Thursday, December 20, 2012

Georgia's envoy warns about Russian market risks

20.12.2012 (Hvino News) Zurab Abashidze, Georgia's Special Representative for Relations with Russia, said at recent press conference, that "There is a danger that Russian market will be closed and businesses should decide themselves whether it is worth getting back there or not".

According to Mr. Abashidze, the government cannot give political guarantees to businessmen in this regard.

"I know that wine-makers and businessmen associations addressed Russia’s Chief Sanitarian, confirming readiness for resuming export of wines and mineral waters, though we are now expecting more concrete and detailed replies to letters sent to Moscow", Zurab Abashidze said. According to him, restoration of trade and economic relations is not a matter of Russia’s free will. ‘This is Russia’s obligation, undertaken by the country as a member of the World Trade Organization’, Abashidze said.

© Hvino News

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sarajishvili to sign contract with Russian importer

19.12.2012. Brandy and wine producer Sarajishvili is going to sign contract with one of Russian companies regarding export of its products to Russia. According to the founder of the company Elguja Bubuteishvili, he will inform of the exact date and term of the contract in a few days. ‘This is one of famous Russian companies that will export our products to Russia’, Bubuteishvili said. According to him, Russian specialists have already visited the company several times. ‘Many people arrived for evaluation purposes. They like Georgian brandy and they say they want to export Georgian wine and brandy to Russian market’, -Bubuteishvili said. Supplies may start  in March 2013.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

National Public Radio on Georgian wine and food

18.12.2012 (Hvino News) America's NPR (National Public Radio) published yesterday an article on Georgian wine and food. Parts of the essay by NPR's Moscow correspondent Corey Flintoff "Wine And Food May Rekindle Love Lost Between Russia And Georgia" follow below:
It's a big day in the religious and culinary calendar of the Republic of Georgia. Georgian Catholics observe Dec. 17 as St. Barbara's Day, in honor of an early Christian martyr. And they typically mark the occasion by eating a type of stuffed bread called lobiani, baked with a filling of boiled beans with coriander and onions. <...>
As a side effect of the bitter conflict between Russia and Georgia, imports of Georgian wine and mineral water are banned in Russia. Georgian restaurants in Moscow make do with imports from France, Chile and Australia, but Georgian food lovers will tell you it's not the same. Since October, when elections brought a new regime to power in Georgia, hopes have been raised that the wine ban might be lifted as a gesture of good will. Since most of Georgia's wine had been imported to Russia before the war, it may be a real economic gesture as well. 

"Decanter" on Georgian wine

17.12.2012 (Hvino News). Leading British wine magazine Decanter published today an article on Georgian wine. The article by David Furer is entitled "Hopes stir for Russia-Georgia export ban thaw". Parts of article follow below:
Two developments the past week have stirred hopes for Georgia's wine producers, who have been banned from exporting to Russia for more than six years. Russia banned imports of Georgian wine in 2006 after its military conflict with the former Soviet state, citing poor quality as the reason, while Georgia – which until had exported 89% of all its wine to Russia – denounced the ban as politically motivated, and illegal. Now, following Georgia's recent government elections, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov last week said, ‘When they tell us Georgia wants to further improve relations, we are ready to discuss resuming imports of Georgian agricultural products as well.’ <...>

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Georgian wine will help Japanese to live through December 21th

15.12.2012 (Hvino News) In Tokyo, Japan, a Georgian wine tasting is planned for December 21 - the "end of the world day", according to the Mayas. What better way to live through the notorious day, than "by drinking these unique natural wines and meeting and socializing with interesting people?" - ask the event's organizers.

Georgian Natural Clay Jar Wine Tasting will take place Friday, December 21 at 6:30 PM, location: Shinagawa Bay Crest Tower, Konan 3-9-33, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0075.

The guests will be offered "organic wines with only naturally occurring sulphites, giving a clean product rich in polyphenols and antioxidants with great health benefits. While the wines are rich, viscous, delicious and satisfying with normal levels of alcohol people are able to drink more of these wines than other wines with none of the ill effects associated with alcohol drinking such as upset stomach, hangover etc. You will also be able to taste some really delicious authentic Georgian food which matches the taste of the wines perfectly".

© Hvino News

Friday, December 14, 2012

Onishchenko: Georgian wines will not return to Russia in 2012

14.12.2012 (Hvino News) Russia's chief sanitary doctor Gennady  Onishchenko said that the documents necessary to resume the shipments have been received from almost 30 Georgian companies, but the shipments would not be resumed in 2012. "It's obvious. There is too little time left."

"We are ready to meet with Georgian producers here, but we definitely need to look at the production on the site. If we are satisfied, we will offer to register new products. If all goes well, deliveries will start, and we will be controlling the batches," said Russia's chief sanitary doctor.

© Hvino News

Askaneli Brothers and Tbilvino comment on 2012's results

14.12.2012. Georgian businesses continue to sum up 2012's results. Wine company Askaneli Brothers announces the current year was successful. The company’s founder said that wine sales doubled compared to last year, while the financial growth is almost 100%. Irakli Chkhaidze notes that this year the products were exported to the United States and China. According to him, if last year in total 650 thousand bottles of wine were sold, this year the company sold one million 200 thousand bottles. The company carries out exports to 13 countries.

Tbilvino informs that the 2012 year turned out to be quite successful for their company. According to the company’s director Giorgi Margvelashvili, Tbilvino opened a new grape processing plant in Kakheti with the support of the International Finance Corporation (see also: Tbilvino’s new grape primary processing plant opened in Kakheti region). A 12% sales increase compared to last year was also observed. Margvelashvili adds that Tbilvino entered several new markets, and Georgian wine is exported to South Korea, Moldova and Armenia. In his words, the company was the first who implemented Georgian wine export to Canada.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

More than 20 Georgian winemakers ask Russia to resume import

13.12.2012 (Hvino News) More than 20 Georgian producers of wine and mineral water have asked Russia's Federal Consumer Rights and Healthcare Supervisory Service to execute quality inspections to resume supplies to Russian market, according to statement from the Russian agency made on Thursday. The authority said that eight applications out of 20 that were signed in previous years. On Monday, the agency’s director, Gennady Onishchenko, said that his quality inspections would occur at Georgian plants and imports could be resumed.

At the same, head of Georgian Wine Association Tina Kezeli in a recent interview to Deutsche Welle said that Georgian winemakers "are not going to be obsessed with the Russian market"  because of recent years' negative experience. "We will look at future cooperation with caution", - said Kezeli. According to her, Georgian wine is gaining ground in other important markets, and it would be wrong to abandon them and focus solely on Russia. According to her, so far it is not clear whether a group of Russian experts will arrive to Georgia in late December to assess the quality of Georgian wine.

© Hvino News

Wine companies plan for New Year special offers

13.12.2012. Georgian wine companies assess the year of 2012 and are getting ready for the New Year holiday. Winemakers speak about 20-30% growth in sales.

Badagoni assessed 2012 year as successful and notes that 25-30% increase in sales was observed this year compared to last. Company's director says that Badagoni prepares a gift basket, however, the packing cost is not clear yet. The company can’t name the percentage increase in sales in the New Year period, however, says that like last year, a big consumer activity is expected.

Telavi Wine Cellar' (Marani) also successfully assesses 2012 year. According to management, the company has already received orders for Christmas gift baskets. The company’s management add that increased by 20% compared to last year. The company doesn't rule out 30% growth in sales in the New Year period as well.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Georgian winemakers react on recent comments by Ambassador to China

12.12.2012 (Hvino News). Chinese market is profitable for Georgian wine and demand for this product is increasing there - Dmitry Lebanidze, General Director of Kindzmarauli Marani said  in response to comments made by Georgia’s Ambassador to China.

Ambassador Mamuka Gamkrelidze said it would be better if the wine makers contacted the Embassy in advance for consultation. The Ambassador  said that the wine makers participate in the exhibitions held in the cities, where the market is already full. "When you participate in Hong Kong and Shanghai exhibitions, this is wrong, the calculations must be done in the provinces, where more than a billion people live in order to sell  our wine here that will be much more profitable," – Gamkrelidze noted. For details, see: Ambassador criticizes Georgian winemakers' strategy in China

Dmitry Lebanidze said to Commersant that they take their products to Chinese provinces, and in near future Kindzmarauli Marani wines will occupy a considerable share in the market of Shanghai. The company exports 15-17% or 100 thousand bottles to China. The company plans to grow its share in China and to increase the current rate up to 300 thousand bottles.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Russia's Onishchenko to start negotiations on Georgian wine and mineral water imports

10.12.2012 (Hvino News) Russian news agency Interfax reported today that Gennady Onishchenko, head of Federal Consumer Rights and Healthcare Supervisory Service  is ready to meet with Georgian businessmen in Moscow to discuss the resumption of Georgian wine and mineral water imports.

"We are studying documents and will send them invitations soon," Onishchenko said at press conference on Monday. Georgian business associations and businessmen have applied to the Russian federal service for their return to the Russian market, Onishchenko said. Federal service inspections of the Georgian plants are the mandatory condition, he said. "There are such plans. But an agreement is a different question. There are no specific agreements so far," Onishchenko said.

Levan Davitashvili, Georgian National Wine Agency's head  said on December 9 that the return to the Russian market was strategic although the country had found buyers in other states.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Discovering magical wines in Georgia

By Tim Lemke

10.12.2012. In the last few years I’ve been fortunate enough to visit a number of different wine regions and I always look forward to discovering new wines in new places.  When I recently had the opportunity to explore wines in the country of Georgia, I jumped at the chance.

It’s interesting to see how places compare to our preconceived notions.  And the same is true about tasting new wines.  We often have an expectation of the wine, but the reality doesn’t always match those expectations.

The Place and the People

Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect when going to Georgia.  To me, Georgia was a very distant and remote country.  I knew that they had been occupied by the Bolsheviks and as recently as 2008 had been attacked by Russia.  I expected to see a war torn, beaten-down country filled with people who were tired and bitter.  I was wrong.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Russian Minister: Moscow to resume agricultural imports from Georgia

09.12.2012. (Hvino News) Moscow is ready to resume agricultural imports from Georgia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday.

“When they tell us Georgia wants to further improve relations, we are ready to discuss resuming imports of Georgian agricultural products as well,” he said. Russia banned imports of Georgian wines and two popular brands of mineral water in 2006 citing the poor quality of the products, a move widely condemned in Georgia as politically motivated.

The Russian foreign minister said a meeting of Russia’s and Georgia’s representatives would take place in the near future. ‘We’ll respond to the proposal by [Georgia’s Special Envoy for Relations with Russia Zurab] Abashidze and will hold contacts with him in the near future,” Lavrov said. Russian foreign minister also stated that Russia is ready to discuss restoring regular air link with Georgia.

© Hvino News

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ambassador criticizes Georgian winemakers' strategy in China

08.12.2012 (Hvino News). Georgia’s Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to China calls on Georgian wine-makers for more active approach.

As Ambassador Mamuka Gamkrelidze told Georgian radio Commersant, he had already applied to Georgian winemakers with initiative to set up the Association of Georgian Wine in China. However Gamkrelidze noted that Georgian winemakers are passive.

The Ambassador  says that the wine makers participate in the exhibitions held in the cities, where the market is already full. "When you participate in Hong Kong and Shanghai exhibitions, this is wrong, the calculations must be done in the provinces, where more than a billion people live in order to sell  our wine here that will be much more profitable," – Gamkrelidze noted. According to him, it would be better if the wine makers contact the Embassy in advance for consultation.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Britain's "The Telegraph" on Tbilisi and Georgian wine

07.12.2012. (HTN - Hvino Tour News) The Telegraph, Britain's leading newspaper, has published yesterday an illustrated article on Tbilisi in its Travel Section.

Besides Tbilisi's touristic attractions, the article lists useful information like airline routes to Tbilisi, suggested hotels and restaurants with prices. It also pays attention to wine culture of Georgia - "a country that considers eating as important as breathing, and whose wine industry is now a major global player".

Parts of article "Tbilisi, Georgia: a cultural city guide" by Claire Allfree follow below.
Georgian wine is an integral part of Tbilisi’s penchant for hedonism, and one of the best places to try it is also one of the first to be established <...>

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Teliani Valley’s Shota Kobelia video interview

06.12.2012 (Hvino News). Yesterday GIPA (Georgian Institute Of Public Affairs) published a video interview of Teliani Valley’s director Shota Kobelia. The interview is a piece of GIPA's short film about Georgian wine, and has subtitles in English language.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ukraine's wine and spirits shows to open in Odessa in February

05.12.2012 (Hvino News). In February 2013 the Ukraine's leading industry trade shows XIII International exhibition "Wine and Winemaking" and XIII International exhibition of Spirits "High Degree" will be held in Odessa. These trade shows, which already have become traditional for the alcohol industry of Ukraine, will take place on February 7 – 9 at Odessa’s Sea Terminal exhibition center.

Hvino News is pleased to be the media sponsor of "Wine and Winemaking" and "High Degree" 2013, and to inform interested companies about these high profile business events.

The main focus of professional exhibitions "Wine and Winemaking" and "High Degree" will be on new European trends in design and packaging of alcohol products, retail marketing, and wine tourism.

The exhibitions in 2012 were attended by more than 90 manufacturing companies of wines and spirits, equipment and materials for the viticulture and wine producing. The main purpose of these exhibitions is to create a positive image of Ukrainian alcohol industry and to improve the culture of drinking of wine production and strong alcohol.

"By Invitation": review of saperavi from Winery Nika

By Simon Narracott

05.12.2012. In 2008 Nika manufactured its first production after harvesting in 2006; it was small amount of 3,200 bottles of saperavi.

This pours a deep dark red, almost black, with the strong aroma of dark fruit and heavy spices. This is a full-bodied, but smooth-tannin wine that really gives you a sense of its history and where it has come from. It is quite unlike anything you might get from France or the New World wines. A real depth of flavour leaves you with a lingering dry meal of a wine.

According to Georgian tradition, all the grapes are hand picked, and the wine is made and aged in kvevri (ceramic vessels) with spontaneous fermentation technology. The wine stays in kvevri about two years; after that it is bottled unfiltered.

The bottle is different in that the label wraps around and the pattern meets in a continuous flow. This reflects the repeating of life in the grapes, and as us as drinkers.

This is an interesting wine, probably never going to be in your top 10 but it is a wine you need to taste to get a real feel for the country. It does work perfectly if being taken alongside real Georgian cuisine.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Levan Davitashvili is new chief of National Wine Agency of Georgia

04.12.2012 (Hvino News). Levan Davitashvili has been appointed as new head of National Wine Agency of Georgia. The appointment was announced today at press conference at Ministry of Agriculture. The new chief of NWA was presented by first deputy minister David Shervashidze.

According to official press release, Minister of Agriculture David Kirvalidze met with the newly appointed Levan Davitashvili today and discussed main work directions of the agency, issues of competitiveness and quality of Georgian wine, and prospects of new markets development.

Mr. Davitashvili, 34, previously worked in private sector as marketing director at Schuchmann Wines and executive director at Intermanagement LLC. He was also Chairman of the Board of Georgian Wine Association. He is graduate of Tbilisi University and CESMA Business School in Madrid.

The National Wine Agency (formerly known as "Samtrest") is a state institution within Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia. Its mission is to "assist the development of wine sector of Georgia through establishment of quality control mechanism and organizing promotional activities to increase international awareness about the uniqueness of Georgian wine".

© Hvino News

Monday, December 3, 2012

"Chateau Mukhrani" to invest 8 million EUR in tourism

03.12.2012.  Prince Ivane Mukhranbatoni-Bagrationi’s castle, with its gardens, stable, antique cellars, Georgian and European restaurants, exhibition halls, wedding house, luxe suites, amphitheater  and much more will open to tourists by August 2013.

Today the Bagrationi Estate in Mukhrani, located 35 km from Tbilisi, is already hosting visitors with its offers of exclusive wine tasting, lunch or dinner with a range of tasty Georgian dishes, horse riding, churchkhela-making, traditional Georgian bread-baking and chacha distillation.

Bagrationi estate in Mukhrani was a  center for the Georgian cultural elite in the 19th century. Ivane Mukhranbatoni, a well educated and talented landlord was famed for his winemaking. Even in the 19th century Mukhrani wines were very popular in Georgia as well as abroad.

Schuchmann Wines to enter Russia and continue investing in Georgia

 Photo: Financial
03.12.2012.  “I love Georgia. As I have my business here I am also a believer in thinking that international business activities and foreign capital inflow is a positive challenge for the Georgian economy,” said Burkhard Schuchmann, German investor in Georgia.

Burkhard Schuchmann, a German investor in Georgia, who signed his contract on 11 August, 2008, is intensively promoting Georgian wine as well as wine tourism locally and abroad. “I’m a Vice Chairman of the board of Patentes Talgo SA, Madrid, and Chief Executive Officer of Alternative Rail Investment AG, Frankfurt. I have quite extensive experience in the railway sector. But I decided to start a totally different business and in another country when I retired,” Schuchmann said.

Teliani Valley: The best wine is the next I make

Marc Dworkin. Photo: Financial
03.12.2012. Georgian traditional winemaking meets modern French know-how in a bottle under the brand name Teliani Valley. “Winemaking is a constant process of searching. A good winemaker always fusses, looks for different tastes and in addition, stays true to centuries-old Georgian traditions,” Marc Dworkin and Simon Megutvnishvili, winemakers at the leading Georgian wine company Teliani Valley.

“Georgia is unique, with a unique combination of climate-soil-varietal that doesn’t exist in any other part of the world and never will do,” Dworkin said. The Financial interviewed Marc Dworkin and Simon Megutvnishvili today. Composer, painter, archaeologist, journalist, hunter are those professions to which winemakers are compared. “A true winemaker is akin to Marco Polo”, Megutvnishvili said.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Georgian wines in Australia

02.12.2012. We found an interesting post by blogger Raffaele Mastrovincenzo about Georgian wines found in Melbourne, Australia. Parts from his article follow.

Lately I have been living in Melbourne -  an amazing town, full of nice small places to eat and drink. I have noticed in the bench of wine bars and in wine lists there is attention to "natural wines" or, in my way, artisan wines.

In my excursion I had the chance to try lots of nice stuff. One of that is a Georgian wine, lately imported to Australia. Georgia is the country where the wine is born, in-fact the wine born eight thousand years ago, and perhaps the first wine produced was in a region overlooking the Black sea, which the Greeks called Colchis -  what we call today Georgia. Caucasian republic is an extraordinary reserve with dozen of species and  different varieties of wines.Georgia boasts an ancient culture of wine.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Two Georgian wines win in Vancouver

01.12.2012 (Hvino News). "And two wines from Georgia. Yes, Georgia", - reads the official release about the winners of Vancouver magazine’s International Wine Competition 2013, published today.

For the first time two Georgian wines have received top awards of Vancouver magazine’s contest, which is the largest judging of international and domestic wines in Western Canada.

The Georgian winners are Wine Man Mukuzani 2007 in nomination "Best Medium Red Wines", and Marani Mtsvane 2011 in nomination "Best Bargain Wines". Marani Mtsvane was also included in Vancouver Sun's “Wine picks of the week”, characterized as “a steal at this price”.

"We work hard to select a range of wines that allow you to taste many styles and prices. So in the spirit of the ever-broadening wine world, we hope you enjoy the Mtsvane and  Saperavi wines as much as more familiar standards" - said the organizers of Canada's wine contest.

© Hvino News

Tbilvino and Teliani have not yet applied for permit to Russian market

01.12.2012 (Hvino News) Some of the largest Georgian wine companies say they have not yet applied for Russia's certification request. Tbilvino's  director Giorgi Margvelashvili  said that they are waiting for  the agreement of official structures  and only then will  apply to the Russian side.

Teliani Valley has neither applied to the Russian side. The company's CEO explained that everyone talks   about the opening of the Russian market, but in reality none of the wine companies knows how to approach the Russian side. Shota Khobelia notes the company is waiting for inspection, and  if there is an opportunity it will apply to the Russian side for certification, reported Commersant.

At the same time, wine company Badagoni has already started certification process in Russia and expects the issue to be resolved in the spring (see: Badagoni entering Russia).

© Hvino News