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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

EU, Georgia trade deal bodes well for Georgian wine exports

By Keith Nuthall

31.07.2013. Wine producers in Georgia are targeting improved export sales to the European Union after the creation of a “deep and comprehensive free trade area” between the EU and the Caucasus republic.

“Wine imports from Georgia will have free access to the EU market,” a spokesperson for the European Commission has told just-drinks. “They will pay no more tariffs, and be imported without any quantitative restriction.”

Wine from Georgia’s wine industry could “access the EU market on a level playing field with European wines”, he said.

Last year, Georgia exported US$9.2m of wine (including fortified and sparkling wines) to the EU. The EU exported significantly less wine to Georgia last year; just $2.6m of standard still and fortified wine and $1.9m of sparkling wine last.

The agreement was secured last week.

Source

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ambassador Norland denies Onishchenko's allegations regarding the Lugar lab

30.07.2013 (Hvino News) U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland responded to the statement of Russia's chief sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko regarding the Lugar Lab, a U.S.-funded biological laboratory located near Tbilisi.

According to Norland, Lugar Lab (named after former US Senator Richard Lugar) is not a military object but a research laboratory, an open and transparent facility for scientists of the region.

“The laboratory is managed by the Georgian government and it is an open and transparent facility for scientists, including Russian scientists. They should be interested in coming here to see how the lab is operating, which is equipped with modern technologies,” Richard Norland told the reporters.

Gennady Onishchenko, head of Russia’s state consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor, which ordered ban on import of Georgian products to Russia in 2006, said last week that the laboratory represents “a powerful offensive potential.” “Russia deems it to be a direct violation of BWC [Biological Weapons Convention],” Onishchenko was quoted.

The laboratory could threaten the health of Russians through imported wine, vegetables and fruits, said Mr. Onishchenko. He said Russia might need to respond by limiting imports of Georgian wine.

© Hvino News

Monday, July 29, 2013

Russia occupies 4th place in Georgian wine export

29.07.2013 (Hvino News) According to Agriculture Minister Shalva Pipia, Russia occupies the 4th place in the Georgian wine export. Pipia mentioned this today at meeting with journalists.

"Opening new markets as well as promoting the export of Georgian products to the Russian market are very important. It should be noted that 1.759,670 bottles of Georgian wine were exported to Russia. Top five markets for the Georgian market are the following: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Russia and Poland. Russia occupies the 4th place in the wine export markets,"- said Pipia.

© Hvino News

Spices and herbs used in Georgian cousine

29.07.2013. A tradition of home-cooked meals means that markets in Georgia overflow with a vast array of spices and herbs that give Georgian cuisine its rich flavors and aromas. In this article we describe some of the spices and herbs that are most commonly used in Georgian cooking.



Friday, July 26, 2013

Hvino.com to introduce club membership for advertisers

Introducing Hvino Privilege Club membership - up to 75% discounts!

At Hvino.com we do our best to make our service useful and cost-efficient for our partners. Our latest and revolutionary improvement is Hvino Privilege Club membership.

Why we call this a revolutionary progress? We had a complicated system of advertising rates and % discounts to go with various banner sizes and campaign duration. This is over now.The Club member can freely place as many banners as he wants, for any duration.

So, Hvino's partners have complete freedom and flexibility for all advertising needs. And no need for contracts and separate payments and calculations.

All that is required is single, one-time, flat membership fee. The special introductory fee is just 1000 GEL (plus 28% Georgian taxes) for 6 months membership, with unlimited advertising at all 3 Hvino sites.

Government to support financing of grape harvest

26.07.2013 (Hvino News) The 2013 grape harvest may be financed through 30 million GEL from the state budget. Paata Chavchanidze,  spokesman for the National Wine Agency, told Georgian television that the state might once again help to finance the harvest, as it did last year. He adds that it is still unknown, what form the help for the peasants will take.

According to Mr. Chavchanidze, the price of grape submitted to the wineries will once again not fall below the 1 GEL per kilo mark.

In response, Giorgi Margvelashvili of Tbilvino said that the price of grape should be regulated by the market, and the government should not intervene in this process.

The National Wine Agency states that 120 000 kilos of grape are expected to be harvested in the Kakheti region this year.

© Hvino News

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chacha by Georgian Wines & Spirits Company wins silver at IWSC 2013

25.07.2013 (Hvino News). A chacha (grape brandy) produced by Georgian company has won a top honour at this year’s International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC).

On 24th of July the IWSC released the list of full winners for spirits for 2013. The  list features Georgian Wines & Spirits Company Ltd (GWS), which won a Silver Award in the nomination "brandy". The awarded spirit is Supreme Chacha produced by GWS.

IWSC's official site lists also Eristoff Premium Vodka as a Georgian-produced product, which won a Bronze award among vodkas.

The International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) was founded in 1969 and is the premier competition of its kind in the world. This standard is achieved through a rigorous two-stage judging process of professional blind tasting and detailed technical (chemical and microbiological) analysis that takes place at The Competition's headquarters in Surrey, UK.

The Competition is backed by a group of vice presidents made up of the most influential men and women in the trade, including Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Miguel Torres, Marchese Piero Antinori, Robert Drouhin, Robert Mondavi, May de Lencquesaing, Kenneth Graham and Sir Anthony Greener. The Competition receives entries from nearly 90 countries worldwide.

© Hvino News

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Russia imports almost 2 m liters of Georgian wine, mineral water

24.07.2013. (Hvino News) Georgia has exported almost 900,000 liters of wine to Russia, the Russian health and consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said on Tuesday.

“Two hundred and five shipments of alcohol products – 891,586 liters in all – have been supplied to Russia this year by eight Georgian companies, including 64 shipments totaling 274,409 liters last week,” Rospotrebnadzor said on its website.

Georgia has also delivered 26 shipments of Borjomi mineral water, or over 927,000 liters, Rospotrebnadzor said.

Russia banned imports of Georgian wine and mineral water in 2006, citing its poor quality. In early February 2013 Russia and Georgia negotiated a pattern of clearing Georgian products into the Russian market. Georgia has already renewed exports of Borjomi mineral water, wine and brandy to Russia.

Although Russia has opened its door to Georgian imports, it remains concerned about the presence of a microbiology laboratory of the U.S. Navy in Georgia, which it said was not controlled by the Georgian authorities (read more: Russia warns Georgia over U.S.-funded bio lab)

© Hvino News

Moscow fears the US could poison Russia with Georgian wine

by Giorgi Lomsadze

24.07.2013. Try as he might, Russia's Dr. Strangelove, otherwise known as food security tsar Dr. Gennadiy Onishchenko, has not yet stopped worrying and learned to love a Georgian tomato. Or a peach. Or a bottle of wine.

Onishchenko, who apparently has a nose like no other for potential alimentary attacks, now has deduced that a US-sponsored biological lab in Georgia supposedly could be used to poison fruit, vegetables and wine bound for Russia.

To hear him describe it, the lab, named after former US Senator Richard Lugar, sounds like a military-guarded facility hemmed with barbed wire, and with a dark storm cloud constantly hovering overhead. It is a “powerful offensive” weapon and “is out of the control of the Georgian authorities,” Onishchenko said in a statement. The presence of such a force in the proximity of the Russian border is “a direct violation of the Biological Weapons Convention,” he asserted.

The upshot: If Georgia wants to keep selling its agricultural produce to Russia, it has to shut down the Lugar Lab.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Russia warns Georgia over U.S.-funded bio lab

US Ambassador R.Norland. Photo IPN
22.07.2013. Just few months after Russia dropped embargo on Georgian wines and mineral waters, its chief sanitary doctor warned that presence of the U.S.-funded bio lab in Tbilisi would have “sharply limiting effect” on bilateral trade ties.

Gennady Onishchenko, head of Russia’s state consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor, which ordered ban on import of Georgian products to Russia in 2006, told Interfax news agency on that the laboratory represents “a powerful offensive potential.”

“Russia deems it to be a direct violation of BWC [Biological Weapons Convention],” Onishchenko was quoted.

Russian Foreign Ministry’s July 19 statement, released in rebuttal of the U.S. Department of State’s annual report on arms control and nonproliferation, contains what might be a reference to the U.S.-funded biological research laboratory in Tbilisi outskirts. The Russian MFA’s statement says: “Biological-related activities of the U.S. Department of Defense close to the Russian borders also cause our serious concern.”

U.S. accused of bioweapons use through Georgian wine

22.07.2013 (Hvino News). Russia's chief sanitary inspector, Gennady Onishchenko, has accused the U.S. of producing biological weapons in Georgia and said they posed a threat to Russia.

A U.S. Navy laboratory located on the premises of a former Soviet military base on the outskirts of Tbilisi is engaged in activities that violate the 1975 Biological Weapons Convention, threaten Russia and will harm economic cooperation, Onishchenko told Russian news agency Interfax.

The laboratory could threaten the health of Russians through imported wine, vegetables and fruits, said Mr. Onishchenko. He said Russia might need to respond by limiting imports of Georgian wine.

"The day is approaching when Russia will receive a million liters of wine from Georgia. But the factor of presence on Georgian territory of a military laboratory of the U.S. Navy will have a sharply limiting effect"- said Onishchenko. According to him, “with the broadening of contacts and shipments of Georgian wines and agriculture products into Russia, our alarm over presence on the Georgian territory of the powerful laboratory of the U.S. Navy, which is out of the Georgian authorities’ control, will be more and more increasing”, as the food is the most efficient way of intake of harmful substances.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

7 Georgian wine companies exporting to Russia: the stats

20.07.2013 (Hvino News). National Wine Agency of Georgia reports that 7 wine companies have exported products to the Russian market:
  • GWS - 280,000 bottles
  • Dugladze Wine Company - 270,000 bottles
  • Kakheti Traditional Winery (KTW) - 250,000 bottles
  • Marniskari - 108,000 bottles
  • Batono - 72,000 bottles
  • Tbilvino - 30,000 bottles
  • Georgian Wine House - 15,600 bottles.
According to Agency's head Levan Davitashvili, average cost of Georgian wine in Russia makes up $3.5 and "it is well sold". The producers plan to sell up to 10 million bottles. This volume is twice less than before the Russian embargo.

© Hvino News

Friday, July 19, 2013

Q: How does one make a pheasant cry?

19.07.2013. Wines Tasted:
- Pheasant’s Tears, Rkatsiteli, Bodbiskhevi Village, Kakheti 2010
- Pheasant’s Tears, Kisi, Alaverdi Village, Kakheti, 2010
- Pheasant’s Tears, Saperavi, Kakheti, 2008

Q: How does one make a pheasant cry?

A: Make a wine so beautiful it will bring tears of joy to the pheasant’s eyes – or so the Georgian tale goes. This tale is inspiration for the name and label of perhaps the most well known winery from Georgia, Pheasant’s Tears.

With archaeological evidence of wine making dating back 8,000 years [1], wine is an integral part of the history and culture of Georgia. In fact, when the country first adopted Christianity in the 4th Century CE, the first cross was made of vines. [2]

The traditional vessel most closely associated with wine making in Georgia is the qvevri (quevri, kvevri), an egg shaped clay vessel available in all manner of sizes. When thinking of wine storage during ancient times the two images that come to mind are the amphora and the qvevri. After some not insignificant reading it would seem there are many different opinions on the differences, if any, between the two vessels. The most significant difference would appear to be that the qvevri was used not only to store the wine but the wine was actually fermented in these vessels which were also buried in the ground to maintain a cool and even temperature. Although similar in appearance, amphorae have handles and were used as more of a storage vessel for transportation and they were not typically buried in the ground (notable exceptions being in the northeast of Italy and Slovenia where amphorae are buried in the ground during fermentation and maturation).

Thursday, July 18, 2013

From the homeland of wine – a "guide" to Georgian wine

Photo: Jennifer Walker
by Jennifer Walker

18.07.2013. My landlady unlocked the rusty gate. The stairs descended down to my new apartment in Tbilisi, Georgia. It was five in the morning. The sky was painted in pastel colours above the Metekhi Church that peered above the carpet of vines covering the courtyard. Grape vines were everywhere; they crawled up the iron bars of our balcony, with tendrils curving around the nails sticking out of the wall, spilling over the corrugated iron roof, completely covering the terrace.

“Do you make wine?” I asked her, yawning from my overnight journey.

“Kho, yes, of course,” she said, “Everyone makes wine in Georgia.”

While not as popular as wines from France and Spain, I have heard about Georgian wine talked about with passionate nostalgia.

“It was the most beautiful thing I had tasted,” recounted an Armenian physicist I knew, “I was in my twenties, on holiday at the Black Sea. I’ll always remember that first taste of Georgian wine.”

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Russian chief sanitary inspector satisfied with Georgian wine quality

17.07.2013. (Hvino News). Russian Chief Sanitary Inspector Gennady Onishchenko expressed satisfaction with the quality of Georgian wine, Russian news agency Interfax reported.

Six Georgian companies have delivered 141 batches of alcohol products with a total volume of 617,077 liters. 61 batches with a volume of 226,579 liters arrived last week.

292 state licenses were issued and 53 more are on the way. 27 of them were granted to wine producers. Six companies have already started selling their products to Russia.

Mr. Onishchenko supposed that imports of alcohol products from Georgia would not significantly affect the Russian market.

© Hvino News

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The secret to Georgian grilled meats? Grapevines and lots of wine (with audio)

by Corey Flintoff, National Public Radio



16.07.2013. Tucked between Russia and Turkey, the Republic of Georgia is renowned for great food: cheese dishes, pickles, breads and stews. This is a cuisine that you should not miss.

And on summer evenings in the capital, Tbilisi, the air is fragrant with the smells of one of Georgian cookery's highlights: grilled meat, or shashlik.

You can find good shashlik at restaurants with white tablecloths, but the very best in all Tbilisi is said to be at a roadside stop called Mtsvadi Isalamze. It's an unassuming place with rows of wooden picnic tables in an open yard.

The grill is a brick hearth where Giorgi Kavelashvili follows the traditions of his native Kakheti, the easternmost province of Georgia and the nation's wine country. Kavelashvili is 19, but he grills with absolute confidence, because, he says, "In Kakheti, everyone knows how to make shashlik. So I studied it from my childhood."

The Korea Times: Envoy's wine promotion takes patience

by Kim Se-jeong

16.07.2013. Sixteen months into his job, Georgian Ambassador to Korea Nikloz Apkhazava’s efforts to raise awareness of his country’s wine and to find importers here has not been an easy one.

“Very few people know about Georgian wine. It’s only known among experts,” Apkhazava said in an interview. But, there’s a very good reason that Georgian wine deserves recognition, he adds. “Georgia is the cradle of wine.”

When studying wine, Georgia can’t be ignored. It is recorded that the history of wine goes back to approximately 8,000 B.C. “It is 2,000 years prior to major civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia,” said Cesare Woo, president of the Korea Sommelier Association, who recently wrote a book on the history of wine.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Chief technologist of KTW (Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking) comments on Georgian wine history

15.07.2013. After seven years of embargo, Georgian wines and brandies are returning to the Russian market. Since June, 538,6 thousand bottles have been supplied to Russia. These are wines made by such companies as KTW, Dugladze Wine House, Batoni, Marniskari and GWS.

Giorgi Kiknadze, KTW's Chief Technologist, told about Georgian wines. According to him, “it is estimated that Georgian wines have existed in the world for as long as the people of Georgia itself – for  6-7 thousand years already. Georgian wine is not only a majestic drink; it is figuratively a capital letter in the alphabet of Georgian culture and spirituality. Eastern Georgia, Kakheti, is the center of Georgian wine, which gave the world its own technology of wine production – wines of the Kakheti type and spirits, chacha and brandy. One of the peaks of Georgian wine production rightfully belongs to Georgian brandy. Georgian brandy production came in the wake of the general rise of agriculture of the Russian Empire”.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Russia Today's video on Georgian wine in Moscow

14.07.2012. Hvino News' Sunday feature is Russia Today interviewing Moscow-based expats on Georgian wine (and on Edward Snowden), directly from a pub in Moscow.

Russia Today (RT) is a state-owned English-language television channel.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

"Is Georgia the next ‘new’ wine-exporting country?": Research published

13.07.2013. (Hvino News).  Last June Hvino News wrote about the Australian professor Kym Anderson's research on Georgian wine industry - see more detail at Prof. Anderson looks at Georgia as an emerging wine-exporting country. Professor  Anderson's research was later published by scholarly Journal of Wine Economics. Now the paper by Dr. Anderson, entitled "Is Georgia the next ‘new’ wine-exporting country?", is finally available for our readers.

The article's abstract follows below. The full text in PDF format can be viewed here. It is also added to Hvino News' section Documents and Reports for easier access.
The former Soviet republic of Georgia is reputedly the cradle of wine and has enjoyed at least 8,000 vintages. It has also been a major supplier of wine to Russia for at least 200 years, but to few other countries. In 2006, however, Russia imposed a ban on beverage imports from Georgia. Since then this relatively poor country, in which nearly half the population is rural and most farmers have a vineyard, has been seeking to develop new export markets for its wine. This paper assesses the potential for growth in Georgia’s wine production and exports.It then outlines ways to addresses the challenges involved in trying to realize that potential, drawing on the experience of other countries that have rapidly expanded their wine exports in the past two decades. Implications for policy are drawn, particularly for ensuring that poverty is reduced as exports expand and the economy grows.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Georgian wine comes back to Russia

Photo: The Moscow Times
by Lena Smirnova

12.07.2013. It was meant to be a triumphant comeback that would patch up sour diplomatic relations between former Soviet republics and satisfy Russia's thirst for quality wine. But following a six-year ban from the country, Georgian wines are facing an uphill battle in the market and experts say they are unlikely to regain their former glory.

"Georgian wines had 10 percent of the market before the ban. Now they won't get more than 2 percent," said wine industry expert Erkin Tuzmukhamedov. "The niche has been filled by cheaper wines from Spain, Portugal, Latin America."

The Federal Consumer Protection Service banned imports of Georgian wine in 2006, claiming that six out of 10 didn't meet quality standards, though critics speculated that the move was politically motivated in light of the escalating tensions between the former allies.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kakheti Wine Cellar purchased modern winery equipment from Della Toffola

11.07.2013 (Hvino News) National Wine Agency reports that wine producer Kakheti Wine Cellar has purchased new winery equipment and wine reservoirs from the Italian manufacturer Della Toffola. For that purpose the company borrowed $600,000 in the framework of governmental program on preferential agricultural crediting.

According to Public Register, Kakheti Wine Cellar was established in 2007. Current owner of 100% is Mr. Giorgi Kevkhishvili.

Della Toffola Spa is leading Italian producer of wine-making equipment.

© Hvino News

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Brandy from Askaneli Brothers finally makes it to the Russian market

10.07.2013 (Hvino News) Brandy produced by Georgian company Askaneli Brothers, which was previously rejected by the Russian Sanitation Department, will be exported to Russia after all.

Reports regarding the rejection of five different brands of Askaneli brandy by the Russian authorities were published earlier this spring - see Russia denies registration to five types of Georgian brandy by Askaneli Brothers and Askaneli Brothers protest against Russian state agency Rospotrebnadzor. Ont of the owners of Askaneli Brothers, Jimi Chkhaidze, says that the wines manufactured by his company can already be found on the Russian market, and while there were problems with the brandy, these have now been resolved. According to Mr. Chkhaidze, the excise marks will arrive this week, and the Askaneli brandy will be soon shipped to the Russian Federation.

© Hvino News

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Eniseli Wines Baraka Kakheti 2007

09.07.2013. Finally emptied my fridge of all my white wines in anticipation of the Finger Lakes Wine Festival this weekend.  There I will stock up on many of my favorite white wines and Rosé wines for the remaining summer months.

Tonight I grilled up some ka-bobs and opened a Republic of Georgia red wine that had been sitting in the fridge for close to seven months.  The wine was 100% Saperavi, a grape that a few Finger Lakes wineries are doing a magnificent job with, but Georgia is the homeland of this dark grape. I purchased this bottle at the PLCB store in the Berkshire mall in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.  I like visiting that store because of the quality of selections and the knowledge of the staff, especially in the wine section.  Different wines are always suggested based on my wine preferences and I have not been let down yet.  Whether these stores remain public or private is now in their State Assembly, but I would hate to see changes in the personnel at this store. The wine: Eniseli Wines Baraka Kakheti 2007 ($12)

Eniseli Wines is relatively new on the market.  Established in 2007, they own 8 hectares of old vine Saperavi along with 6 hectares of new vines near the village of Enseli in the Kakheti region of Georgia.  The company also owns 22 hectares of Saperavi on the slopes in Segaani in the Gurjaani district of Kakheti.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Borjomi to sell 30 million bottles in Russia by the end of 2013

08.07.2013. (Hvino News). Borjomi plans to sell 30 million bottles of mineral water in Russia by the end of 2013. If  Borjomi is able to sell 30 million bottles, it will reach one-third of annual sales for 7 month period before the embargo.

The most famous Georgian mineral water resumed sales in Russia in May this year. The products have already appeared in St. Petersburg and Moscow  retail chains. In the near future it will be supplied to other Russian cities.

Borjomi appeared in Russia with the revised design, and in four options of packaging: 0.33-liter glass bottle, 0.5-liter bottle and 0.75 liter plastic bottle.

According to Borjomi exclusive distributor, IDS Borjomi Russia's director Alexander Zhdanov, their goal is to become a leader in the Russian market and to take  at least 15% of the market in 3 years.

© Hvino News