Saturday, June 22, 2013

Georgian wine wins silver in Bordeaux

22.05.2013 (Hvino News). Dry white wine Chateau Lipartiani 2011 from Georgian producer Winery Khareba has won silver award at Citadelles Du Vin wine contest in Bordeaux, France.

Citadelles Du Vin is a prestigious wine competition organized during the Vinexpo exhibition. Every May some 40 top level tasters from all over the world meet in Bourg (Bordeaux-France) for three days to elect the best wines out of 800 samples coming from about 30 countries. The contest has now attained a significant level of samples and international recognition (70% of foreign wines), making The Citadelles du Vin one of the key competitions of the world.

In 2013, the award ceremony and the promotion of the prize winning wines took place during Vinexpo, the very influential international wine and spirit exhibition held in Bordeaux on June 16-20.

Winery Khareba was the only  company from Georgia to take part in Citadelles Du Vin competition, and in Vinexpo (read more here)

© Hvino News

Friday, June 21, 2013

BBC: Working Lives Georgia (with video)

22.06.2013. If there's one export that encapsulates the spirit of Georgia's turbulent relationship with Russia it is wine, as Giorgi Margvelashvili, 39, knows all too well.

Together with his twin brother he runs Tbilvino, the country's largest exporter of Georgian wine.

In 2012, the company produced three million bottles of the drink that graces many Georgian dinner tables and every feast. (They say the Georgians have been making the stuff for 7000 years.)

As he walks through his company's cavernous wine cellar in Tbilisi, Giorgi beams with pride, but his is an industry that has been through tough times.

Seven years ago the Georgian wine industry was decimated when Russia placed an embargo on imports of Georgian wine, barring it from its largest market.

Georgian wine and brandy finally passed through Russian customs

21.06.2013 (Hvino News) The first batch of Georgian alcohol in years was cleared at Alabino customs post in the Moscow region on Thursday, Russian news agency Interfax reported.

"After the alcoholic products arrived at the temporary storage facility officials from the Federal Service for Consumers Rights (Rospotrebnadzor) conducted all due procedures to check the quality of the products. By now the customs clearance of the cargo has been completed, and the first declaration was issued for alcohol produced in Georgia," a customs official said.

Earlier head of Rospotrebnadzor, Russia's Chief Sanitation Doctor Gennady Onishchenko said that the first batch of Georgian wine would be cleared at a customs post in Moscow region on Thursday, June 20.

More than 20,000 bottles of Georgian brandy have also passed through customs procedures in the Moscow region on Thursday and were released onto the market, the customs authorities said.

Together with the brandy, more than 100,000 bottles of alcohol also cleared customs. A total of 1.5 million excise stamps for Georgian alcohol products have been distributed by the customs authorities, Interfax reported.

Gennady Onishchenko  said the arrival of Georgian alcohol would bring back warm memories for older people, though the 20,000 bottles "wouldn't even suffice for a decent banquet to celebrate the opening of the border."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Winery Khareba to host president of "Concours Mondial de Bruxelles“

20.06.2013. On 27th of June Winery Khareba  will host Louis Havaux, president of international wine competition „Concours Mondial de Bruxelles“ in Kvareli, at the famous company's "Gvirabi" wine tunnel.

On May 10-12, in Bratislava (Slovenia) was held one of the most prestigious wine competitions -  „Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2013“, where Winery Khareba's wines were successfully presented. “Saperavi Premium 2010” was awarded with Grand Gold Medal and “Rqatsiteli 2012” - Silver Medal (read more detail here). On 27th of June Mr. Havaux  will  have one more chance to congratulate Winery Khareba with big success.

At the ceremony will be invited Georgian wine companies, state bodies, international organizations, media, tourism agencies and diplomats.

"Gvirabi" is a tunnel dug out of the flank of the Greater Caucasus Mountains near Kvareli in Kakheti. It has a natural temperature of 12-14˚C throughout the year, ideal for storing and ageing wine. The tunnel was originally built by the military towards the end of the 1950s. The rapid development of military technology, however, rendered the tunnel’s defensive potential obsolete and it lost its meaning. From that moment on, the tunnel was used to store Kakheti’s finest wines. The total length of tunnel is 7.7 kilometers. The tunnels are used for different purposes: one is for tourists, whereas large quantities of wine are stored and aged in the other. This is where the Winery Khareba a stores around 25,000 bottles of its finest wines.

Company News

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Georgian wine maker: For us, the notion of "Armenian wine” is strange

19.06.2013 (Hvino News) The return of Georgian wine to the Russian market concerned the Armenian winemakers. Avag Harutyunyan, president of Union of Armenian Wine Producers, stated that due to Georgian wine exports to Russia, the Armenian wine had problems on the Russian market. "There are several factors. We occupied a certain place in the Russian market in terms of prices. Now the Georgians came to this niche. Since  2005 they have got out of  the low-price niche and now want to occupy the high-price niche. This demonstrates that the Georgian wine quality has improved", - he said [more detail here (in English) and here (in Russian)].

"The notion of "Armenian wine" is strange to me" –  Zurab  Ramazashvili, head of Telavi Wine Cellar (Marani) responded to the president of Union of Armenian Wine Producers. According to Mr. Ramazashvili,  Georgian wines are of much higher quality than Armenian products and, hence, will be presented in the higher price segment in the Russian market than the Armenian wine now.

Ramazashvili says that Georgian wines are preparing for competition with high quality wines and not with Armenian products, which, in his words, occupy insignificant place in the Russian market. He adds, the Armenian and Georgian wine is of a very different quality and different price segment.

"I know Armenian brandy. It definitely has a certain niche in the market, but Armenian wine can be rarely found on the shelves, "- Ramazashvili noted.

© Hvino News

Wine and outhouses, Racha-Style

by Alice Feiring

19.06.2013. First, where is Racha? Northwest of Georgia (no, not Atlanta). Not far from Imeriti. Gorgeous. Rich in terroir; iron, carbon, granite, slate, marcasite, quartz,  limestone of all colors that is crawling with ancient crustaceans. The place is a raw nerve of terroir.

Yet the mountainous, pulse-stoppingly beautiful highland-like region is gravely under-utilized and way too poor. This, Georgia's smallest wine region with no bottle-ready wine maker currently on the market--is a  land in need of champion. No foreign star winemaker such as Raul Perez/Telmo Rodriguez is on the horizon. Given my prejudice about wine, this is a good thing.

But some of Georgia's best,  committed to making wine close to nature--like Imertian Ramaz Nikoladze, or Kartlians Niki Antadze and Iago Bitarishvili or Khaketian Gela Patalishvili--could help some of the home talent wanting to come to local and foreign tables.  But right now these local superstars are also struggling to make a dream happen-- as all were born in Soviet times when there no dreams were allowed.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Georgian wine to emerge on Russian market soon

18.06.2013 (Hvino News). Georgian wine will soon show up on the Russian market, head of Russia’s consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor Gennady Onishchenko said at press conference in Moscow. According to Onishchenko, the product is currently passing through the customs procedures.

Gennady Onishchenko also said his agency Rospotrebnadzor may send the third inspection group to Georgia by the end of July. Russian specialists will inspect more Georgian wine producers, which intend to sell their products in Russia.

Georgia's most popular mineral water Borjomi has been already allowed to enter Russia. During past one month, 145 thousand liters of Borjomi was exported from to Russia.

© Hvino News

"The Times" on Georgian wine

18.06.2013. (Hvino News) Britain's leading The Times has published an article on Georgian wine.

The article "Russia says pour me a Georgian white, as wine ban is lifted" is written by Ben Hoyle. Because of copyright restrictions, we re-post  only the beginning of the article:
To the great delight of Russia’s long-suffering oenophiles, Georgian wine is rolling back into the country legally for the first time in seven years. 
The unique, ancient wines of Russia’s small Caucasian neighbour have long been regarded as the finest in the region. 
However, since 2006 there has been an import ban on Georgian and Moldovan wine and mineral water, nominally caused by concern over health and safety standards grounds but widely blamed on politics.
The full article is available for subscribers at newspaper's website.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Winery Khareba will represent Georgia at Vinexpo 2013 in Bordeaux

16.06.2013 (Hvino News). Vinexpo 2013, the key event in the wine and spirits calendar, open its doors today to welcome industry professionals coming to Bordeaux, France. More than 2,400 exhibitors from 45 countries have announced they will attend and converge in Bordeaux.

Winery Khareba is the only  company from Georgia to take part in this major wine industry event. About 15 varieties of wine will be exhibited at company's booth TU359, Hall 3. Here is full list of wines which will be presented:
  • Khareba 2011 (8.03.13), aged dry red wine
  • Krakhuna 2012 (14.02.13), dry white wine
  • Tsitska 2012 (27.02.13), dry white wine
  • Mtsvane 2012 (5.03.13), dry white wine
  • Rkatsiteli 2012 (16.02.13), dry white wine 
  • Saperavi Fruity 2011 (11.01.13), dry red wine
  • Saperavi Classic 2011 (1.08.13), dry red wine
  • Saperavi Premium 2010 (18.02.13), dry red wine
  • Khareba Rose 2012 (19.02.13), dry rose wine

IWINETC Georgia 2014: Early bird registration announced

16.06.2013. If you are in the tourism or wine industry, prepare yourself for the 6th Annual International Wine Tourism Conference to take place in Tbilisi, Georgia.

The conference is scheduled for March 28-29, 2014. The conference is geared toward travel agents, wineries, restaurants, bloggers, writers and more. Up to 300 wine, culinary and travel professionals and wine and travel social and traditional media professionals will gather from throughout the world to meet, learn, and share at this, the sixth annual conference for the wine and culinary tourism industry.

30 places will be allocated to active wine and travel bloggers with a massive 60% discount on the price of the two day event. The Conference will include around 30 talks and workshops with an exhibition area to include wine tourism destinations not only in and around Georgia but also in grape escape destinations around the world. The popular evening After Conference programme will include the Grand Wines of Georgia Tasting and there will be smaller tastings of wines from neigbouring countries as well as a wine tasting from the 2015 host country!

Bloggers will also have the opportunity to participate in pre and post conference tours to the nearby Kakheti wine region where they will discover the world’s oldest wine culture and the unique qvevri tradition of clay pots used to create delicious, unfiltered, organic wines.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

First Georgian wine shipment reaches Russia after 7-year ban

15.06.2013 (Hvino News). Dugladze Winery became the first Georgian winemaker to deliver wine  to Russia after a seven-year ban.

Dugladze Winery delivered the first shipment of 30,000 bottles on Friday and will send another 150,000 bottles to commercial distributors throughout Russia next week, according to company’s director.

Levan Davitashvili, head of Georgia’s National Wine Agency, said the day before that in addition to Dugladze, another two companies – Alaverdi and Teliani Valley – had received licenses to ship wine to Russia.

In March, Russia’s consumer rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, cleared 36 Georgian winemakers and four mineral water producers to resume deliveries to Russia. Georgian wines and mineral waters were very popular in the Soviet Union and retained much of that appeal after the union broke up. Before the ban, Russia was the largest market for Georgian wines. The head of the Georgian wine producers agency has said Georgia is able to supply Russia with up to 10 million bottles of wine annually.

© Hvino News

Friday, June 14, 2013

Watchdog rejects 9 wines by another Georgian producer

14.06.2013 (Hvino News). The Federal Consumer Protection Service, Rospotrebnadzor,  has barred the import of yet another Georgian winemaker's products.

Head of the consumer rights watchdog Gennady Onishchenko said the agency had issued nine more certificates of non-compliance with quality standards to wine produced by the Imedi-96 company, Russian news agency Interfax reported.

Earlier the agency rejected three brands of wine produced by Schuchmann Wines and five brands of brandy manufactured by Askaneli Brothers, one of the major producers of alcoholic drinks in the country.

The ban on Georgian alcohol and mineral water was officially lifted on March 15. Since then, 12 producers have received 152 registration certificates, while 81 alcohol brands from seven manufacturers are currently being evaluated, Onishchenko said. 17 brands of Georgian alcohol produced by three companies have been rejected.

© Hvino News

Foreign Minister: Georgia has progress in export of wine to Russia and expects progress in easing visa rules

14.06.2013 (Hvino News) The Georgian Foreign Ministry expects progress on the issue of simplifying the visa regime with Russia, Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said at a press conference held on June 11. According to Panjikidze, the government already has credible information that such progress will be reached.

"We already have some progress in terms of exports to the Russian market. Information saying that 1 million bottles of wine have already been sent to Russia was released today. This will bring a considerable profit for those who produce wine," Panjikidze said.

Georgia and Russia have maintained no diplomatic relations since a brief war in 2008. Tbilisi broke off relations with Moscow in August 2008 when Moscow crushed a Georgian assault to reassert control over the two rebel regions - South Ossetia and Abkhazia - and later recognized the breakaway regions. Georgia announced the two unrecognized republics as occupied territories in September 2008. As for the restoration of diplomatic relations, Panjikidze says it will happen only after Russian troops withdraw from the country. "I would also like to note that during my multilateral meetings, our Western partners constantly express positive attitude in connection with the start of a dialogue," the minister said.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking: This year has started successfully

13.06.2013. The 6th International exhibition of wines and spirits was held on 7-9 June in Tbilisi. 77 different types of wine were presented for the international wine competition.

Wines presented by our company - Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking - have received two silver medals and one gold medal:
  • Saperavi 2012 (red, dry) - gold medal
  • Chinuri 2012 (dry white) - silver medal
  • Muscat 2012 (red semi-sweet) - silver medal
It is very important competition and a great victory for the company, because it is not easy to be recognized in your home country. Many experts are very critical to the wines of the country, which is believed to be the homeland and the cradle of wine of the whole world.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Georgian brandy, wine to reappear in Russia this month

12.06.2013 (Hvino News) The first batch of Georgian brandy has been exported to Russia, chairman of the Georgian Agriculture Ministry’s National Wine Agency Levan Davitashvili said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“The first 20,000 bottles of brandy, produced by the Kakhetian Traditional Winemakers company have gone through all the customs procedures,” Davitashvili said, quoted by Russian news agency Interfax.

The Dugladze Wine Company has secured export certificates. Wines made by this company will be sent to Russia within days, he said.

“One can say that the embargo on Georgian wines and mineral water has been lifted and they will re-appear on the Russian market within a couple of weeks,” Davitashvili said, adding that some time will be spent on their transportation, customs clearance, logistics and display on the shelves.

Georgian wine and mineral water exports will be growing. Applications have been filed for excise stamps for 1 million bottles of wine and dozens of companies want to get them, too.

Oda House now open and serving a Georgian feast

by Laura Shunk

12.06.2013. A group of Georgian feasters passed a variety of old hats around their long table, doled out by a laughing man donning a white furry headdress. When they noticed our friend looking on, they invited her to join the fun, and she pulled on one of the cylindrical caps. "Pull it down your forehead!" One of them called. "It's good for migraines!" Such was the jovial, communal atmosphere at the newly opened Oda House, the Georgian restaurant that made its home in the former Caffe Buon Gusto space at 76 Avenue B.

Most of the Georgians living in New York City reside in Brooklyn, so it follows naturally that most of this city's Georgian restaurants are located in that borough as well. But when this spot opened a couple of weeks ago, it offered a taste of the Eastern European country's dumplings, khachapuri (cheese breads), and other rich dishes to Manhattan.

Knowledgeable servers will walk you through the menu if you're unfamiliar with the cuisine, calling out favorites and explaining why certain dishes are important representations of this type of food. They'll also recommend that you order a bottle of Georgian wine, pointing out in particular the saperavi from Teliani Valley, a medium-bodied red with good acidity to take on the rich food.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Georgian wine will face serious competition in Russia - experts

11.06.2013. Georgian wine, after a seven-year absence from the Russian market, will not be as inexpensive as it was before, and faces stiff competition, head of the Union of Sommeliers and Experts of Russia Artur Sarkisian said.

"A bottle of Georgian wine will cost at least four hundred rubles, and in this pricing segment in Russia it faces serious competition from Italian, Chilean, and other wines," Sarkisian told the press in Tbilisi during international wine and alcoholic beverage exhibition WinExpo Georgia 2013.

"If Georgian wine can prove it is of better quality, I'm sure the Russian consumer will have to pay attention to it," Sarkisian said.

President of the Associations of Sommeliers of Russia Alexei Sidorov shared his view: "Georgian wine is very much missed on the Russian market".

Russia receives first delivery of Georgian brandy

11.06.2013. After a 7-year ban on Georgian imports, trade between the two politically strained neighbors has resumed with an inaugural delivery was a 21,600 thousand bottles of brandy.

The cases passed through Kazbegi Verkhny Lars, the only official land checkpoint between Russia and Georgia, that has remained closed since 2006.

Tibisi-based Kakheti Traditional Winemaking sent the first batch of goods, with wine and other agricultural products to follow.

Georgia’s largest wine exporter, JSC Tbilvino and Borjomi, a mineral water distributor, are expected to re-launch their products in Russia by the end of the summer.

The Russian Sanitation Service has issued more than 100 licenses to Georgian wine and beverage suppliers, but the goods still must face scrupulous inspection before being granted entrance into the Russian market.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Schuchmann Wines denies accusation of defective wine

10.06.2013 (Hvino News) Schuchmann Wines representatives say they deny that wine samples sent to Russia were sour, and are waiting for a response to the re-sent samples.

On May 24 Russian consumer safety agency Rospotrebnadzor said that wine provided by Schuchmann Wines did no pass the agency's quality control tests. Schuchmann Wines re-sent wine samples to Russia. According to the company's CEO, the company has not received an answers the Russian side.

Schuchmann Wines' Nutsa Abramishvili said that if Russia’s consumer safety agency allows the company to enter the market, Schuchmann Wines will export half a million bottles through four distribution companies.

© Hvino News

Qvevris and other new and useful knowledge

by Max Johnson

10.06.2013. Qvevris are old, practical, magical and contemporary. They are the ancient vessels used for 10,000 years or more in the making of wine; pure, Natural Wine.

I am part of the Second International Qvevri Wine Symposium, and travelling through Georgia with a terrifically engineered group of wine makers, wine writers and one tourism-type, trying to figure out how to design some tourism programs that will incorporate the rather extraordinary Georgian industry.

Firstly, however, a few words about Georgia.

I am not talking about Atlanta; I refer to the Republic of Georgia, tucked away nicely at the eastern end of the Black Sea, due south of some of the more eccentric regions of the Russian Federation and due north of Turkey and Armenia. It is a peaceful and stunning beautiful country of some 4.5 million souls leading their land to a rather new and interesting prosperity. The country has had more than its share of problems with invaders; since the 4th century, and probably before.

The political issues of the Caucasus make the politics of teenage girls seem simple. From invasion to invasion, political and economic alliances, disputes of all manner of shapes and sizes, wine was being made, consumed and keeping the Georgians, an extremely convivial race, content.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

WinExpo Georgia wine fair opens in Tbilisi

08.06.2013. The 6th International Wine and Spirits Fair - Win Expo Georgia 2013 has been launched in Tbilisi on Friday. The international exhibition has been opened by the Minister of Agriculture Shalva Pipia.

The event is organized by the National Wine Agency and the Exhibition Center "Expo Georgia" and it is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Association "Georgian Wine" and the Ministry of Culture and Monuments Protection of Georgia.

"The international wine and spirits exhibition is held annually. We are pleased that many foreign guests arrived to learn the Georgian wine this year, in particular. Wine experts, specialists and reporters from various countries will be able to get acquainted with the diversity and the culture of the Georgian wine. It will significantly help to promote our products and search export markets, "- said Shalva Pipia.

The opening ceremony of the exhibition was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Culture and Monuments Protection, Manana Berikashvili.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Moscow and Tbilisi officials say Georgian wine will appear in Russia next week

06.06.2013 (Hvino News) Grigory Karasin, Russia's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Levan Davitashvili, head of Georgian National wine agency, hold press briefings today and mentioned time when Georgian wine would finally become available in Russia.

Georgian wine will appear in Russian stores starting from from June, according to Mr. Karasin. He spoke with Russian media after meeting in Prague with Zurab Abashidze, special envoy of Georgian Prime Minister Ivanishvili on relations with Russia. 

“We may talk a lot about permission for Georgian wine and mineral waters to Russian market, though the most important thing is that mineral water already enters Russia and it even appeared in our stores. As for the wine, we will probably see it in Russian stores in June, as the appropriate documentation has been issued to seven Georgia’s wine producers”, Mr. Karasin said. 

Also today the head of the national wine agency Levan Davitashvili said at a briefing that Georgian wine will be sent to Russia next week. He said that issuance of Russian excise stamps has been started this week and they were sent to Georgia.

Official: Georgia's wine export statistics for May 2013

06.06.2013.  (Hvino News)  According to the Georgian Wine Agency total of 1,838,132 liters of wine (0.75-liter bottled) was exported to 25 countries in May, 2013. The overall export as of May amounts to 5,071,158 liters, being 27% higher vs last year same period.

Five leading export destinations of Georgian wine are as follows: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, China and Latvia, where Ukraine holds 44% of total volume of exports.

Brazil has appeared as new export destination where 34,000 liters of wine (0.75-liter bottled) were shipped.

© Hvino News


06.06.2013. We are proud to invite you to the fascinating wine show, to feel and taste Georgian wines and spirits. 6th International Wine & Spirits Fair "WINEXPO GEORGIA 13" will be held on June 7-9 in Tbilisi, at Expo Georgia (118 A.Tsereteli avenue). Organizer is Exhibition Centre ExpoGeorgia and National Wine agency of Georgia. Official Support: Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia and Georgian Wine Association

WinExpo will present Georgian wines, sparkling wines, spirits, accessories and souvenirs, wine routes, glassware, wine restaurants and spa. You will find information about ingredients and additives, processing equipment, packaging and labeling, viniculture machinery, nursery and services.

Producers of qvevri  wine will be presented offering variety of tastes and traditions of different regions of Georgia. It is the unique opportunity to observe whole assortment of Georgian wines in one place. Taste, compare, and chose.

Professional wine makers will give you insights of the heavenly drink. It is great opportunity to buy favorite product at discounted prices. Family cellars will present their unique bulk wines of different Georgian regions.

Company news

Monday, June 3, 2013

Russia-Georgia: Preparing for Food Fight II?

by Giorgi Lomsadze

03.06.2013. Anxious for peace with Russia, Georgian officials and businessmen recently have been taking turns bowing and refilling 62-year-old Russian food security tsar Gennadiy Onishchenko's glass with the finest beverages Georgia’s got to offer. But nothing seems to suit the delicate palate of Gennady Grigoryevich [Mr. Onishchenko - НN]

His complaints range from the quality-related to the political and downright philosophical. But the Onishchenkoisms, delivered with a stern face, always tend to hit whenever Tbilisi-Moscow ties are going south.

In 2006, with the Kremlin increasingly uneasy about Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili as a potential exporter of revolution, Onishchenko struck, slapping an embargo on Georgian wines, mineral waters and fruits and vegetables as unsafe.

But after Georgia’s new government began an active campaign of reconciliation with Russia, Onishchenko allowed long-banned Georgian wine and prized mineral water Borjomi back north of the Caucasus mountain range.