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Monday, April 16, 2018

3 Georgian companies take part in Vinitaly exhibition in Italy

16.04.2018 (Hvino News) Only two Georgian wine producers  - Vazi+ and Winery Khareba - and a qvevri equipment producer Kvevri.org (Xeloba Qartuli) are taking part in international wine and spirits exhibition Vinitaly  2018 in Verona.

In previous years Georgian participation in Vitaly was more significant - for instance, in 2014 in reached 12 wine companies (see 12 Georgian wine companies take part in exhibition in Italy)

This year the historic city of Verona welcomes the 52nd edition of one of the largest wine and spirits exhibitions in the world from 15 to 18 April. Last year saw 4,300 exhibitors from 30 countries attracting a 128 thousand visitors from 141 countries. This year looks set to be equally internationally appealing.

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Zenaari jeweler is official award provider for Saperavi World Prize

15.04.2018 (Hvino News). Last winter our publishing house Hvino News organized the first Saperavi World Prize (SapPrize), Georgia’s international wine contest for Saperavi producers around the world (read more here). Instead of traditional medals, to stress the Georgian dimension of this wine contest, SapPrize awarded original prizes inspired by ancient Georgian drinking cup usually made of silver and gold – so-called azarpesha. Three miniature azarpeshas, made of the same precious metals, became the Grand Prizes of Saperavi World Prize contest. These absolutely unique were hand-made by Zenaari company, which became the official provider of SapPrize awards.

Today our special guest is Zenaari’s director Tengiz Lominadze, who tells about his brand:

"Zenaari is project, which helps Georgian artists to display best of their arts and crafts to global public. Our fundamental goal is to bring Georgian culture of handmade crafts to people who appreciate fine art.  At this moment, we’ve gathered collection of handmade enamel arts that are characteristic to Georgian folklore and national character. Artworks and practical jewelry that are absolutely unique and cannot be found anywhere else. We create items with old traditional methods using smallest number of tools possible to achieve brilliant quality,  to create bond between artists and people introduced to creations"

Hvino News: What does your brand name mean?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Obituary of Soliko Tsaishvili published in British press

13.04.2018 (Hvino News). Britain's wine magazine Harpers paid tribute to Georgian winemaker Soliko Tsaishvili, who recently passed away at his 57th year. "It's sad to report the passing of Georgian winemaker, Soliko Tsaishvili. He had been diagnosed in the early stages of pancreatic cancer in 2016 and while receiving treatment since, friends reported that he succumbed to the illness on April 10th", - reads the obituary entitled "Ancient Georgian winemaking loses one of its modern founders", which was published today.

"Soliko was primarily responsible for reinvigorating kvevri winemaking in a country where the process has been used for at least 8,000 years yet was largely forgotten", - notes author Miquel Hudin.

When he started his own wine production in 1980-s, Soliko continued working in academia as a philologist as well as the editor of a literary journal. "Three of his friends had joined in at that point and then an Italian by the name of Luca Gargano visited and tasted the wines in 2005. He decided to buy the entire stock to sell in Italy as well as eventually join Soliko and his friends as a partner. This boost from Luca and the involvement of Slow Food made everything about the much more serious, and thus "Our Wine" was officially born. They choose the name to evoke a larger sense of community and to emphasize that wine should be shared, that it's for friends as well as for everyone."

Friday, April 6, 2018

Official: 3 months data of wine export in 2018

06.04.2018 (Hvino News). According to official data, in January-March 2018, 17,7 million bottles of wine were exported to 43 countries, that is 24% higher compared to the similar data of the last year. In total, USD 40,47 million worth of wine have been exported, 26% higher compared to the previous year.

Export has grown to the following countries: Belarus - 429% (233220), Japan 230% (53160), UK - 98% (37740), France - 71% (24248), Kazakhstan -85% (877494), Czech Republic – 68% (18888), Latvia - 61% (412626), Netherlands - 46% (21993), Germany -38% (136222), Ukraine – 36% (1771928), Poland - 32% (740922), Estonia –28% (120246), Russia -28% (11511830), Israel - 24% (52722), US - 3% (68620). The top five importers are: Russia (11511830), Ukraine (1771928), China (1117138), Kazakhstan (877494) and Poland (740922).

During the mentioned period, 134 companies have exported various amounts of wine. In addition, 3,5 mil bottles (0,5 liters) of brandy and 43,8 thousand bottles of chacha have been exported in January-March. Totally, wine, bandy, chacha, wine material and brandy alcohol income amounted to 64,8 mil. USD – growth in comparison with the similar data of the previous year amounted 10%.

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Georgia at Wine & Gourmet Japan 2018

04.04.2018 (Hvino News). Georgian wine seminar "Georgia - Cradle of Wine" will be held in Japan on April 11, 2018, in the framework of Wine & Gourmet Japan 2018 trade show. Event is organized by National Wine Agency of Georgia and Embassy of Georgia to Japan.

16 Georgian wine producers will be represented at Wine & Gourmet Japan 2018: Besini Winery, Château Mukhrani, Chigogidze Wines, Danieli Winery, Dugladze, GWS, Giuaani, KTW, Maranuli, Mildiani, Shilda, Shumi,Tbilvino,Vinagora, Wine Man,Winery Khareba.

The ninth Wine & Gourmet Japan will be held from the 11th to 13th of April 2018 at the Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition Center. An exclusive B2B platform will showcase the latest, national and international, wine, beer, spirits and gourmet food trends. More than 77,000 trade visitors are expected to come to the fairground.

Wine & Gourmet Japan is the only integrated trade fair in Japan which focuses on wine, beer, spirits and gourmet food. The event combines the traditional trade fair with a comprehensive event-program, running concurrently with the trade event. The side-events include various seminars, tastings, wine pairings, competitions, panel discussions and many more.

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

New wine Mejvriskhevi to be released to the market

03.04.2018. Mejvriskhevi Red is a new wine brand which will be released on the market in spring, in particular at the end of May. Andro Barnov, chairman of Kartli Wine Cellar Association,  said that the new brand differs with its delicious properties and aroma. It is noteworthy that Mejvriskhevi variety of wine has never been sold. The wine is made in Shida Kartli by Khomasuridze families.

“Our Association, which has its own wine cellar Wine Masters, is the first to release the above-mentioned wine to the market. With its serious taste qualities and aroma it is a completely different wine," Barnov explains.

"First of all, branded wine will be sold in our cellar at the end of May and our shop. Limited quantity of the wine will be exported too. At this stage negotiations are underway with Czech Republic, Germany and Denmark. In the first year, we’ll sell our product at a cheap price, and later the price will increase. One bottle of wine will cost an average of GEL 25-30 this year, " Andro Barnov says.

Chairman of the Kartli Wine Cellar Association plans to revive many forgotten wines.

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

"Decanter" on Georgian wines: Andrew Jefford's tasting challenge

03.04.2018 (Hvino News). Following up to a recent article posted last week ("It’s been an eventful five years"), leading wine magazine Decanter continues its series of reviews of Georgian wine by award-winning wine writer Andrew Jefford. In his series "Jefford on Monday", the author just published new post "Georgia – the tasting challenge", where he provides a detailed coverage and rating of several Georgian wines.

Andrew Jefford tastes his way through the latest that Georgia has to offer. "The world offers us no other wines like these, and prices remain very competitive for quality and interest of this level. Who would not want to try an example of wine’s sixth genre – the tannic amber ‘white’ based on six months’ skin contact in a buried qvevri?  And who would not want to drink wine from what may well be the Eurasian vine’s birthplace, and from a location with an attested 8,000-year history of wine creation?" - reads the article in Decanter.

The list of rated wines follows below. The full article can be found here.  (Andrew Jefford's articles from 2013 can be found here and here)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Innovative "milky-white" wine to be launched at Tbilisi Art Fair

01.04.2018 (Hvino News). Authors of new Georgian wine brand "Rdziani Gza" ("milky way" in Georgian) decided to take the notion of white wine to its extreme, creating wine which is literally white in color.  "This innovative wine is a creation of winemakers, designers, and microbiologists, who worked together to produce this product with unusual looks but a very classical and traditional taste", - explained brand manager Maurice Minashvili.

The launch of the unusual wine is planned during the Tbilisi Art Fair on May 17-20 at ExpoGeorgia, where the producers of "Rdziani Gza" are registered as exhibitors.  

"We consider "Rdziani Gza" also as an art object," - explained the company representative. A number of contemporary art shows are already interested in the "milky-white" wine, according to Mr. Minashvili. "We want to make this unique Georgian product fashionable among the international art community and young people all over the world. Later this year we are planning to open our own art gallery "Milk Cube" with wine bar in Tbilisi, where our wine will be exclusively offered, together with other conceptual food products. 

According to company's press release, there are no artificial colorants or other additives, but the unusual colour of the wine is achieved due to harmless bacteria such as bifidobacterium lactis. However, the complete list of ingredients is not disclosed.

"Decanter" on Georgian wines: "It’s been an eventful five years"

30.03.2018 (Hvino News). Leading wine magazine Decanter has just published another article on Georgian wine entitled "Georgia – finding its path", posted by award-winning wine writer Andrew Jefford in his series "Jefford on Monday". The author recently came back from his second trip to Georgia and summarized the difference he experienced since the first visit in 2013 (Andrew Jefford's articles from 2013 can be found here and here)

"Over the last half-decade, it’s been hard to find a wine-lover who didn’t dream of heading to Tbilisi", - Andrew Jefford noted in his introduction. "Wine lovers reaching Georgia discovered a country where the tendrils of the vine weave church, state and national culture together in a tapestry without parallel elsewhere... Metropolitan David of Alaverdi, one of the country’s leading ecclesiastics, told me that, for Georgians, growing vines and making wine “was always a road back to God”, that the birth of wine inside a maternal qvevri was “like a prayer,” and that history had decreed that Georgia “became the Lord’s vineyard”.

The author not just touched upon the history of Georgian wine production and the recent economic developments, but also the growing popularity of qvevri wine method in the world. "The cultural appropriation of qvevri wine styles by advocates of natural wine, moreover, is the source of some frustration among Georgian wine producers, especially given the variable success rate of wines produced in this way by any but the very highest standards".

Friday, March 30, 2018

International qvevri wines tasting hosted by Swiss Embassy in Tbilisi

Amédée Mathier
30.03.2018 (Hvino News). Amédée Mathier - one of the best known pioneers of qvevri wine making outside Georgia - showcased his product along with other Georgian and foreign wines produced with the use of Georgian traditional method or other "qvevri-like" technologies, at a recent event hosted by Swiss Ambassador H.E. Lukas Beglinger in Tbilisi.

The wine tasting, organized at the Ambassador's residence, focused at the growing international popularity of Georgian winemaking method, and the need of clear definition of terms such as organic, natural, and traditional.

In his presentation, Mr. Mathier raised the question of the necessity of formalization of requirements and rules of qvevri wine production. He summarized qvevri experience at his family-owned winery in Salgesch, Switzerland, since first installation in 2009.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Georgian wine on show in Poland

28.03.2018 (Hvino News). One of the biggest shopping mall chains in Krakow (Poland) is hosting a Georgian wine testing event for people who are looking for specific products for the Easter table. Other activities aimed at promoting Georgian wine will be held throughout Poland, as this country represents one of the strategic markets for Georgian wine export.

The event in Krakow is held from March 22 until the end of month. It is organised by the Georgian National Wine Agency's contractor company Malinova LLC.

Poland is one of the largest importers of Georgian wine. Last year, 2,676,440 bottles of Georgian wine were exported to Poland, according to NWA.

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Monday, March 26, 2018

International Qvevri Wine Competition 2018

26.03.2018 (Hvino News). The 2nd International Qvevri Wine Competition will be held in Georgia on May 3-6, organized by the Georgian Wine Association with support of National Wine Agency.

According to organizers, the main purpose of the competition is "to introduce the best qvevri wine to the world, to encourage the production and consumption of qvevri wine, to increase awareness of qvevri wines produced in different countries".The competition is open exclusively to qvevri wine producers from all countries and wine regions in the world. Samples will be assessed by national and international judges.

The 1st International Qvevri Wine Competition was launched in September 2017 during the 4th International Qvevri Wine Symposium in Georgia.

Information about the competition is here. Registration Form is here.

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Sunday, March 25, 2018

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

25.03.2018 (Hvino News). 32 Georgian wine companies have participated in the 98th China Food & Drinks Fair in Chengdu (CFDF), Sichuan Province, China, on March 22-24.

The following wine companies participated: Telavi Wine Cellar, Giuaani, Kakhuri, Vite Vera (Besini), Vinagora, Kakhetian Wine Cellar, Askaneli Brothers, BG Wines, Chelti, Tbilvino, Palavani, Kotekhi, Wine Man, Kimerioni, Shilda, Satavado,  Teliani Valley, Jimsher, Corporation Georgian Wine, Bolero and Co, Chateau Mukhrani, Winery Khareba, GWS, Batono, KTW, Maranuli, Georgian Wine House, Mosmieri, Corporation Kindzmarauli, Schuchmann Wines, Vaziani Company, Dugladze Wines and Spirits.

"Georgian wine companies have already participated in the exhibition for the fourth time and it is noteworthy that the number of participant companies is increasing annually. This year's exhibition was quite productive for Georgian wine producer companies. Some of them have already signed new agreements during the exhibition and some has started negotiations with potential importers, which is the main task of Georgian companies participating in this exhibition, " - said Tamta Kvelaidze from Georgia's National Wine Agency.

CFDF  is held since 1955 and regarded as the number one exhibition in China. CFDF is held every spring in Chengdu, and in the autumn in another selected city. As a leading Chinese trade fair in the wine industry, it had approximately 3,000 exhibitors and 300,000 buyers.

25 Georgian wine producers took part in ProWein

25.03.2018 (Hvino News). 25 Georgian wine producers participated in ProWein wine fair in Duesseldorf, Germany, on March 18-20. The event is recognized as one of the most prestigious in the wine industry of Europe.

The following Georgian companies took part in ProWein:

Askaneli Brothers
Badagoni
Besini
Bolero & Company
Chigogidze Wines

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Saperavi wines contest in Kiev

17.03.2018 (Hvino News). 16 Saperavi wines participated in recent competition of Saperavi wines in Kiev, Ukraine. The competition organized by Dmitriy Sidorenko School of Sommelier took place at Saperavi restaurant. Professional jury judged at the tasting. The table of results follows:

1 Duruji Valley Qvevri 2013, Ardatrading
2 Vismino 2014, MB Ukraine
3 Iberia Qvevri 2015, Gelati
4 Tamada 2014, MB Ukraine
5 Gelati Elite 2014, Gelati
6 Chateau Mukhrani 2014, MB Ukraine
7 Gelati 2015, Gelati
8 Agmarti, Ardatrading
9 Khareba, Khareba
10 Geo, Bayadera
11 Tbilvino 2016, Vinfort
12 Shabo 2015, Iland
13 Shumi, Ukrimport
14 Bugeuli 2015, Bugeuli
15 Aliko 2016, Bayadera
16 Badagoni 2017, Badagoni

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

"Variety" reviews documentary on Georgian wine

14.03.2018 (Hvino News) A leading American film and entertainment trade magazine Variety has reviewed the new documentary on Georgian wine "Our Blood Is Wine", directed by Emily Railsback and featuring a Chicago sommelier Jeremy Quinn, who visit Georgia. Railsback and Quinn tour through various regions, sampling varietals while getting up-close-and-personal with the Georgian winemakers.

Variety's author Scott Tobias writes: "Documentary begins with what Quinn jokes is a child’s question: Where does wine come from? The answer takes him and Railsback to Georgia, where the winemaking process is so old that an archeologist points to Neolithic ceramics from 6,000 B.C... With iPhone in hand, Railsback and Jeremy Quinn, a Chicago sommelier, explore the 8,000-year-old roots of Georgian winemaking and celebrate its resilience under a host of outside threats".

Variety points out that documentary lacks a strong point of view: "Quinn’s experience as a sommelier should make him a natural tour guide, but he often hovers around the edges of the frame, graciously affirming the value of these wines but rarely asserting himself more forcefully. Though Railsback will occasionally raise her voice off camera, she doesn’t approach the subject with the rhetorical fire of a film like Jonathan Nossiter’s “Mondovino,” which used similar concerns about mass-scale winemaking as a platform to rail against cultural homogeneity. On matters of wine and culture, she is more appreciator than provocateur."

Monday, March 12, 2018

Qvevri wines at RAW WINE fair in London

Photo credit: @TasteOfGeorgiaUK
12.03.2018 (Hvino News). Georgian qvevri wine are be presented at the RAW WINE London, the artisan wine fair on March 11-12.

The organizer of the exhibition is Isabel Légeron, an internationally renown expert in natural winemaking.

8 Georgian winemakers  take part in the exhibition:
  • Babaneuris Marani
  • Ethno - Wine Art LLC
  • Chateau Khashmi
  • Nikalas Marani
  • Gotsa Wines
  • Tibaani
  • Vellino
  • Natenadze's Wine Cellar

Interview with Giorgi Salakaia: "Together we will defend Badagoni!"

exclusive

12.03.2018 (Hvino News).  Today Hvino News publishes an exclusive interview with Giorgi SALAKAIA, the owner and CEO of the Badagoni company.

Hvino News: Good afternoon, Mr. Giorgi. Thank you for answering our questions. Do you want to talk about the current situation around your company or, perhaps, about the prospects of Badagoni in the near future, after the difficult period is overcome?

Giorgi Salakaia: In today's reality, these are two interrelated themes. As a bolt from the blue, on February 7, the financial police unexpectedly entered the head office of our company in Tbilisi without any prior notification, and seized all financial and other documents, including electronic files and personal correspondence of our company employees who have no relation to the financial activities of Badagoni. Naturally, this action of the financial police, performed in a brutal style, had a negative impact both on the psychological state of our employees and on the overall state of Badagoni.

Hvino News: Why, in your view, did the situation immediately acquire such an acute form, instead of being regulated in a usual legal way?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Tamuka ARAVIASHVILI: I found WINTOUR to fulfil my dream

special guest

08.03.2018 (Hvino News).  On the International Women's Day our special guest is Tamuka ARAVIASHVILI, the only Georgian master student of Erasmus Mundus Wine Tourism Innovation (WINTOUR), who talks about opportunities for young people in Georgia in the sphere of wine tourism.  

Wine tourism is a growing industry, which can have a major impact on employment and identity of the regions in which it takes place. It is also becoming a significant element of the marketing strategy for many wine producers and their representative bodies. WINTOUR international Master program offers a truly integrated study that takes advantage of the tourism and oenology expertise of three universities and regions of Europe - Spain, France, and Portugal.

Hvino News: You are the first WINTOUR student from Georgia – how did get involved? 

Tamuka ARAVIASHVILII am Kakhetian girl from Georgia. Wine world is magical place and being there as a Georgian is privilege for me.  Because of my roots I had a strong connection with winemaking since childhood. I always participated in vineyard works, in harvest or winemaking process as it was part of my family’s lifestyle.  

After I graduated Bachelor in Tourism Management I started planning wine tours in Georgia. The main role on my decision to apply for WINTOUR played a press trip that I planned for journalist and wine expert Miquel Hudin. He was writing a guide book about Georgian wine.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Official: 2 months data of wine export in 2018

06.03.2018 (Hvino News). According to official data, in January - February 2018, 10,8 million bottles of wine were exported to 38 countries worldwide, that is 23% higher than the similar data of the last year. In total, 24,3 mn USD worth of wine was exported, that is 18% higher than last year.

Export growth is notable to the following countries: Japan 213% (44292), UK - 137% (36108), Estonia – 75% ( 88326), Israel - 58% (31272), Latvia - 43% (262110), Poland - 41% (441202), Netherlands - 32% (13491), Russia - 30% (7425286), Kazakhstan - 29% (501282), Germany - 27% (109834), Ukraine – 13%(972976), France - 9% (14036).

The top five importers are: Russia  (7 425 286), Ukraine  (972 976), China  (559 168), Kazakhstan  (501 282), Poland  (441 202).

As of the beginning of the year, 109 companies have exported various amounts of wine.In addition, 2,2 mn bottles (0,5 liters) of brandy and 29,8 thousand bottles of chacha have been exported in January.

Badagoni temporarily suspends operation of Tbilisi headquarters

06.03.2018 (Hvino News). As Giorgi Salakaia, owner and founder of the Badagoni wine company, said at a press conference, the company headquarters in Tbilisi would be closed in the framework of crisis management regime. The company's management will temporarily move to Kakheti region, where two Badagoni's enterprises are located. Badagoni will continue to fulfill its obligations to Georgian and foreign contractors, stressed company's head.

According to the businessman, because of the "dirty information campaign" launched around Badagoni over the past week, the company lost two of the largest contractors. Mr. Salakaia said that he informed Georgian Prime Minister Georgi Kvirikashvili about the situation, and received from him a promise to study the issue and provide support. "I want to emphasize that from the side of the Prime Minister I felt full support towards the company and sincere desire to help, since this issue concerns not only Badagoni, but the entire country," Salakaia said. The businessman expressed his readiness "to solve all issues related to claims against the company judicially, as it happens in civilized and democratic countries."

Friday, March 2, 2018

Results of first Saperavi World Prize are in focus of international mass medias

02.03.2018. The results of first Saperavi World Prize organized by Hvino News are in the focus of many mass medias internationally. 

The recent media coverage of SapPrize included a television program in Georgia, as well as articles published in Australia, Georgia, Great Britain, India, Mexico, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, USA, and other countries. 

Full list of media coverage by countries is here, and screenshots are here.

"We're so excited we can justifiably say we are one of the best places outside of Georgia to grow this variety anywhere in the world, ” - an article in Australian newspaper quoted a participating winemaker Leeanne Puglisi from Ballandean Estate winery.

"Martin Cooper, owner of  Ridgemill Estate [a participating winery] said he was stoked when he heard the news. "We had to pinch ourselves,” he said. "It's pretty incredible to get a gold medal on a world platform,” Mr. Cooper said, as quoted by Australia's newspaper. "We've been growing Saperavi here for six or seven years and it's been doing well in shows but to win on an international stage in the home of Saperavi is pretty special".

"Riverland winemakers are well known for their adoption of alternative grape varieties... And now the South Australian region has won endorsement from a most unlikely source — Georgia. The country, at the intersection of Europe and Asia and which claims to be the birthplace of wine, held its inaugural international wine competition for wine made from the native Georgian grape Saperavi", - writes Alexandra Laskie from the Weekly Times.

Sakura 2018: Japanese female wine experts awarded 7 Georgian wines

02.03.2018 (Hvino News). “SAKURA” Japan Women’s Wine Awards 2018 became known.

Wines were selected after tasting in Japan which took place on 29-31 January. An international wine competition judged exclusively by Japanese female wine specialists awarded Georgian wines with one Double Gold, two Gold and four Silver medals.

Here are the winning Georgian wines:

Double Gold:
  • Kindzmarauli Kisi 2016 

Gold:
  • Makashvili Wine Cellar Mtsvane 2016
  • Shalauri Wine Cellars Mtsvane 2015 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Winemaker Iago Bitarishvili to launch beer production

01.03.2018.Winemaker Iago Bitarishvili plans to launch beer production. The businessman has already arranged family brewery in the village of Chardakhi to popularize family beer production in Georgia like family wine cellars.

Beer production will be of less output, compared to wine production. The product will be exported to foreign markets, he said.

The businessman will apply Georgian cereals for beer production.

“Today everybody are proud that they use Belgian or other foreign malt in beer production, but we will use Georgian cereals. We have already searched several domestic varieties of barley in Khevsureti. We plan to restore them and then prepare malt”, Iago Bitarishvili said.

The businessman hopes that many other persons will follow his undertaking and a lot of family breweries will function in the country in 5-10 years.

Iago Bitarishvili launched bio wine production in 2005. The businessman exports wines to foreign markets and his wines are sold in many famous restaurants and hotels all over the world.

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

18 medals awarded to Georgian wines at MUNDUS VINI 2018 Spring Tasting

28.02.2018 (Hvino News). Record-breaking 18 Georgian wines have won top gold and silver awards at prestigious competition MUNDUS VINI International Wine Award 2018 in Germany:

The gold prizes were awarded to:

2013 Saperavi Premium (Best of Show Georgia) Winery Khareba
Alaverdi Tradition Dry Red Wine Badagoni
2013 Kakhetian Noble Badagoni
2015 Shilda Winery Napareuli Shilda Winery
2015 Saperavi Shilda Winery
2017 Vazis XIDI N°1 Saperavi Babutsa
2017 Vazis XIDI N°2 Saperavi Babutsa
2017 Vazis XIDI N°3 Saperavi Babutsa
2016 Zangaura Saperavi Georgian Wines

Monday, February 26, 2018

"The Financial": Georgia’s European perspective, or Badagoni taken away from owners?!

The Financial
26.02.2018. Since the “Georgian Dream” came into power in 2013, Georgia has significantly improved all social and economic parameters. According to the assessments of the World Economic Forum and other international organizations Georgia has been dynamically improving its competitiveness, protection of property rights and independence of the justice system. According to the Economic Freedom Rating of the Fraser Institute, Georgia is on the 5th place in the world.

Taking this into account, it is all the more surprising to witness the events that have taken place during the past weeks with regard to the leader of the Georgian wine industry – Badagoni, number one among the Georgian wine exporter companies.

On the 7th of February, Investigation Service of Ministry of Finance of Georgia, without any preliminary notification, brutally intruded into company Badagoni’s office. To many, this reminded the infamous practices widely used by the previous government.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Badagoni Brut voted "Best Sparkling" by Asian Wine Review

25.02.2018 (Hvino News) For the first time in the history of Georgian wine Badagoni Brut  was awarded with the 2018 Trophy "Best Sparkling" at the prestigious Asian Wine Review (AWR) International Wine Competition.

Badagoni's wine received a rating of 97, and is characterized as follows: "Good colour, refreshing nose, showing varietal characters and complexity, fine bubbles, floral and citrus, long saline finish with hints of minerality. Balanced, well-made, great effort".

The award ceremony will be held on March 10, 2018 in Hong Kong, where Mr. Giorgi Salakaia, the owner and CEO of Badagoni is invited to receive the award.

The Asian Wine Review is the world’s most trusted guide to Asian wine production, helping consumers worldwide in making better wine selections and helping wine producers obtain professional feedback.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

'Our Blood Is Wine' documentary to be released in USA (with video)

24.02.2018 (Hvino News). The documentary titled Our Blood Is Wine, premiered this month at the Berlin Film Festival, will be released in select US theaters starting March 9th.

Our Blood Is Wine is about families in Georgia who revive 8,000 year old winemaking traditions that were almost lost during the era of Soviet domination. Our Blood Is Wine is directed by American filmmaker Emily Railsback, making her feature debut after a few other short docs previously.

Filmmaker Emily Railsback and award-winning sommelier Jeremy Quinn provide intimate access to rural family life in Georgia as they explore the rebirth of  winemaking traditions. By using unobtrusive iPhone technology, Railsback brings the voices and ancestral legacies of modern Georgians directly to the viewer, revealing an intricate and resilient society that has survived regular foreign invasion and repeated attempts to erase Georgian culture. The revival of traditional winemaking is the central force driving this powerful, independent and autonomous nation to find its 21st century identity.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Vaziani Winery and Chigogidze Wines receive top awards in Tokyo

21.02.2018 (Hvino News). Georgian winemakers received top prizes at 20th awarding ceremony of the International competition “Japan Wine Challenge” which was held  in Tokyo.

Zurab Chigogidze received the awards won by his company Chigogidze Wines for its Saperavi 2015: the highest award – Platinum Medal - and Regional Trophy as the best red wine from Georgia. Read more at: Georgian wines get top awards at Japan's international wine competition

2 gold medals were awarded to Natia Metreveli, the head of Vaziani Company, for Makashivli Marani Mtsvane 2016 and Khikhvi 2016. Khikhvi 2016 also received a Regional Trophy as the best white wine from Georgia.

Her Highness Princess Takamado greeted the winners, among them were representatives of Georgian wine companies.The official  sponsor of the evening was Vaziani Winery.

Georgian wine was also showcased in the cities of Tokyo and Osaka last week. In total over 100 wine varieties from 35 Georgian companies were represented at wine events in both Japanese cities. About 750 wine professionals attended the Georgian wine events in Tokyo and Osaka.

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Monday, February 19, 2018

22 year-old Anano Vekua is first Georgian winemaker in South Africa

19.02.2018. ”Recently, Agricultural University of Georgia student Anano Vekua became the first Georgian winemaker girl in South Africa,”- On.ge reports.

”I’ve always liked the idea of producing wine. My sister recommended me to attend Agrarian University’s presentation, where I realized I felt extremely free.  wine making-viticulture sounded very interesting, where I could use my favorite science direction - chemistry. I decided to take a risk and prove producing wine is not just for men.

As for South Africa, there is a project, organized by The Embassy of Georgia in South Africa, Consulate of South Africa, the National Wine Agency and the South African-Georgian Chamber of Commerce, within this employees are exchanged between wine companies.

“The Georgian Winery Corporation” has given me the opportunity to participate in this project and become the first Georgian woman winemaker in South Africa, the second largest factory in the country, called Robertson. The company produces all types of wine, mainly French varieties. For example, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon …They don’t use Georgian types yet, although we’ve discussed with main winemakers there, and they need our characteristic grapes. If they want to use Georgian varieties, it will be a long, but important and wonderful story.

I will stay in South Africa for two months. Here’s a vintage now and I take a part in every process. They include me in various operations daily, sometimes I help with filtration, starting fermentation and control or wine processing.

 
The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Friday, February 16, 2018

Saperavi World Prize 2017 announces results, awards Grand Prizes

The Gold, Silver, and Bronze “Azarpeshas” – the grand prizes of Saperavi World Prize 2017 (“SapPrize”) international wine contest – were presented to Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of the winner countries at a special award ceremony on February 15.

The Grand Prize winners are: Saperavi winemakers from Australia - Grand Gold, USA - Grand Silver; Kazakhstan - Grand Bronze. Wines of best-known Georgian variety from all over the world were judged in Georgia for the first time at SapPrize contest organized by us - the wine news publisher Hvino News.

16.02.2018 (Hvino News) Saperavi World Prize Award Ceremony was held at IArt Gallery in Tbilisi. Officials, diplomats, businesspeople, wine experts, and journalists attended the VIP event. The organizer of SapPrize is wine news resource Hvino News, published daily since 2012 in two languages, with a total traffic of nearly two million page views. SapPrize is a joint project of Hvino.com and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The Grand Gold Prize was awarded to Cirami Estate 2015 Saperavi from Australia. "The Gold Azarpesha" was presented to David Kereselidze, Director of Department of Asia, Africa, Australia and Pacific Rim of Georgian Foreign Ministry. The foreign Ministry will deliver the precious prize to Georgian Embassy in Australia, which will present it to the winner in Canberra.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Official January's data: Wine export growing

09.02.2018 (Hvino News). According to official data, in January 2018 Georgia exported 5.12 mn bottles of wine to 24 countries, that is 18% higher than last year. In total 11.4 mn USD worth of wine was exported, that is 31% higher than last year.

Export growth is remarkable in the following countries: Japan 95% (26892), Kazakhstan - 108% (220776), Hong Kong - 100% (15486), Latvia - 90% (116226), Ukraine – 55% (624030), Russia - 24% (3534780), Poland - 13% (177018), Israel - 12% (19680), Czech Republic - 445% (6654), Netherlands - 39% (2248).

Top five importers are: Russia (3534780), Ukraine (624030), China (250238), Kazakhstan (220776) and Poland (177018).

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Head of Badagoni rejected accusations

08.02.2018 (Hvino News) Two plants of Badagoni wine company suspended operation on February 7, after the investigators from the Ministry of Finance showed up at the company headquarters in the morning.

Officers of Investigation Service of Finance Ministry are studying financial documentation in the framework of a criminal case involving the misappropriation of the company's shares. A criminal case was launched upon the application of Vladimer Janjghava, a former shareholder, who demands return of his shares.

At a press conference George Salakaia, the current owner of Badagoni, asked the Prime Minister to interfere in the process. "I categorically appeal to the government of Georgia, and the Prime Minister: Mr. George, you know my attitude to my country. I am the father of seven children. You know my attitude to this industry, I very ask you to interfere in this matter today. I say sincerely, in front of all television cameras: I and my colleagues will not concede Badagoni to the end of our lives", said Mr. Salakaia.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Georgian qvevri producers at natural wine shows in France

06.02.2018 (Hvino News). Georgian qvevri wine producers participated in the exhibitions of natural wines in France: "Les Penitentes" in Angers and "La Dive Boutteille" in Saumur.

“Les Penitentes " and " La Dive Boutteille " were attended by hundreds of winemakers from different parts of the world.

"La Dive Boutteille" is the largest and most popular natural wine exhibition in France, hosted by famous French winemakers. The exhibition attracts wine importers and professionals from different countries specializing in natural wines. In "Les Penitentes" traditionally participate the world's most famous "natural" wine producers. This year the Georgian stand was visited by  famous expert Isabelle Legeron MW.

Monday, February 5, 2018

British Channel 5 airs show on Georgian wine (with video)

05.02.2018. Georgian wine has captured the attention of British commercial television network Channel 5 and its programme, "The Wine Show”.

The show, which debuted in 2016, recently aired an episode that exhibited the rich history of Georgian wine, vine and winemaking traditions.

"Georgia seems to have the most solid evidence - at the moment! 8000 year old pips have been carbon dated from a wine cask and since then, the Georgians have been making wine the same unique way in an unbroken line”, the episode says about Georgian wine.

The crew of ‘The Wine Show’ visited Georgia’s wine-making region of Kakheti, where they visited a Kakhetian farmer’s wine cellar. There, the farmer introduced them to the old Georgian traditional winemaking method using the qvevri.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Head of Telavi Wine Cellar announced company's priorities

30.01.2018 (Hvino News). Zurab Ramazashvili, the head of Telavi Wine Cellar company, has shared some of his company's business directions in a recent interview to Georgian news site Business Media.

Company will grow vineyards on 35 hectares in the micro-zone of Napareuli in Kakheti. “This is a historically well-known micro-zone where we receive a very good quality wine, white and red. We will do this with new technologies and new knowledge...We want to use innovative ideas considering specific soil and climate conditions,”- Zurab Ramazashvili said.

The company owns 330 hectares of vineyards in Kakheti, 300 of them with automatic irrigation systems. “This is an electronic system that often determines the quantity of water that the vineyard needs and then informs about it, after which operator will decide how much water to supply. This is especially important during climatic changes “, – said Zurab Ramazashvili.

Telavi Wine Cellar also plans to develop the wine tourism direction. Zurab Ramazashvili said that special infrastructure will be arranged in Kvareli, where tourists will be able to taste wines and relax. Interesting tourism routes will be developed  for them.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Georgia to produce first wine with Braille label

28.01.2018 (Hvino News). For the first time in history, Georgia will produce wine with Braille label on it. Village of Future [a non-governmental organization  - HN] is the initiator of the project, while company Navazelli will produce the wine.

History of such labeled wine comes from French winemaker Michel Chapoutier, In 1993, when Chapoutier was only 29 and had been the main winemaker in the family business for only three years, he turned on the television to watch his friend and musician Gilbert Montagnin on the screen. Gilbert, who is blind, was talking about the experience of buying wine and was explaining on the program that he never felt comfortable going into a wine shop alone because he didn’t know which wines he was picking up. Therefore, in order for him to take part in the simple pleasure of buying wine, he’d have to always be accompanied by a friend who was able to describe the wines he was choosing.

After Chapoutier adopted the Braille, so did many other winemakers, making it much easier for those without sight to choose and enjoy a bottle of wine.

   
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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Georgian wine development strategy presented by German expert

27.01.2018 (Hvino News). National Wine Agency recently presented the Georgian wine development strategy, which was developed in cooperation with the German government. Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) promotes private sector and vocational system  development in wine, tourism and construction in Georgia.

The wine strategy document was prepared with the support of Berthold Seitz, the expert of Center for International Migration and Development (CIM) of the German Development Agency (GIZ). Mr. Seitz worked as advisor at NWA in 2016-2017.

Berthold Seitz presented the Georgian wine development strategy at a joint event of  GIZ and  NWA "Private Sector Development and Vocational Education Program in the South Caucasus". The event was attended by German Embassy representatives, international donor organizations, state agencies and private companies.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Schuchmann Wines: Georgian wine competes with Moldovan wine in China

24.01.2018. Below is the interview with Executive Director of Schuchmann Wines Nutsa Abramishvili.

The year 2017 was very productive for Georgian winemaking. Has  the industry manage to move forward in search of new markets?

An entry into the Chinese market can be considered the most significant breakthrough in 2017  as  China is a large, stable and fast-growing country, and in the long term this market may become an alternative to Russia.

Now our main competitor in China is Moldova. Georgia can’t compete with  larger producers such as Europe and South America  as the cost price of their products is lower because of large turnover. While  our resources are limited due to the number of vineyards and  Georgian wine has to find its place in the market at the expense of high quality.

The main achievement of 2017 was an increased recognition of Georgian wine not only in China but also in many other countries.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Counterfeit "Georgian" wines banned from sales in Ukraine, producer fined

23.01.2018 (Hvino News) Counterfeit Georgian wine was removed from sales in Ukraine  and the offender was fined by the Ukrainian Antimonopoly Service.

In 2016, the National Wine Agency received information that Ukrainian companies illegally  imitated Georgian wines  and  used  Georgian protected appellation  wine names. NWA appealed to Ukrainian Antimonopoly Committee, which launched an investigation against Ukrainian company Kamyanka Global Wine LLC. In 2017 Antimonopoly Committee recognized the actions of the Ukrainian company as a violation of the Ukrainian law and imposed a penalty of around 240 000 US dollars.  Kamyanka Global Wine was also banned for selling  "Georgian" wine imitations.

NWA stressed that that was first precedent in Ukraine of making decision in favor of the Georgian public institution made by the Antimonopoly Committee.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Wine agency to launch measures to improve quality control

18.01.2018 (Hvino News) The Georgian National Wine Agency (NWA) is to launch electronic certification system to enable online application submission, effective after February 1, 2018.

At a recent meeting of NWA officials with winemakers at Tbilisi's Biltmore hotel, several other innovations were discussed, including draft amendments to the "Grape Origin Alcoholic Drink and Grape Origin Spirit Certification Rules" were discussed. All innovations are aimed at improved product quality control.

Chairman of the NWA Giorgi Samanishvili said: "With implementation of electronic system, certification procedures will be simplified, the entrepreneurs will not have to come to the agency. They can fill out the declaration online and come to the agency to pick ready certificates".

At the meeting of NWA officials with winemakers, participants also discussed issues related to amendments to the Law on Vine and Wine. Starting January 1 all categories of export wines are subjected to mandatory tasting (until now, this only concerned controlled appellation wines).

"The government and private sector agree that low-quality wines should not be produced in Georgia”, Mr. Samanishvili noted.

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