Sunday, April 30, 2017

Georgian Tavkveri in top-10 natural wines list of "Esquire" magazine

30.04.2017 (Hvino News). Georgian wine was featured in the list of best natural wines published by famous American lifestyle magazine Esquire.

In Esquire's recent article entitled "The 10 Best Natural Wines Under $40" the wine Tavkveri 2013 by Pheasant's Tears is included in the list of "freshest and funkiest natural wines".

The authors call Georgian wine "A light, bright, and floral red, this tavkveri is made in clay vessels lined with beeswax and completely buried under the earth to coolly ferment". Quoted price per bottle is 22 US$.

Full text can be found here. This article originally appears in the May 2017 issue.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

EU parliamentarians in Strasbourg tasted Georgian wine (with video)

27.04.2017 (Hvino News). Georgia's delegation at Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) hosted a wine tasting in Strasbourg. The delegation's head Tamar Chugoshvili opened the event, while the Resident Representative of Georgia to CoE Constantine Korkelia addressed the attendees, speaking about importance of cooperation with PACE.

According to the First Vice-Speaker, Tamar Chugoshvili, the event entailed high interest of PACE members and was another opportunity to introduce Georgian culture.

Georgian MPs hosted the guests offering Georgian wine, cuisine, cheese and sweets.

Tbilisi: Taste natural wines uncompromisingly on May 12

27.04.2017 (Hvino News). "Zero Compromise" will be a tasting of natural wines in Tbilisi presented by the growers themselves, kicking off at 11 AM on the 12-th of May and continuing to 5 PM.

The wine show will be hosted by 3 natural wine venues - Ghvino Underground  Map , Poliphonia  Map , and Azarphesha  Map  -  all within walking distance from one another.  Small snacks will be served by all three of these unique restaurants.

"It's the best opportunity for both professionals and the public to get acquainted with the people, traditions, and flavours of Georgian natural wine", - explained John Wurdeman, well-known winemaker and one of the event's organizers. "The cost is 25 lari and for this you get a map of how to find the venues, list of which growers are where, a glass with "Zero Compromise" logo, access to all the wines, and small bites of food from some of the best kitchens in Tbilisi", - said Mr. Wurdeman.

To see the full list of participating winemakers, click on the event's poster to enlarge.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Georgian wines by Artevani win medals in Orlando

25.04.2017 (Hvino News). Georgian wines by Art Mtevani LCC were awarded at the recent convention of Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA).

The 74-nd Annual Convention and Exposition took place on April 18-21 in Orlando, Florida. It included  Wine Tasting Competition, where Georgian wines were represented by importer and distributor company InterBalt Products/Medco.

Artevani Organic Kindzmarauli 2015 and Artevani 2011 Rkatsiteli (Tigishvili Vineyard)  were awarded with silver medals.

The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) is the national trade association representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry.

WSWA's Annual Convention & Exposition is the largest gathering of America's wine and spirits distributors with suppliers from around the world who seek to highlight or enter their brands in the U.S. marketplace. WSWA hosts several events throughout the year.

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Tbilisi's New Wine Festival scheduled for May 13

25.04.2017 (Hvino News). The traditional New Wine Festival is scheduled for May 13 at Tbilisi's Mtatsminda Park Map , 11 AM to 6 PM.

Small family-owned wineries, as well as large wineries from all parts of Georgia will present their products. Attendance is free of charge. Visitors are welcome to taste and enjoy some of the Georgia's best wines.

This year’s New Wine Festival gathers 113 participants, including wineries of all sizes, associations, government agencies, wine bars and small business owners.

The New Wine Festival 2017 will traditionally commence with the a qvevri opening ceremony. The Rezo Kiknadze jazz band, the Nali band, the Didgori folklore company along with Khoni People’s Orchestra will perform their selected musical pieces.

Georgian Wine Club announced it will offer 8 10-liter barrels of best Saperavi wine for lottery winners. Visitors will be invited to buy wine-tasting glasses, in return for which they will receive the lottery tickets.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Japan's magazine focuses on Georgian wine

21.04.2017. (Hvino News). Japan's leading magazine NIKKEI STYLE published an article on Georgian wine by Chiharu Otsuka, entitled "The World’s Oldest and Buried in Underground - Georgia’s “Doki Wine”.

Thanks to Embassy of Georgia in Japan, we repost the full translation of the article from Japanese:

Past few years, wine from a certain country is gaining more attentions in the world. It is wine from Georgia, one of the post-soviet states which Japanese people used to call Gurujia until recently.

It all started when the wine making method in Georgia was recorded as one of the intangible cultural heritages of UNESCO in 2013. The method is to use the egg-shaped clay vessels called Qvevri. They store the vessels underground and let the grapes inside fermented.

“We store the vessels underground because the temperature is stable there. Grape’s seeds and stalks are put into the vessels as well therefore the wine contains high level of tannin which is a kind of polyphenol.” Mr. Archil Machavariani, Minister-Counsellor at the Embassy of Georgia to Japan explains.

"Wine Warms Friendship" Reception in Japan

21.04.2017 (Hvino News). Embassy of Georgia in Japan reports that on April 13 it participated in the "Wine Warms Friendship - Discovering Irresistible Wines from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Tunisia" reception, organized with initiative of H.E. Mr. Motome Takisawa, Parliamentary Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Parliamentary Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, H.E. Mr. Motome Takisawa and the Ambassadors delivered speeches for distinguished guests.

During the speech the Ambassador of Georgia, H.E. Dr. Levan Tsintsadze underlined that Georgia represents the cradle of wine and spoke about the unique characteristics of Georgian wine, 8000 years old history and producing style, which was listed as an intangible world heritage by UNESCO in 2013. Dr. Levan Tsintsadze noted that vine represents the symbol of Georgian identity and from the 2000 vine species in the world 525 species have Georgian origin. The Ambassador also underlined that the best Japanese wine "Koshu" is from Georgia, and was brought to Japan 2000-3000 years ago via the "Silk Road".

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

More international buyers at Vinitaly

hvino world news
Hvino World News is our column focusing on important events and news from international wine scene which may be useful and relevant to Georgian wine industry. The column is authored by Ute SEITZ, wine author and wine tourism adviser (Tbilisi). 

19.04.2017 (Hvino News). About 128,000 (127,500 in 2016) visitors from 142 countries were counted by the organizers of Vinitaly, the Italian wine trade fair, which took place in Verona from April 9th till April 12th.

48,000 of these visitors came from abroad – within them about 30,000 “top international buyers”. It was emphasized by the organizers that the number of top buyers increased by 8 % compared to the year before. They registered increased visitor numbers from the USA (+ 6%), from Germany (+ 3%), Great Britain (+ 4%), China (+ 12%), Russia (+ 42%), Japan (+ 2%), Northern Europe (+ 2%), The Netherlands/Belgium (+ 6%) and Brazil (+ 29%). Gigantic growth rates concerning foreign exhibitors were announced by the exhibition corporation. Their number increased by 74 %. However they did not announce that only 3 % of the 4,270 exhibitors came from foreign countries. 97 % of the exhibitors were Italian companies.

Georgia was represented at Vinitaly 2017 by Winery Khareba. The closest neighbors Armenia and Azerbaijan also had minimal representation (one company from each country).

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Georgian unique "Wine Tea" to be offered to world market

Photo: Sputnik Georgia
15.04.2017 (Hvino News). Project "Wine Tea" became the winner of the government program "Startup-Georgia".

This 100% natural powder product, obtained as result of processing of wine, was invented 25 years ago by a Georgian pharmacist professor Irakli Natroshvili. The founder of the startup Giorgi Bukia learned about this product from his lecturer, son of Irakli Natroshvili.

"The uniqueness of tea is that there are no analogues in the world market.The tea contains all the useful substances of wine, and at the same time protects the consumer from the harmful influence of alcohol. It can be consumed by young children, the elderly, all those who are not drink alcohol for various reason," says Giorgi Bukia.

The wine tea improves blood circulation, lowers cholesterol level, helps healing ulcers, contains many useful antioxidants.

"It seems to me that the product will be of interest in Muslim countries where people do not drink wine.This product is almost identical to wine, according to the taste and content of the nutrients," says Giorgi Bukia.

Wine tea is produced in the form of granules filled with powder. They can be brewed like ordinary tea in bags. One can also add sugar to the drink for a more familiar taste. Those who tried this tea say that it really tastes very much like wine.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

13 Georgian companies take part in Wine and Gourmet Japan show

14.04.2017. (Hvino News). 13 Georgian wineries were showcased at the 8th annual Wine and Gourmet Japan exhibition in Tokyo on April 12-14. This was the third time Georgia participated in the Wine and Gourmet Japan trade show.

Georgian delegation has become stronger compared to last year with 8 companies. Represented companies were:
  • Corporation Georgian Wine
  • Dugladze Wine Company
  • Georgia in the World LLC
  • Giuaani
  • Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking
  • Kakhuri
  • Maranuli
  • Shumi
  • Shilda
  • Telavi Wine Cellar
  • Tbilvino
  • Turmanidze's Marani
  • Wine Man

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Georgia to release silver 5 lari coin dedicated to winemaking

13.04.2017. (Hvino News). The new Georgian silver 5 lari coin, which  pictures Georgian vine varieties and a qvevri, will be released by National Bank of Georgia in July. It will be a collector's coin to be minted in limited quantity.

The National Bank  came up with the idea to release vine-themed  coin in connection with upcoming Georgian wine exhibition in Bordeaux, France.

In summer 2017, in the new Bordeaux Center of Wine Civilization, Georgia will be the first invited country to open the series of exhibitions. As an honored guest, Georgia is scheduled to present "Vineyard-Georgia", a solo exhibition celebrating its traditional winemaking and viticulture (Read more at: In 2017 the year of Georgia in Bordeaux will be celebrated at new Center for Wine and Civilizations and French President opens "Cité du Vin" in Bordeaux, meets with Georgian Prime Minister.)

In November 2016 National Bank of Georgia announced a public competition to design a commemorative coin on the topic of Georgian wine, which was won by Nino Gongadze. The composition of the coin centers around the golden qvevri filled with red wine. The bottom of the coin reads: "საქართველო", "2017", "Georgie" (in French), "5 ლარი" (5 lari).

On the reverse the Bordeaux-based Center for Wine and Civilizations is pictured. The script reads in French: "L’EXPOSITION "VIGNOBLE INVITE" DE LA CITE DU VIN DE BORDEAUX", "LA GEORGIE - PREMIER INVITE".

The coins will be produced by Japan Mint. In total 1,500 coins will be released, which will be sold at the National Bank of Georgia and at the Wine Museum of Kvareli.

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Wines of Georgia reveals plans for UK

Ms. Abbott, Mr. Joseph.  Photo:  Sarah Abbott
by Sonya Hook

13.04.2017. The National Wine Agency of Georgia has launched a “major” 2017 UK trade campaign to build on record exports to the UK in 2016.

The agency announced this month that first-quarter exports for 2017 are up by 85% on the same period last year.

The campaign will be focused on raising the profile of Georgian Wines in the UK and expanding distribution in independent on and off-trades.

The country’s National Wine Agency has appointed Sarah Abbott MW and Robert Joseph to lead campaign strategy and trade liaison, while Madeleine Waters - who has previously worked with Abbott on campaigns for Wines of Turkey - will manage trade PR.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Saperavi the sensational [Saperavi wines from worldwide compared]

by Dan Traucki

12.04.2017. Georgia’s most important grape variety saperavi is slowly making its way into Australian vineyards. But how do these young wines compare with their traditional counterparts?

Saperavi is a deep, darkly coloured red grape variety that is one of 525 indigenous varieties from Georgia (the country), formerly part of the Soviet Union. Saperavi literally means ‘dye’ or ‘paint’. It is one of the very few wine grapes that has red flesh, as almost all red grape varieties have clear flesh, with the wine’s colour coming wholly from the skins.

Saperavi is the single most important grape variety in Georgia, in the same way as malbec in Argentina and shiraz in Australia. However, up until now this variety has been almost unknown to Australian wine drinkers. Only recently has it started being grown here by a few innovative winemakers, while at the same time imported wines have started arriving from Georgia.

Georgia is located on the edge of the Black Sea and has Russia, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan as its neighbours (some ‘peaceful’ neighbourhood to be in, huh?!). Georgia has a population of 4.5 million, which is roughly the same as that of Sydney. It is widely considered to be the cradle of wine, as it’s proven that they have been making wine for more than 8000 years. It is a very different wine scene to ours, and most other countries, in that a very large proportion of Georgians make their own wine at home. Almost all farmers have at least a few rows of vines and city dwellers visit to buy grapes to make their own wine at home. City folks with gardens tend to grow at least some of their own grapes to make their wine.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Georgian grape varieties to be planted in China

11.04.2017. Unique Georgian grape varieties will be planted in China’s province of Ningxia that will raise awareness about Georgian grape varieties in the country.

For this reason a delegation from Ningxia is visiting Georgia’s wine region of Kakheti to learn more about Georgian winemaking traditions.

They also visited different wine producing companies in Kakheti and were introduced to qvevri  wine-making technology. Later the Chinese delegation also visited several vineyards in Kakheti.

"Recently the volume of investments made by China in Georgia has increased significantly, especially in the field of agriculture. Georgia has huge experience in winemaking and that’s why it is interesting for China to learn from the Georgian experience. It is also important that Georgian wine exports to China are on the rise”, said deputy Minister of Agriculture Iuri Nozadze.

The Law on Wine to be modified

11.04.2017. An interview with the head of the National Wine Agency Giorgi Samanishvili.

Work is under way to amend the law on wine. What exactly is planned to change?

Changes will affect almost all points of the law, although the general policy of the state regarding winemaking remains the same. It is planned to bring the law into line with current realities, since the last amendments to the law were adopted in 2002 and it lags far behind modern realities both inside Georgia and on the international arena.

The law is being revised and updated, and for this reason we are actively consulting with winemakers.

One of the planned changes involves a ban on the export of draught wine and wine materials.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

OIV students visit Georgia

08.04.2017 (Hvino News). A group of eighteen students of OIV (International Organization of Vine and Wine) wine management master program visited Georgia to learn about Georgian wine culture.

The group visited the museum of National Wine Agency in Tbilisi, where presentation about Georgian wine culture was held. The students visited Georgian wine-making companies, learnt qvevri technology and tasted different Georgian wines.

The Head of National Wine Agency, Giorgi Samanishvili says that this is the second visit of OIV masters in Georgia.

“The OIV, which has the head office in Paris, has mastering program and the students learn wine-making fields of various countries. Georgia has been in this program for two years now, and the representatives of the organization learn wine-making and viticulture field with its traditions, culture and uniqueness on the place,” he added.

Georgia’s National Wine Agency reports that the students were impressed by qvevri winemaking technology. The group member Sandra Combat said that the visit exceeded all the expectations. “Georgian wine history, traditions, qvevri wine, Georgian people's hospitality, culture and Georgian singing were especially interesting for us,” she added.

Read also: Exclusive interview of OIV's director to Hvino News here.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Official: Wine export data of first quarter

07.04.2017 (Hvino News). According to National Wine Agency data, in January-March 2017, 14 199 018 bottles (0,75l) of wine has been exported to 38 countries worldwide, which is 85% higher, than the similar data of the last year.

In the period under review, 32,2 mil USD worth of wine has been exported, that is 77% higher, than the indicator of the same period in 2016.

The first five of the exporter countries is the fallowing: Russia - 8 987 745, China - 1 794 200, Ukraine - 1 305 508, Poland - 561 294 and Kazakhstan - 473 515 bottles.

The progress of wine export is notable in the following countries: China - 383% (1 794 200), Israel - 333% (42 570), Russia - 120% (8 987 745), Canada - 55% (34 650), Poland - 27% (561 294), Germany - 22% (98 926), Ukraine - 20% (1 305 508), USA - 7% (66 714), Latvia - 5% (255 896).

In addition, 3 302 962 bottles (0,5l) of brand has been exported to 13 countries worldwide, that is 51% higher, than the similar data of 2016. Totally, 8,7 mil USD worth of brand has been exported, growth compared with the similar index of the previous year amounted 71%.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Georgian-French wine research center to open at Lisi lake

05.04.2017. Construction of Georgian-French Wine Technologies Research-Training Center will be finished in about 3 months.

Ramaz Krichinashvili, Zearis company director and one of the authors of the project, noted that the project is being implemented by Georgian-American investments on 5 000 square meter space. The four-storied building repeats the design of the Dadianis Palace in Zugdidi.

“Construction works started on the territory about 10 days ago. The center will have several functions, including research of wine and grapes varieties. We will also have wine cellar. We also plan to build a hotel. Moreover, for popularizing sulfur water, we will arrange sulfur water pool too”, Krichinashvili said.

After the project completion, 100-150 citizens will be employed, he said.

Along with Zearis company, American investor Leonid Schuster is one of the authors of the project. Another Georgian company Happy House also participates in the project implementation.

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Export of wine materials from Georgia may be banned

05.04.2017 (Hvino News) Export of wine materials (draught/kegged wine) may be prohibited from Georgia. As reported by National Wine Agency Director Giorgi Samanishvili, the private sector has raised the initiative, backed by National Agency of Wine and Ministry of Agriculture. He believes the amendment will be approved by the parliament. According to him, up to 50 million bottles were exported in 2016, and only 500 000 out of them were draught wine.

Minister of Agriculture Levan Davitashvili said that the government's position is to prevent the export of wine materials from Georgia. According to the Minister, a legislative amendment has already been initiated in the legislature, but it is necessary to pass legislative stages to become a law.

"Regarding table wines, our position is not to allow the export of such materials at all, so that in other countries there is no temptation to bottle wine under the Georgian names. Already a change in the legislation has been initiated, but in order to amend the Law on Vine and Wine, it is necessary to go through some stages. The industry fully shares the government's position, Levan Davitashvili said.

Deputy head of Parliament's agriculture committee Irakliy Shiolashvili said that consideration of amendments to the Law on Vine and Wine will begin in April.

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump make peace, drink Georgian wine

01.04.2017 (Hvino News). Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been seen together at a private wine tasting event at New York's Four Seasons Hotel.

On the photo leaked to the media through WikiLeaks, the former presidential campaign rivals are having a peaceful small talk, drinking what appears to be orange wine.

The wine is apparently Georgian rkatsiteli qvevri wine because it is the only orange wine listed in the wine tasting, according to official website of the Sommelier Society of America. Orange (amber) wines became fashionable at top-level social events on both sides of Atlantic in recent years.

Neither  Hillary Clinton nor  Donald Trump are new to Georgian wines, as both political leaders have visited Georgia in the recent past.

Hillary Clinton was reported as a fan of Georgian wine (read more: Hillary Clinton’s favorite Georgian wine costs 600 GEL). Donald Trump visited Tbilisi and Batumi in April 2012 to expand his global real estate empire."The country of Georgia is a small wonder,” – said Mr. Trump, - "It's one of the really amazing places in the world right now.”

Will Georgian wine make former rivals friends again?

© Hvino News. The photograph is posted as it is without proof of authenticity.

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