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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

US wine experts visit Georgia

by Thea Morrison

13.09.2016. A ten-member group of US wine experts led by international wine master Lisa Granik visited Georgian wine companies and small wineries in the Kartli and Kakheti regions. [Experts group included Kyle Eberle, Giancarlo Luiggi, Carolyn Beaty, Aaron Zebrook, Amber Rill, Tristan Prat-Vincent, Bruno Almeida, Isabella Fitzgerald, Barbara Haimes - HN]

According to Granik, who is the head of Georgia’s contractor company TastingWorks, the quality of Georgian wine is increasing by the year. She noted that the quality of many commercial and non-commercial wines has reached international standards.

“The quality and desire to produce very high-quality wine at a world-standard level is increasing in Georgia,” she noted, adding that such tours as this latest aim to increase awareness of Georgian wine in the US and help to introduce traditional Georgian wine-making methods to foreign professionals.

“This will eventually contribute to the growth of export of Georgian wine, and wine tourism in Georgia,'' she said.

The Head of the National Wine Agency, Giorgi Samanishvili, noted that the presentation of Georgian wine to American wine professionals is much needed, as the US is one of the increasingly important export markets for Georgian wine.

He went on to say that Georgian wine is not well-known on the US market yet but that he hopes, as a result of such visits and collaboration with American experts, Georgian wine will become better-known there.

“Experts tasting wines on location is quite different from reading about it elsewhere,” Samanishvili said.

He also highlighted the first International Wine Tourism Conference organized by the UN World Tourism Organization (the UNWTO) and noted that this event not only served to promote tourism and Georgian wine but increased the overall awareness of the country.

“It is very important that the first global wine conference was held in Georgia because wine tourism should start in the homeland of wine,” he said.

The first International Wine Tourism Conference was held in Georgia on September 7-9 with the participation of 250 delegates from 42 countries and more than 150 organizations.

According to the Georgian Wine Agency, the data of the last 8 months shows that 172 thousand bottles (0,75l) of wine have been exported from Georgia to the USA, a result 10 percent higher than last year.


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