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Monday, December 10, 2018

"Forbes": Why Georgian wines are among the most unique on the planet

by Lana Bortolot

10.12.2018. When archaeologists last year found traces of winemaking on 8,000-year-old pottery shards in Georgia, the tiny former Soviet republic claimed the crown as the world’s oldest wine producer.

It was an affirmation for many long-standing fans of the country and its winemaking tradition, which is ancient and, at the same time, a grassroots movement. Georgia’s hallmark is white wines that stay in contact with their skins, stalks and pips for months and further ferment in huge clay amphorae (qvevri) buried in the ground. It’s a trend that’s caught on elsewhere in the world, but its deep roots lie in Georgian culture.

“What’s happening now is a revival,” says Alice Feiring, author of For the Love of Wine: My Odyssey Through the World’s Most Ancient Wine Culture. A natural wine advocate, Feiring has long traveled in the country, and her 2016 book—a love letter to Georgian people and traditions—charts the modern (re) discovery of the wine culture and some of the struggles to remain true to its heritage.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

"The Japan Times" on Pheasant’s Tears and Georgia’s wine tradition

By Melinda Joe

24.11.2018. On a summer evening in 2006, John Wurdeman was painting a landscape in the region of Kakheti, in eastern Georgia, when a man driving by on a tractor invited him to dinner.

Gela Patalishvili was an eighth-generation winemaker and he told Wurdeman, an American artist and musician who had settled in Georgia, that he wanted to give him a few rows of vines in his family’s vineyard. Wurdeman declined both offers, but Patalishvili persisted. A few months later he accepted the dinner invitation, having grown curious about the tenacious stranger.

“At this point, I didn’t know if I liked him or hated him,” he jokes.

After tasting Patalishvili’s wine, however, those feelings of ambivalence quickly turned to admiration, and their friendship blossomed into a partnership that has become one of Georgia’s most acclaimed wineries, Pheasant’s Tears.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Winners of “Georgia – Homeland of Wine" wines and spirits contest announced

13.11.2018 (Hvino News). International competition of wines and spirits EAWSC  “Georgia – Homeland of Wine" was held under the patronage of OIV, in accordance with strict rules of international wine contests. The contest was organized by the Oenologists Union of Georgia. The international operator of the competition was the Moldovan company PPE, the owner of the brand "Eurasia Wine & Spirits Competition".

The competition was attended by companies from Russia, Moldova, Georgia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania, Israel, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan. In total 202 samples have been presented.

According to the results of the contest, 58 awards were awarded: one medal "Grand Prix", 3 Great Gold medals, 31 Gold Medals, 23 Silver Medals.

The Grand Prix Medal was awarded to the Moldovan brandy Divin "Imperiul călărași" (50 years), earning 96.9 points.

Three gold medals "Great Gold" were awarded to the wines of companies Vazi+ , Götz Winery and Wine Company Shumi.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Another "first" Saperavi wine contest?

01.11.2018 (Hvino News) Georgian Wine Association (GWA) and National Wine Agency announced that "Saperavi's first international competition will be held on December 15-17 of the current year". The competition is supported by the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture and the National Wine Agency. The head of the jury is a well-known British journalist and wine writer Andrew Jefford.

Hvino News, who organized the first international Saperavi contest "Saperavi World Prize" in 2017 (SapPrize 2017), is receiving letters from our readers and SapPrize contestants, who are surprised about GWA's statement claiming priority in organizing a Saperavi wines contest. In this connection, SapPrize organizing committee informed GWA as well as its member companies that it considers GWA's statement as misleading.

"In general, we do not mind that someone else is using our idea, as long as it is done in a civilized way, and not for profit. But by claiming priority GWA is making a mistake, since the first Saperavi international contest is a historical fact, and its huge success is well documented by wide international media and television coverage", - said Inge Olsson, representative of SapPrize. "We are concerned about the reputational risks which this irresponsible behavior may cause".

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

First "Georgia - Homeland of Wine" contest

31.10.2018. On November 7-8 international tasting of Eurasian wine and spirits “Georgia – Homeland of Wine" will be held in Georgia. Competition is organized under the patronage of International Organization for Vine and Wine (OIV).

20 authoritative tasters and journalists  from leading winemaking countries are invited as judges of competition, including the president of OIV Jean-Marie Aurand. The competition will be held on the territory of Bioli medical wellness resort near Tbilisi. On November 9, the winners of the competition will be announced and the closing ceremony of competition will be held at Chateau Zegaani, the oldest winemaking place in Georgia.

Organizer of the competition is Union of Georgian Oenologists, co-organizer is Reserve wine store. Acceptance and retention of the samples will be provided by Reserve wine store. Interested candidates can call +995 595 225552. Hvino News is proud to be among the media partners of the IEWSC 2018. The details of participation can be found at official site.

© Hvino News


The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

"Food & Wine" magazine catalogued Georgian wine places in USA

31.10.2018 (Hvino News). American Food & Wine magazine in a recent issue answers the question "Where to drink Georgian wine in America?"

An article under this title, authored by Vicki Denig, reads: "Whether amber colored skin-contact wines pique your interest, or a Merlot-based Saperavi blend [what's that? - HN] sounds more your style, Georgian wine has something for every palate—and America is interested. Here are some of the United States' best spots for drinking Georgian, right now."

The following places are listed in the article:

Sunday, October 28, 2018

KTW Group opened new wine house

26.10.2018 (Hvino News). Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking (KTW Group) opened a new “Wine House” complex in Patardzeuli, Kakheti's Sagarejo district. "Wine House" consists of a wine shop, a tasting room and an outdoor facilities.

The opening ceremony was attended  KTW's founder Zurab Chkhaidze, Governor of Kakheti Irakli Kadagishvili, and chairman of National Wine Agency Levan Mekhuzla.

Visitors will have the opportunity to visit the Patardzeuli winery of the KTW Group, taste the wines under KTW brand, take part in the wine tastings, and get acquainted with the 8000 years old winemaking tradition.

KTW has been producing alcoholic beverages since 2001, and occupies a leading position in today's winemaking industry of Georgia

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Georgia to hold the first “Best Sommelier of Georgia” competition

18.10.2018 (Hvino News). On October 20 - 21, for the first time in Georgia the competition “Best Sommelier of Georgia – 2018” will be held within the frame of Georgian wine days “Gvinobistve”, organized by Georgian Sommelier Association and the National Wine Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia.

Professional sommeliers, who are officially granted under international standards the status of Sommelier or Assistant Sommelier by Georgian Sommelier Association, will participate in the competition.

The competition will have a highly qualified jury, including foreign members, and the chairman will be the President of Georgian Sommelier Association, the founder of "Marani Khetsuriani" Mr. Shalva Khetsuriani.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Caucasus Wine University

by Samantha Guthrie

15.10.2018. This weekend, Caucasus University announced that it will expand, opening a new campus in the town of Gurjaani to be called ‘Caucasus Wine University,’ which plans to accept its first class of students in the 2020-2021 academic year.

The announcement was made during the 2018 Gurjaani Wine Festival. Member of Parliament, Gurjaani Majoritarian Davit Songhulashvili presented the project to the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, Mikheil Batiashvili, Head of the National Tourism Administration Giorgi Chogovadze, and other guests. Songhulashvili and representatives from Caucasus University, including founder and president Kakha Shengelia, presented a series of digitally rendered images of the new campus design, a modern, glassy, oversized take on a traditional Kakheti winery, resembling the Chateau Mere and Schuchmann Wines Chateau buildings.

The 2018 Gurjaani Wine Festival presented more than 100 varieties of traditional qvevri wines from both large companies and small family-owned cellars. The festival was held within the framework of Georgian Wine Week, supported by the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture, the National Tourism Administration, and the National Wine Agency. Gurjaani’s festival was implemented by MP Songhulashvili and his staff. The festival was designed to promote the development of wine tourism and introduce wine culture and local traditions to international and domestic visitors.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Georgia to be featured as Guest of Honour at Swiss wine show

12.10.2018 (Hvino News) Expovina (Zurich Wine Exhibition) is one of the world's largest wine conventions. Georgia will take part in the most popular wine exhibition for the first time, and it will be presented there as a Guest of Honour.

Expovina is an annual wine fair that is held every autumn on boats of Lake Zurich. Uniquely, Expovina is organized on dozens of boats docked at Zurich’s Bürkliplatz harbour. It is scheduled for November 1-15.

Expovina brings together over 120 exhibitors with more that 4000 quality wines from from 25 nations.

"Winemaking has been practiced here for over 8000 years. It is considered one of the countries of origin of viticulture and is therefore called the "cradle of wine". Over 20 Georgian producers invite you to taste their wines known only to insiders. It is an exciting addition to the offers of our wine ships", - noted Bruno Sauter, Expovina's president.

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Monday, October 8, 2018

Tbilisi to host new international wine and spirits competition "Georgia – Homeland of Wine"

08.10.2018 (Hvino News). International Eurasia Wine & Spirits Competition "Georgia – Homeland of Wine" (IEWSC 2018) is a new wine contest scheduled to take place on November 7-9 in Tbilisi.

IEWSC is organized by the Union of Georgian Oenologists under the official patronage of International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) and with technical support of Poliproject Exhibitions (Moldova). Hvino News is proud to be among the media partners of the IEWSC 2018.

According to official site, IEWSC's international jury is chaired by Murman Kuridze (Georgia), and consists of highly experienced professionals, including General Director of OIV Jean-Marie Aurand.

EAWSC 2018 welcomes submissions, while the deadline for receipt of samples is October 29, 2018. The contest is open to all categories and types of wines and spirits, as defined in the "International Code of Oenological Practices", which were produced in compliance with the legislation of the country of origin. Registration card can be filled online. Participation fee starts from 100 Eur (for one sample). The details of participation can be found at official site.

The winners will be awarded as follows: GRAND PRIX – over 96 points; GREAT GOLD MEDAL over 92 points; GOLD MEDAL 86 - 91,99 points; SILVER MEDAL 82 - 85,99 points; BRONZE MEDAL 80 - 81,99 points. According to the OIV regulation, the number of distinctions (medals) must not exceed 30 % of the total number of samples admitted to the contest. The winners of will have the right to order bottle stickers representing the awards.

The contest  will be held with strict adherence to OIV regulations: At least 2/3 of foreign experts will be present in commissions;  electronic processing of results;  high requirements for the venue and level of organization.

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Friday, October 5, 2018

Unique wine varieties brought back to life on Meskhetian Terraces

by Ana Dumbadze

05.10.2018. On October 3, the winery Vardzia Terraces harvested restored historical varieties of rare grapes for the first time in 400 years. The event was held on the territory of the Khizabavra Meskhetian terraces, in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region.

Government officials, journalists and the drivers of the "Peaks of the Caucasus" car rally took part in the harvest. The visitors were hosted with famous Georgian wine and delicious dishes. They also had the opportunity to enjoy traditional folk songs. The project aims to promote wine and cultural tourism in Samtskhe-Javakheti.

Mamuka Khazaradze, the Chairman of TBC Bank, hosted the guests in Khizabavra village, Aspindza Municipality.

“Our company started the rehabilitation of 30 hectares of land [read more: Cultivation of ancient Meskhetian vine begins in Samtskhe-Javakheti - HN] . The first 12 hectares have already been restored and 27 historical varieties of grape have been planted in this area. These unique vine species have not been produced for the last four centuries. This is an important event, as Meskheti has always been the historical winemaking hub and I am delighted that today we are attending the first grape harvest together. Soon, we will have the first wines made from these ancient grape varieties,” Khazaradze told reporters.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Georgian Wine Days will be held on October 5-21

03.10.2018 (Hvino News). The Georgian Wine Days - “Gvinobistve-2018” - will be celebrated in Georgia on October 5-21. It is a series of events organized by National Wine Agency.

Events will be held in Tbilisi and several regions of Georgia. Wine days will be opened in Telavi on October 5. This part of the event will be called "Telavino 2018". It will be celebrated in the Old City Garden.

The Days will continue on October 12 in Marneuli (Kvemo Kartli), on the territory of the local Cultural Center. In the Marneuli part of the festival, wine tastings, a fair of handicrafts, clay processing workshops, a competition for the best winemaker and a spectacular wringing of grape juice are expected.

The Days will also be completed in Tbilisi, at the Winery No. 1 (Petriashvili Street No. 1), with the festival  “Small Marani on the Big Arena”. The event will be held on October 17. About 40 wineries (marani) will take part in the festival.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Levan Mekhuzla is appointed as new head of National Wine Agency

23.09.2018 (Hvino News). National Wine Agency (NWA) announced that its new chairman is Mr. Levan Mekhuzla, who was appointed on September 21. Since April Mr. Mekhuzla has been deputy chairman of the NWA.

Levan Mekhuzla was born in 1975. He graduated from Agrarian University in 1997. In 2010 he got MA in Business Management from Tbilisi Free University. Prior to joining NWA in 2007, Mr. Mekhuzla worked at Bagrationi 1882 (company specializing in sparkling wines production), and Georgian Wine and Spirits Company (GWS).

Previous chairman of NWA Giorgi Samanishvili left the office in spring.

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Georgian wine exports to China declined due to excess supplies and high prices

22.09.2018. According to SakStat, in January-August 2018, wine in the amount of  $ 11.7 million was exported to China, while in the same period of 2017 – wine exports totaled $ 13.6 million. Obviously, Georgia sees a significant decline in exports. Zurab Ramazashvili, Director of Telavi Wine Cellar, says that exports to China have decreased, but too little time have passed to make far-reaching conclusions about the reasons.

"Our partners will give explanations in the coming months, but not earlier. There can be many reasons, including claims to quality, but it is more likely that the main problem is price," he  says.
Ramazashvili adds that despite this, the company will continue to operate on the Chinese market, and will try to eliminate the problems that caused the decline in exports as soon as possible.

Vaziani company’s sales  in  China have also decreased. According to its founder Irakli Iashvili, in comparison with 2017 the sales fell by 20-25%. "Our Chinese partners sell Georgian wine in an expensive segment that reduced the demand and the process raises concerns," he notes. In Iashvili’s words, it is difficult to specify  the exact reasons for what is happening, but most likely this is due to the stock growth and quality.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Chinese wine importers visit Georgia

by Thea Morrison

20.09.2018. Georgia’s National Wine Agency (NWA) reported that Debra Meiburg, chief of NWA's  contractor company Meiburg Wine Media, and a group of wine importers from China recently visited Georgia.

Meiburg reported that some of the members of the group are wine importers specialized in producing unique wine varieties and that past experience has shown that conducting such activities in Georgia is very successful.

“Georgian wine has moved from position 18 to position 9 on the China's wine market within the last four years. We are all very excited with the success of Georgian wine on the Asian wine market. Now it is our mission to promote Georgian wine not only among the wine importers but among the wine consumers as well. We will do our best to focus more on wine consumers' interests in Georgian wine," the NWA quoted Meiburg.

Within the wine tour, the guests were able to visit famous wine factories in Kartli and Kakheti: Chateau Mukhrani, Iago's Wine, Teleda/Orgo, Shumi Winery, Vaziani Winery, Kakhuri Gvinis Marani, GWS, Teliani Valley, Friends’ Cellar, Papari Valley, Badagoni, Pheasant's Tears, Vazisubani Estate and Lukasi Winery. They were also familiarized with the traditional qvevri wine-making process in Georgia.

A wine tasting was held in Tbilisi where over 100 varieties of wine of 27 different wine companies were presented.

The NWA says China is the third largest exporter of Georgian wine. Over  8 million bottles of Georgian wine were exported from Georgia to China within the last eight months.

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Monday, September 10, 2018

"Los Angeles Times" covers Georgian wine culture

John Henderson in Georgia
10.09.2018 (Hvino News). Los Angeles Times - a leading US newspaper - in a recent issue published an article focusing on Georgian wine, entitled "In Georgia, wine is a centuries-old tradition that has brought new appeal to the republic".

The article is authored by John Henderson, who visited Tbilisi and Telavi. He spent two weeks this summer in Georgia, at the eastern end of the Black Sea, and toured some of the 20 wineries around the capital of the Kakheti region.

He starts his text as follows: "It was known as the “Tuscany of the Soviet Union”... Everyone in the Soviet Union knew it, thanks to wine, the greatest gift the Republic of Georgia gave mankind. Wine was being produced south of Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, as early as 8,000 years ago... Throughout its history and its oppression, Georgia always had wine to fall back on. It became a form of expression when Georgians had none. And it was the main source of wine for Mother Russia, its neighbor. And since independence in 1991 and a Russian embargo in 1998, improved production and marketing have made Georgian wines among the trendiest in the world."

Friday, September 7, 2018

Georgian wines win 14 medals at MUNDUS VINI 2018 Summer Tasting

07.09.2018 (Hvino News). 14 Georgian wines have won top awards at prestigious competition Mundus Vini 2018 Summer Tasting, organized by German wine magazine publisher "Meininger Verlag". The competition is held twice a year: In summer and before the ProWein exhibition.

The summer awards were announced recently. Georgian wines won 8 gold and 6 silver medals. List of winners follows:

Gold:

2016 Marani Kondoli Vineyards Saperavi, JSC Telavi Wine Cellar (Best of Show Georgia)
2015 Satrapezo Saperavi, JSC Telavi Wine Cellar
2012 Marani Kondoli Vineyards Saperavi, JSC Telavi Wine Cellar
2016 Barbale Chinuri, Union Wine Invest
2015 Mukuzani, LTD Koncho & Co
2016 Saperavi Premium, LTD Koncho & Co
2017 Iberiuli Kisi, Wine Company Shumi
2014 Saperavi Family Reserve, Lukasi

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

8 Georgian wines and chacha win top awards at China's CWSA contest

28.08.2018 (Hvino News). Eight Georgian wines and one chacha were awarded with double gold awards at China Wine & Spirits Awards (CWSA) 2018. Besides the top  "double gold" wards, Georgian wines won 23 gold medals, 5 silver and 9 bronze awards. This is a huge progress compared to last years' performance at CWSA.

The full list of Georgian prize-winners follows:

Double Gold:

  • Alaverdi Tradition red 2016, Badagoni 
  • Alaverdi Tradition white 2016, Badagoni 
  • Chacha Original, Badagoni 
  • Tamada Qvevri Red 2014, GWS 
  • Mukuzani 2014, Kakhuri Gvinis Marani 
  • Kartuli Vazi Saperavi Budeshuri 2016, Tiflis Wine Cellar 
  • Kartuli Vazi Kindzmarauli 2017, Tiflis Wine Cellar 
  • Réserve Royale 2014, JSC Château Mukhrani 
  • Nelkarisi Saperavi 2014, JSC Friends' Cellar 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Georgia Capital buys rest of winemaker Kindzmarauli Marani

22.08.2018 (Hvino News) Georgia Capital (BGEO Group) announced the buyout of the remaining 39.5% equity stake in Kindzmarauli Marani on Wednesday.

The London-listed firm said that, following its acquisition in April, it held a 60.5% indirect interest in Kindzmarauli through a locally-established special-purpose vehicle.

"Georgia Capital expects that the purchase of the minority stake will strengthen its existing beverage business with an increased presence in the growing domestic and international markets for Georgian wine," the board said.

In May 2018, BGEO Group announced that Georgia Capital (its investment arm) has acquired a 60% indirect controlling interest in Kindzmarauli Marani LLC for $7.25 million. Read more: Georgia Capital acquires control over Kindzmarauli Marani.

BGEO Group is a UK-incorporated holding company of a Georgia-focused investment platform. BGEO already has stakes in another leading wine company Teliani Valley, and in many other industry sectors including  Aldagi (insurance sector), m2 (real estate), Bank of Georgia.  

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Georgian wine ranked 5th most expensive in the world

22.08.2018 (Hvino News). American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) in its Twitter recently published a table entitled "Unit Value of Wine Exports", based on United Nations Comtrade database. According to the table, Georgia ranked 5th in the world by wine export price - at $3.49 per liter in 2014-2016.

The world's costliest wine comes from France at $6.59 per liter.

In the average, Georgian export wine is more expensive than Italian ($3.06) or Spanish ($1.32).

Wine industry professionals have contrasting opinions if high export price is good or bad for Georgian wine export.

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Hailstorm damaged vineyards and other farmlands in Georgia's Kakheti region

19.08.2018 (Hvino News). A heavy hailstorm hit Kakheti's capital Telavi and Akhmeta municipality, which is in the heartland of Georgia's main winemaking region.  Heavy rain and hail damaged vineyards and other  farmlands.

"Everything that could only be destroyed was destroyed. In total during this year, the hails have destroyed approximately 200 hectares of agricultural land. The main problem is that the vineyards are not insured, so the owners can not get compensation," - said David Mamukelashvili, representative of the municipality in the village of Matani.

The mudflows flooded several streets of the city on Telavi and hampered the traffic movement. The first floors of the houses were also flooded.

Emergency Management Service received 51 notices from Telavi and Akhmeta districts. No one was injured.

© Hvino News


The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Thursday, August 9, 2018

"Georgian Wine Asian Tour" started in Singapore and South Korea

09.08.2018  (Hvino News). "Was so impressed by the high interest in Georgian wines by the top sommeliers in Singapore!" - commented Debra Meiburg MW, who leads "Georgian Wine Asian Tour 2018" - a series of Georgian wine promotion events in South East Asia.

The Tour started in Singapore and South Korea. It will continue in China (Shanghai, Macao, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong-Kong).

Organized by Meiburg Wine Media, the Georgian wine tasting events within "Asian Tour 2018"  are attended by wine importers, representatives of media, restaurants and hotel chains. About 10 Georgian wineries are represented.

South-East Asian countries are an important market for Georgian wine. During the first seven months of 2018, export to South Korea reached 40,980 bottles (growth 1,305 percent), as for Singapore – 40,800 bottles (growth 7,600 percent).

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Official: Georgia earns $107 million by exporting wine in January-July

08.08.2018 (Hvino News). According to official state resource, Georgia exported 45.4 million bottles of wine to 50 countries in January-July of 2018, and earned about $107.8 million from the export. The revenue increased by 28 percent, while the volume of exports rose by 19 percent.

The top five importing countries in January-July 2018 are:

Russia – 28,564,609 bottles
Ukraine – 5,040,319 bottles
China – 3,514,066 bottles
Kazakhstan – 1,996,860 bottles
Poland – 1,886,618 bottles

Georgia exported 9.9 million bottles of Georgian brandy (+20 percent) and 219,500 bottles of chacha (+114 percent) abroad in January-July 2018.

In total, Georgia has gained  $173 million from sales of alcoholic beverages abroad in January-July 2018, including wine, brandy, chacha and others.

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Saturday, August 4, 2018

"Financial Times" on a new era for Georgian wine

'The country’s traditional wine specialities are culturally fascinating and globally unique'

by Andrew Jefford

04.08.2018. On New Year’s Day this year, Georgia and China implemented a free-trade agreement. In Beijing and Tbilisi, glasses were doubtless raised in celebration — as they should have been for a deal that linked the world’s two oldest alcoholic-beverage cultures.

Organic residues found in pottery from the Chinese Neolithic village of Jiahu in Henan province furnish the earliest attested traces of consumption of alcohol by our species: the villagers, between 9,000 and 7,700 years ago, seem to have drunk a mixture of wine fermented from either grapes or hawthorn fruits mixed with rice beer and mead. Archaeologists working in Georgia, meanwhile, revealed in November 2017 that the world’s oldest pure grape-wine residues had been found in two Neolithic villages, dating back about 8,000 years. China can claim to have fermented the world’s oldest drink, and modern Georgia the world’s oldest wine.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Georgian government to stop vintage subsidies, to reform wine sector

28.07.2018 (Hvino News). This year Georgian government will suspend state subsidization of vintage. Georgian minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture Levan Davitashvili said that the government will show new mechanisms for the 2018 vintage Government started subsidizing grapes in 2013.

Mr. Davitashvili discussed organizational issues of vintage 2018 and the wine sector reform at the meeting with the representatives of wine industry at a recent meeting with representatives of wine sector.

According to the minister, the last year’s approach, when the state was no longer involved in determining the price of grape prices, resulted in the outcome and the market itself determined the prices, which in turn positively reflected in the sustainability of the sector development. Vintage 2018 will be carried out without subsidizing, but the state will be involved in the vintage organizing, accounting and tracing process, according to the minister.

Levan Davitashvili also made an official presentation of the Wine Sector Reform and Management System. According to the minister, the aim of the reform is more sustainable and result-oriented  development of  the sector.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Major winemaking companies facing quality problems

27.07.2018. Several days ago businessman Mamuka Khazaradze made comments about Georgian wine quality issues  and stressed that Georgian wines should not be sold for the same price as Borjomi. In his interview for the Anaklia magazine, he explains that Georgian wines should regain their obvious quality.

«We should restore the quality of Georgian wines. It is excellent that a lot of wine cellars have activated efforts, but we still cannot say: Georgian wine is a high-quality product. We cannot provide valuable and proper positioning of Georgian wines. It is incorrect that Georgian wines cost 2 USD. According to my information, about 70 million bottles were sold in 2017 and total value made up about 120 million USD. It is inadmissible when the country with 8000-year history of winemaking sells wines at the price of Borjomi. Higher prices on Georgian wines  will enliven Georgian peasants. This is a very important message for me – we should make accents on quality and uniqueness. When we invite top-class wine experts to the country and make investments in this infrastructure, Georgia will become a unique country, where we will taste such wines that cannot be met elsewhere in the world», Khazaradze noted.

The Caucasus Business Week (CBW) has inquired how Georgian winemakers appraise the businessman’s considerations and whether quality problem is a real challenge in the Georgian winemaking.

«Quality problem is most evident in major winemaking companies», Giorgi Aladashvili, director of Ruispiri Biodynamic Vineyard company noted in response to the statement by Mamuka Khazaradze.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Rare Megrelian vine varieties restored

26.07.2018. Rare Megrelian vine varieties Chvitiluri and Koloshi have been restored, Misha Tsirdava, founder of Obene family wine cellar, told BM.ge. Several other Megrelian vine varieties will be also restored, namely, Kachichi, Chechipeshi, Cheqobalio and Makhvatina, he added.

For the purposing of finding the mentioned vines, Tsirdava visited all corners of Samegrelo Region and managed to restore two vine varieties Chvitiluri and Koloshi for two years. He planted these varieties on the wine cellar territory of about 1 hectare. At the same time, he has also made wine from the mentioned varieties in small volumes and international experts highly approved the mentioned wines.

“I have read a lot of books about ancient vine varieties. When Georgian researchers wrote about Megrelian winemaking, they stressed two varieties, Chvitiluri and Koloshi, which were spread in while Samegrelo , but especially high-quality grapes used to grow in Mukhuri, Jgali, Salkhino, Tsalenjikha. Chvitiluri is a white grape varsity, Koloshi – red grape variety. Both varieties give top-quality dry wines.

Russia’s Georgian drinking problem

Is Russia's warning on Georgian wine about consumer protection, or geopolitics?

by Giorgi Lomsadze

26.07.2018. Russia, the world’s biggest drinker of Georgian wine, has threatened to tighten control on alcohol imports from Georgia in a step many take as a political shot across the bow.

About 16,000 liters of Georgian alcohol were denied entry to Russia during the first half of 2018, Russia’s federal consumer protection agency, Rospotrebnadzor, announced in a July 19 statement. The shipments did not meet “the standards defined by technical regulations and Russian law for consumer protection,” the agency declared (see details here).

Russia, to be sure, still tossed back 24 million bottles of Georgian wine over that period, representing a 24 percent spike from the year before, according to Georgian export statistics. Last year, Russia gulped down almost 48 million bottles of Georgian wine, 62 percent of all wine exports from Georgia.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Russia to strengthen quality control of imported Georgian wine

20.07.2018 (Hvino News). Russia's Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare "Rospotrebnadzor" in the first half of the year did not allow 16 thousand liters of alcohol from Georgia.

According to official press release, the alcohol products "did not comply with technical regulations to import into Russia, and the agency decided to strengthen control over imported alcohol products from Georgia".

"In the first half of 2018, lots of alcohol products were found that did not meet the mandatory requirements established by technical regulations and Russian legislation in the field of consumer protection.All lots of products that did not meet mandatory requirements totaling more than 16 thousand liters were not admitted to the territory of Russia ", the release reads.

According to Rospotrebnadzor, the analysis of the quality and safety of the products indicates "a violation of production technology and an inadequate level of control over the products produced, both from the side of manufacturers and from the side of authorized Georgian governmental bodies".

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Monday, July 16, 2018

MadamWine: EU4Business helps all-women Georgian winery expand

16.07.2018. With funding from the European Union and its EU4Business initiative, the EBRD’s Advice for Small Businesses programme has helped an all-women Georgian wine producer to grow its presence online and increase visibility to attract new clients and explore new export markets. As a result, the company has boosted its outreach and found clients both on domestic and foreign markets.

As one of the oldest wine-making countries in the world, it is little wonder that Georgia is home to so many wine producing companies. But MadamWine is a unique winery, where the founder, manager, staff, and wine-maker are all women.

Although the company targets women customers with specific types of wine, men also favour the brand’s distinct taste. Being a small wine producing company, MadamWine does not have its own production facility.

MadamWine had been represented at various local and international exhibitions, with samples sent to South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong. But in order to promote the brand further and attract the attention of international investors, the management of MadamWine was keen to strengthen its online presence.

Friday, July 13, 2018

"The Drinks Business": Georgia wine exports in H1 driven by Russian demand

by Natalie Wang

13.07.2018. Georgian wine exports in the first half of the year have recorded double-digit growth in both volume and value, driven by bullish demand from Russia, and new markets in countries such as Japan.

The ancient winemaking country’s exports from January to June rose by 21% year-on-year to 38.2 million bottles, while its value jumped 28% to US$90.3 million, according to figures released by its official wine trade organisation, National Wine Agency.

Russia still remains the country’s biggest export market with more than 24 million bottles of Georgian wines shipped during the period, followed by Ukraine (4.19 million bottles), China (2.9 million bottles), Kazakhstan (1.65 million bottles) and Poland (1.57 million bottles).

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Georgian wine export to Japan to be simplified

12.07.2018 (Hvino News) According to the National Wine Agency (NWA), four Georgian testing laboratories were granted official certification in Japan. For Georgian winemakers this will simplify wine export in Japan.

Previously, additional requirements were applied to the wine exported from Georgia to Japan, adding costs. To resolve the problems, Georgia suggested a list of Georgian laboratories for certification in Japan. Japanese Embassy helped by arranging the representatives from their Health, Labour and Welfare Ministries to discuss with the Georgian side. In result, the Japanese side certified the following laboratories: "Wine Laboratory" Ltd, Ltd "Norm", LLC "MultiTest" and LLC "Expertise +".

“Japan is one of the strategic export markets for Georgian wine. 130 thousand bottles of wine have been exported there over the past 6 months, which is 200% higher than the same period last year," - the National Wine Agency noted.

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Saperavi Khashmi is the newest protected Georgian wine appellation name

12.07.2018 (Hvino News) National Wine Agency (NWA) reported that a new variety was added to the list of protected Georgian appellation wines. The new protected appellation is Saperavi Khashmi. According to the press release, NWA addressed the National Intellectual Property Center "Sakpatenti" for registration of Saperavi Khashmi last year, which was preceded by the  joint work of the Agency and National Agricultural Research Center to prepare specifications required for registration.

Saperavi Khashmi is red dry wine from Khashmi microzone, located in Sagarejo municipality. "According to historical sources, the cultivation of the vineyard in the Khashmi area is associated with the name of Queen Tamar, who ordered Davit Gareji monks to cultivate the vineyard  here", - reads the NWA's release.

Previously there were 18 Georgian appellation wines registered in Georgia: Khvanchkara, Mukuzani, Tsinandali, Akhasheni, Gurjaani, Kindzmarauli, Manavi, Kakheti, Napareuli, Teliani, Ateni, Sviri, Vazisubani, Kardenakhi, Tibaani, Tvishi, Kvareli and Kotekhi.

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Sunday, July 8, 2018

Georgia to produce qvevri on 3D printers (with video)

08.07.2018 (Hvino News). QvevriXYZ is a company, which announced a 3D printer technology to revolutionize the ancient Georgian method of production of the qvevri. 

This uniquely Georgian amphora-like vessel used in winemaking is traditionally produced of clay according to tradition which has  not changed during several thousand years. Modern technology, however, has reached this millenia-old craftsmanship.

QvevriXYZ says that "with elements of traditional qvevri making process and modern technologies, we improved its structure and quality, yet kept its unique characteristics".



Traditionally, it takes months to make a qvevri. For a 3D printer, it takes several hours, plus normal pottery burning/drying process.

Theere are four "founding fathers" behind QvevriXYZ: David Mizandari, Nika Gujejiani, Giorgi Mamasakhlisi, who are from Georgia, and a Dutch Olivier van Herpt. Hvino News contacted Nika Gujejiani, who kindly answered our questions.

Hvino News: What substance do you use for production?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

"Wine Enthusiast" explained why readers should pay attention to Georgian wine

03.07.2018 (Hvino News). "Why You Should Be Paying Attention to Georgian Wine" is the title of yesterday's article in the leading American magazine Wine Enthusiast. 

This is how the author Kelly Magyarics starts her explanation: "About the size of West Virginia, Georgia is home to more than 500 grape varieties". "In 2017, Georgian wine imports to the United States grew 54% from the year before, translating to 458,000 bottles versus 294,000 in 2016. While that still puts them way behind powerhouse countries like Spain, Italy and France, the demand for and availability for Georgian wine is stronger than ever."

"Georgia made natural and organic wines long before they became buzzwords... Natural wine producers have also embraced qvevri, the egg-shaped clay vessels buried underground that UNESCO designated a signature part of Georgia’s winemaking heritage. Their porous nature allows for natural temperature shifts and aeration, and their lack of corners promotes wine’s contact kinetic movement allowing constant natural less stirring and more uniform oxygen contact. Qvevri are indispensable for amber wines."

Full text can be found here. Kelly Magyarics is a wine and spirits writer, and wine educator in Washington, D.C.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Will there be wine on Mars? Georgia prepares its grapes for an interplanetary mission

by Giorgi Lomsadze

27.06.2018. Next time Matt Damon gets marooned on Mars, he may be whiling away his days sipping Saperavi instead of farming potatoes as he did so laboriously in the 2015 blockbuster, The Martian. Georgia, an ancient wine-making redoubt, is putting its best space science and viticulture minds together to develop grapes fit for growing on Mars.

With its rocks and deserts, the Red Planet may not offer the best terroir for growing grapes, but with a 8,000-year record of cultivating grapes on the Planet Earth, Georgia is still eager to give it a whirl. After all, NASA and International Potato Center have successfully experimented with growing potatoes in Mars-like conditions, so why not take Martian farming to the next, more sybaritic stage?

The idea was born out of a recent call for proposals from NASA, the United States space agency, for facilitating a sustained human presence on Mars. “This could include shelter, food, water, breathable air, communication, exercise, social interaction and medicine, but participants are encouraged to consider innovative and creative ideas beyond these examples,” NASA wrote in a press release announcing the initiative in May.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Georgian wine tastings held in UK

26.06.2018 (Hvino News) ‘Georgian Wine Roadshow’ was a series of Georgian wine tasting events organized in Great Britain in June. The tastings featuring 30 Georgian wines were held in Glasgow and Manchester. According to Georgian Embassy in the UK, the guests also had the opportunity to taste some Georgian cuisine delicacies, listen to Georgian folk music and watch a Scottish folk  group’s performance.

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Schuchmann Wines launched grape-based cosmetic products

26.06.2018 (Hvino News) Schuchmann Wines Georgia launched a grapes-based "wine cosmetics" line,  including grape seed oil and scrub made from Saperavi grapes seed.

"The oil has been obtained by the method of the first cold pressing of Saperavi grape seeds, growing at Schuchmann vineyards, is very rich in antioxidants, which reduce the ageing process. The grape seeds contain bioflavonoids that regulate the secretion of fatty glands, promote hair growth, collagen synthesis and impede ageing processes. It is perfect for skin care" - reads the company's release.

Products are available only at the company’s hotel Schuchmann Wines Chateau & SPA in the village Kisiskhevi (Kakheti region). "We consider selling it somewhere else. The company has been offering wine spa procedures for guests for two years, and the idea of ​​creating these products was born here. We wanted to offer guests a novelty. The product contains useful substances that are a unique way for skin and body skin care, “ - said company's director Nutsa Abramishvili.


The grape seed oil comes in a 50 ml bottle and costs 45 GEL, while the price of 200 g of scrub is 25 GEL. The company organized a production line for cosmetic products at the wine factory, and the staff was trained in Germany.

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Sunday, June 24, 2018

GWS planted "Garden of Earthly Delights" for company's guests in Telavi

24.06.2018 (Hvino News). "The Garden of Delights" is the name of one of the world's most mysterious masterpieces - the 1515's triptych by Dutch genius artist Hieronymus Bosch (see a small fragment in the corner).

The same name was also chosen by Georgian Wine and Spirits (GWS) company for a festive outdoor party which was held yesterday on the company's premises just outside Telavi, in the region of Kakheti.

At the stylish yet eclectic party in the heartland of Georgia's wine-making, baroque musicians, jazz band, and DJs took turns to entertain the international guests of the creatively decorated GWS winery estate.

True to the concept of earthly delights celebration, the organizers offered abundant food and refined wine, served on the picturesque green lawns.

GWS offered a new line of wines "Colors of Georgia" consisting of an elegant white Vardisubani, and two rich, full-bodied red wines - Artana and Akura. Only 6,000 bottles of of each are produced, all from the 2014 vintage. These limited edition line became the latest addition to company's broad range of  products under brands Tamada, Old Tbilisi, Vismino and others.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Film director turned winemaker: Giga Agladze's wines presented at "Reserve"

22.06.2018 (Hvino News). What's in common between Georgia, the French Revolution, and award-winning American film director David Lynch? George (Giga) Agladze, the maker of AG Alco wines, explained the rich cultural background backing his brand at a presentation held yesterday at Reserve, Tbilisi's trend-setting wine tasting shop.

George Agladze is a professional movie director who turned winemaker to continue his family's ancient wine-making tradition which dates back to 1798. His ancestor - also George Agladze, a soldier during the War of the Second Coalition against the revolutionary France - was captured, freed, and even managed to organize wine-making according to Georgian qvevri technology in France in the 1800-s.

Nowadays, this fantastic story is an inspiration behind the AG Alco wines. And what about David Lynch, the legendary director of Twin Peaks? George Agladze is also president of David Lynch Foundation Caucasus, and David is fond of the George's wines. "Our wine technology is a mixture of Georgian and European traditions", - commented Mr. Agladze.

The elegant presentation at Reserve (3, 9 Aprili Street) featured 4 wines under Agladze's brand, and was attended by the industry representatives, diplomats, and the mass media. According to Reserve's owner David Tatulashvili, the wine presentations  of selected Georgian and foreign brands at his wine-tasting shop will become regular.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tbilisi hosts General Assembly of "Association of Sommeliers Worldwide"

19.06.2018 (Hvino News). On June 18-22 Tbilisi is hosting the annual General Assembly of "Association of Sommeliers Worldwide" (Association de la Sommellerie Internationale, ASI).

The Georgian Sommelier Association joined the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale in 2014, and this year received the right for Georgia to host the General Assembly.

ASI is a non-profit organization  founded in Reims (France) in 1969. It unites national wine associations of 62 countries of the world.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Winery Khareba opened office in Shanghai

15.06.2018. The official representative office of Winery Khareba was opened in Shanghai, China.

New office opening ceremony was attended by local partners and partners from different countries. Event was also attended by Andro Aslanishvili, deputy chairman of National Wine Agency of Georgia.

General director of the company Giorgi Ezugbaia and production director Vladimer Kublashvili introduced the company and its future plans to the guests.

"Opening of the official representation on Chinese market is a very important step made by the company that is great opportunity for the popularization of Georgian wine abroad,” - the company said.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sarajishvili dedicated brandy to 100 years anniversary of independence of Georgia

13.06.2018 (Hvino News). The announcement of the first democratic state of Georgia is a special and important date for all Georgians.  “Sarajishvili” dedicated a unique drink with symbolic name “Independence” to this very important date.

The premium class brandy, which is kept in the oak barrels, is distinguished with rich, refined, elegant aroma. Brightly shining, amber-coloured, dark golden liquid is enriched with fruit, oak timber, vanilla and chocolate tones. Bottle design is also unique, symbolizing the old inkwell.

The brandy, which was dedicated to the 100 years anniversary of independence of Georgia, will become available in September. The number of bottles will be symbolically only 1918. Due to the limited number, the customers can preorder the bottle.

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