine China

15.11.2016 (Hvino News) A record 30 Georgian wine companies are participating in ProWine China in Shanghai. One of largest wine fairs in in Mainland China is open on 14-16 November in Shanghai's at the SNIEC exhibition centre.

The full list of Georgian companies represented at ProWine China follows below. In addition, a Georgian Masterclass is featured in ProWine's programme. The seminar called "Premium Georgian Wine Voyage" is delivered by Debra Meiburg MW.

"Georgian wine has emerged as a key global wine trend in 2016, capturing the attention of visiting Masters of Wine, sommeliers, international media and more. 8000 continuous vintages has proved its extraordinary unique wine-making artistry & expertise. The unique wine-making philosophy & skills of Georgian is now advocated and learned by many European & American wine societies", reads the description of Georgian Masterclass at ProWine China.

"Decanter" covers Ikalto qvevri wine school

15.11.2016 (Hvino News). Leading British wine magazine Decanter published today an article on Ikalto qvevri wine school. The article by Darrel Joseph is entitled "New qvevri school to open in Georgia". Parts of article follow below:
A school and cultural center dedicated to preserving the ancient craft of producing qvevri has been built in Georgia's main wine region, Kakheti. The Qvevri School and Academy, located in the town of Ikalto, 110 km east of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, is set to open in mid-2017.
‘The school will have a scientific research centre for studying how clay from different periods [of history] were used in making different kinds of vessels,’ says Bishop Davit Makharadze of the wine-producing Alaverdi Monastery in Kakheti, and who helped develop the concept for the school. ‘Also, we are also considering to conduct classes in foreign languages as there is a growing interest from foreigners in our heritage.’
The project has been financed by the World Bank Group, costing over $1 million, and is being implemented by the Municipal Development Fund of Georgia under the country’s Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure.
Georgia’s traditional qvevri winemaking method involves pouring crushed grapes with their juice, stalks and pips into the hand-made clay vessels, which are then sealed and buried in the earth for fermentation and ageing to take place. As there is little, if any, chemical or technological intervention, this method has gained a strong following by natural wine producers throughout the world, including the United States, France, Italy, Croatia and Austria.

Prime Minister visits new Sarajishvili distillery in East Georgia

15.11.2016. Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili travelled to Gremi village in Georgia's wine-making Kakheti region and was guided around the Sarajishvili's new distillery plant.

Established using the Government's Preferential Agro Credit Project, the Sarajishvili Distillery featured the most advanced technology for alcohol distillation in Georgia.

The facility was built within a $827,000 project, of which $600,000 was contributed by the credit program.

The distillery was fitted with eight modern devices allowing staff to use latest equipment and "classic technology" by Sarajishvili - a well-known Georgian alcohol brand - to produce 500,000 litres of alcohol annually.

Monday, November 14, 2016

"The Australian": Georgian winemakers to join Rootstock

14.11.2016. There will be singing. And feasting: lots of feasting. Oh, and wine, of course. There is always wine when Georgians get together, especially if they’re Georgian winemakers.

Georgia, with Russia to its north and Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan to its south, is widely regarded as having one of the most ancient winemaking traditions, stretching back more than 8000 years. Famously, some Georgian winemakers still use techniques that are virtually unchanged since the earliest days: fermenting white and red grapes in large clay egg-shaped vessels called qvevri, which are buried in the ground up to their necks. The revival of interest in this incredibly old culture during the past few years has been influential in the wine world, not least here in Australia, where a growing number of winemakers are experimenting with fermenting in clay, ceramic and earthenware vessels, with some winemakers even importing qvevri from Georgia.

Responding to this surge of curiosity, a group of six Georgian winemakers is heading to Australia for tastings and dinners next week, culminating in their participation in the Rootstock wine and food festival at Carriageworks in Sydney on November 26 and 27, including a Georgian-themed feast and party on the Saturday night.

Georgian wine envoys visited China's Hunan Province

14.11.2016 (Hvino News). On November 11-12 Georgian National Wine Agency's chairman George Samanishvili  visited Hunan Province in South Central China. He met with vice governor He Zhuxiang and director of  Hunan Provincial Department of Commerce Zhou Yue (photographed).

According o report by Xinhua News Agency, "Georgia is an important node along the Silk Road Economic Zone. Georgia has expressed strong will to participate and adopted various concrete measures. In recent years China is becoming the sixth largest investor in Georgia and the fourth largest trading partner of the country, with frequent high-level visits and growing economic cooperation. Since January 2016, Georgia exported 4.3 million bottles of wine to China, and China has become the second wine exports market for in Georgia."

"We attach great importance to the development of cooperative relations with China and the vast Chinese market, the establishment of the Georgian wine centers", - pointed out George Samanishvili.

During the visit, George Samanishvili participated in the opening ceremony of the International Commodities Exhibition and Trade Center of the Takahashi Grand Market in Hunan Province. He met with the officials of the Hunan Provincial Department of Commerce to attended the first official promotion meeting of the Georgian wine industry.

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Georgia wins top awards at Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition

13.11.2016 (Hvino News) Georgia won 19 awards in the 2016's Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition (HKIWSC), including two gold awards.

The official press releases stresses that "In the Best Grape Variety trophies, Georgia (Best Indigenous Grape Variety - Badagoni Alaverdi Tradition Rkatsiteli 2014) and Spain (Best Tempranillo - Protos Reserva 2011) claimed victory for the Old World.

"Wine entries from Portugal increased 144%, while entries from Germany were up 400% and wines from Georgia grew 1400%, showing the diversity now demanded by Asia’s increasingly mature wine consumption market".

And the winners are:

  • Alaverdi Traditions Rkatsiteli 2014 LLC Badagoni
  • Kisi Kvevri Iberiuli 2015 Wine Company Shumi Ltd

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Georgian wine exports and Russia’s economic leverage

by Tomáš Baranec

09.11.2016. Today the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute (CACI) published this analytical article - see below. [CACI is affiliated with Johns Hopkins University in Washington and Institute for Security and Development Policy in Stockholm - HN].

Two and a half months prior to parliamentary elections in Georgia, on July 21, 2016, Russia’s State Duma recommended the government to once again ban imports of Georgian wines and mineral waters. Introducing embargos on Georgian wines and mineral waters is a proven tool of the Kremlin’s foreign policy towards its southern neighbor. It was first used in 2006, under the pretext of poor standards of Georgian exports, dealing significant damage to Georgia’s economy. However, three months after this statement, Moscow still has not applied this tool for exerting economic pressure on Georgia. The question is whether Moscow could afford such an embargo – especially given the rising significance of China’s market for Georgian exports.

BACKGROUND: In 2006, before the first embargo was issued, Russia was Georgia’s largest trade partner with regard to wine and mineral water export. This dependence was one sided; as much as 80 percent of Georgia’s exports in this segment went to Russia, but only 10 percent of the wines on the Russian market originated in Georgia. Meanwhile, the export of wine amounted to 10 percent of all Georgian exports at that time. The introduction of a ban under these circumstances cost Russia little, while Georgia’s wine producing sector took severe damage and its exports fell significantly.

"South China Morning Post": Tannic whites and sweet reds: Georgia’s fantastic, upside-down world of wine

by Sarah Heller

09.11.2016. The grape names may be difficult to pronounce and they may ferment them differently, but the wines perfectly match Georgia’s delicious cuisine.

At a time when wine is more accessible than ever before, especially in a global city like Hong Kong, the question of why we should travel for wine inspires increasingly nagging guilt. After all, this November if I wish to gorge myself silly on truffles and Barolo, I can easily do it here in Hong Kong and spare the atmosphere the carbon impact of my jetting to my beloved Piedmont (even I can’t eat my own weight in truffles, though I have a better shot with the Barolo).

And yet travel for wine – or maybe even in general – can perhaps be justified if we believe it might totally upend our understanding of a subject we thought we knew exhaustively, open our jaded eyes and inspire us to try to do the same for those around us.

My recent jaunt to the country of Georgia was an excellent reminder of why we travel at all. I had actually tried a handful of Georgian wines before (not least because of their prodigious submissions to the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition). All were pretty interesting; some were quite nice. I knew some were made in clay jars, or kvevri, and that the Georgian expression for cheers is gaumarjos (repeated incessantly throughout our trip).

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Lift your spirits: The Georgian way

by Keti Sidamonidze and Ludovig Girod, Experto Consulting

08.11.2016. One would logically imagine, entities in the alcohol business have more talkative and forthcoming employees as compared to other industries because of the nature of business and that their representatives make perfect respondents. This notion could not be any further from truth in the Georgian reality.  After having approached all major spirits producers in Georgia with due notice, we managed to obtain more or less plausible answers from only two respondents despite having received pledges from a couple more; but what is surprising, some outright refused to participate, with the expressed “why do you care” concern.

The oblivious attitude of high level representatives of those entities makes us wonder whether they honestly do not understand the benefits of having a 100% free exposure in a feature article written by an independent professional or they just act ignorant because they want to avoid extra efforts of having to give answers backed by actual facts. Enough about rhetoric and painful concerns.

Georgia to produce whiskey

08.11.2016 (Hvino News). The first Georgian whiskey is set to hit Georgian and international markets in February 2017. It will be produced by Askaneli Brothers company under Jimsher brand name.

According to company's head Jimsher (Jimmy) Chkhaidze, the whiskey  will be produced according to traditional technology using local grain.

“This whiskey, produced according to the best Scottish traditions, will be aged in Tsinandali, Saperavi and Georgian brandy oak barrels. As a result, we’ll have three types of Jimsher and it will tell the new story of this drink in Georgian accents,” said Jimsher Chkhaidze. The company has also revealed the fourth type of whiskey, finished with bourbon cask in qvevri.

The original design of bottle and label was created by Zviad Tsikolia.

"Whiskey production has long gone beyond the geographical limits of the Scottish and Irish whiskey only - American, Canadian, Japanese and other countries have produced successful brands which we know. Each of these countries does not betray the fundamental traditions of whiskey production, however, have different views on certain nuances", - explained brand manager Sophie Lomtatitdze.