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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Monday, January 15, 2018

Badagoni is the leader of Georgian wine exporters

15.01.2018 (Hvino News). Georgia in 2017 exported a record number of wine over past 30 years – 76,7 million bottles to 53 countries (read more here). With 2017's sales reaching 7 million bottles, Badagoni wine company appears to be the leader among 250 Georgian wine exporter companies, and is one of the major contributors to huge growth of Georgian wine export.

Badagoni was established in 2006 and today owns the winery equipped with the most advanced technologies in whole Eastern Europe. Badagoni experienced a dramatic growth over past several years, and today exports wines to about 30 countries. Badagoni has 35% sales growth in 2017; the largest importers are Russia, China, Ukraine and the European countries.

"Badagoni company's philosophy is about creating the best Georgian wines from only Georgian grape varieties, while respecting old, unique Georgian traditions and using the most advanced technologies and scientific knowledge existing in the world's wine industry today", - said Giorgi Salakaia, the company's owner. "Our major success factors are high and stable quality of production and competitive prices", - he added in a comment for Hvino News.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

"Saveur": Meet the Georgian winemaker who sleeps in his cellar and makes wine the old-school way

by Ilkka Sirén

11.01.2018. Winemaking has been an essential part of Georgian way of life for thousands of years—and it hasn't changed much during that time.

“Here, drink this,” says Georges Aladashvili, the winemaker of Ruispiri Biodynamic Vineyard. He hands me what I take to be a glass of wine, but what I realize is some kind of liquor after a big sip. I struggle a bit, but declining to drink is not an option. “It will make the work more fun,” he says.

I’m in Georgia, a country known for its generous and boozy hospitality. It is October and almost the end of harvest time here. We are in Kakheti, the most productive wine region of the country. The scenery is dominated by the snow-capped Caucasus Mountains and vineyards. It seems the nutrient-poor soils of Kakheti are ideal for growing grapes, and have been for thousands of years.

It took two hours and a handful of near-death experiences with Aladashvili, who studied winemaking in Switzerland. to get to the vineyard in Telavi, a small sub-region of Kakheti. Coming out of the car, I notice big holes in the ground and begin to consider the probability of my head being chopped off with a blunt shovel. “We are going to put some new amphoraes here,” he says, and we proceed to a small shed next to one of his vineyards for some chamomile tea and cake.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Georgia-China FTA came into force

08.01.2018 (Hvino News). Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Georgia and China has come into force on January 1, 2018, making Georgia the first country in the region to have such a deal with China.

According to official Chinese source, "After the agreement has gone into effect, in terms of the trade in goods, Georgia will impose zero tariffs on 96.5% of China's products immediately, covering 99.6% of the total imports from China; China will impose zero tariff on 93.9% of Georgia’s products, covering 93.8% of China's total imports from Georgia, of which 90.9% (taking up 42.7% of imports) will have zero tariffs immediately and the remaining 3% (taking up 51.1% of imports) will gradually have zero tariff within 5 years. In terms of trade in services, both sides will further open their markets to each other on the basis of their WTO commitments. In addition, both sides have reached broad consensuses in many fields such as environment and trade, competition, intellectual property, investment and e-commerce. China-Georgia FTA will further improve the liberalization and facilitation of bilateral trade, and will build a more open, transparent and stable trading environment for enterprises, providing more quality and cheap products and services for people from both countries. By taking the opportunity of the effect taking of the agreement, China and Georgia will comprehensively improve both sides’ practical cooperation level, thus firmly promoting the Belt and Road construction and achieve common prosperity."

Saturday, January 6, 2018

With Supra, a Washington lawyer revives memories of Georgian feasts

by Tom Sietsema

06.01.2018. The waiters at Supra, home to khinkali and chanakhi — soup dumplings and braised lamb stew, respectively — want to put newcomers at ease; the cooking of Georgia, as in the republic, is relatively recent in Washington. Consequently, greetings by the staff include a brief flavor profile. “We use a lot of garlic, cilantro and walnuts,” servers invariably tell patrons who tag themselves as first-timers.

Supra, which translates from Georgian as “feast,” is the debut restaurant from Washington lawyer Jonathan Nelms, who traces his interest in Georgia to teenage friendships with exchange students from the region and subsequent trips abroad.

During a three-year stay in Moscow, he and his wife and coowner, Laura, found Georgian restaurants to be among the most popular among expats and locals alike. Nelms paints bountiful Georgia as “the California of the former Soviet Union.”

Georgian wine exports hit 30 year high

by Natalie Wang

06.01.2018. Georgia’s wine exports in 2017 reached their highest level for 30 years, with 76.7 million bottles of wine worth about US$170 million shipped to 53 countries, the Georgian National Wine Agency has announced.

Export values increased by 49%, while the volume of exports increased by 54%, China’s state news agency Xinhua reported, citing the agency’s figures.

The top three drivers of growth were Russia, the Ukraine and China, responsible for 47.8 million bottles, 8.5 million bottles and 7.6 million bottles, respectively.

Georgia’s Free Trade Agreement with China came into effect on 1 January this year, and unlike other FTA agreements, such as the one China signed with Australia for instance, tariffs on Georgian wines have been scrapped immediately as opposed to a gradual reduction over several years.