Friday, January 31, 2014

Georgian wine to be represented at Sochi Olympics

31.01.2014 (Hvino News). Georgian wine will presumably appear at the Sochi Olympics, chairman of the National Wine Agency Levan Davitashvili said.

Georgian wine is rather successfully represented on the Russian market and it’s the prerogative of distributors and importers to take the wine to the Sochi Olympics, noted Mr. Davitashvili.

“Georgian wine will presumably appear at the Sochi Olympics, as it is rather successful on the Russian market. It might be the prerogative of distributors and importers. Georgian companies of course salute this, though there are not any coordinated or preliminary planned decisions about it”, Levan Davitashvili said.

© Hvino News

Hvino's Georgian Wine Catalogue is now open

31.01.2014 (Hvino News). Hvino's Georgian Wine Catalogue is now open for data collection: Winemakers and wine traders can add their products. Catalogue will be opened for users as soon as the database is completed.

If you are a company interested in adding your products to the database, please e-mail us via Hvino News or add your comment on our website or facebook page. We will send you the link to Catalogue and other information.

Hvino's Georgian Wine Catalogue,  already covered by Georgian media (Georgia Today, BusinessPressNews, BPI), will be the first online guide on high-quality Georgian wines. The Catalogue is targeted primarily at consumers who buy Georgian wines in the world's wine stores.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Zurab Chkhaidze: "God bless the wine maker!" Exclusive interview of Hvino News with General Director of Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking

30.01.2014 (Hvino News). Today Hvino News continues to publish its series of  exclusive interviews with leaders of Georgia’s winemaking industry. Our guest today is Mr. Zurab Chkhaidze, General Director of Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking. He kindly agreed to answer our questions.

We suggest starting the interview with your company’s brief outline.  How a person becomes a leader in wine industry? Please tell us about yourself, your background. 

Georgia is considered to be a cradle of wine and this fact is a great honor for every Georgian and my family as well. My father comes from the most beautiful village in Guria (Western part of Georgia), Askana. His great grandfather, Antimoz Chkhaidze, was a famous wine maker; one of the first qvevri in his famous wine cellar was dated back in 1880s. He was mainly known for his perfect Chkhaveri and Tsolikouri wines that were famous not only in Georgia, but abroad, shipping from Poti to faraway destinations.  My mother is from Eastern Georgia, she was born and brought up in the centre of wine making, village Velistsikhe, that is situated in Alazani Valley and was mentioned in manuscripts more than 1500 years ago. Though the surname is Mepurishvili and the family was known for the best bread makers in the village, they also became famous for their wine cellar and qvevri wines. I was brought up with special love and gratitude to wine and vine and it was not a surprise I decided to become professional in this field and connected my future studies with wine.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Production of wine barrels to resume in Georgia

29.01.2014 (Hvino News). The first time since the 90s production of oak wine barrels will be resumed in Georgia – Director of the National Wine Agency Levan Davitashvili states.

"Products for winemaking" company will begin the production that took a preferential agro-credit specifically for this project which will allow to resume production of barrels discontinued in the early 90s.

Davitashvili notes that winemakers often face problems when buying new and repairing old barrels, which gives an incentive to renew their release.

"Recovery of the production will make acquisition of oak barrels by local producers more affordablewhich, in turn, will reduce the costs of winemakers," - Davitashvili adds.

© Hvino News

Monday, January 27, 2014

"Montreal Times": Georgia, cradle of wine civilization

by Marco Giovanetti

27.01.2014. Georgia is one of the oldest winemaking nations in the world, and by some experts even considered as the birth-place of wine. This fact is known by 8000 years old archeological findings of grape-pips  inside antique clay pots. Wine is one of Georgia’s main cultural heritages, and has always been playing an important role in celebrations and rituals, both in pre-Christian and Christian time.

In Georgia the conditions are well suited for winemaking, as the climate is moderate and extreme weather conditions are rare. The summers are not too hot and the winters are mild. Also, the surrounding mountains are full of natural springs, with rivers providing mineral rich waters into the valleys.

Wine is a main sacred symbol in the Georgian Orthodox Church. Christian architectural monuments, icons and frescos do often include wine themes. As for other Christian traditions, also in Georgia wine and bread is the symbol of the blood and flesh of Christ. In the Georgian Orthodox tradition however, this does not apply only for communion and other Christian ceremonies. For Georgians wine is truly synonymous with the blood of Christ in all situations, and Georgians with respect for their culture and tradition will always treat the wine with honor and dedication.
Untitled-3Georgia is especially renowned for an ancient form of winemaking that uses qvevris, clay “jars” (some hold up to 9,000 litres) lined with beeswax, filled with crushed grapes and juice, and then buried in the ground — originally done, some speculate, to control temperatures and to protect the wine from invaders.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Georgian wine tasting in Paris on 27th January 2014

26.01.2014 (Hvino News) Tasting of natural wines from Georgia is scheduled to take place at Chateaubriand restaurant, 129 Avenue Parmentier, 75011 Paris, at 10h-18h.

Producers represented are: Ramaz Nikolade, John Wurdeman, Iago Bitarishvili, Nika Bakhia, Kakhaber Berishvili, Zurab Topuridze, Nikoloz Antadze, Malkhaz Jakeli, Joni Okruashvili and Temuri Dakishvili.

© Hvino News       |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Official: Georgia's wine export statistics for December 2013

22.01.2014 (Hvino News). According to the Georgian Wine Agency total of 5,139 102 bottles (0.75-liter) of wine was exported to 23 countries in October, 2013. The overall export as of December amounts to 46,747 785 (0.75l) bottles, being 100% higher compared to the same period of last year.

Five leading export destinations of Georgian wine are as follows: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Poland, where Russia holds 49% of total volume of exports. Latvia and China are on 6th and 7th places in volumes respectively.

Exports in value as of December 2013 amounted to over US$ 141,730 292 mln, which is already 97% higher vs last total year.

© Hvino News       |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Georgia has not used its quota for wine export in Turkey

18.01.2014. While achieving a major breakthrough by returning Georgian wine to the Russian market, Georgia did not use its quota for selling wine in Turkey. The quota was 1 million liters of wine. The wine experts think that the main reason for this is that there is not much demand for wine in Turkey and that Georgian wine is quite a new product in Turkey and it needs a solid promotional campaign.

Generally speaking, the Turkish market is quite complicated to enter. There are problems from the bureaucratic, as well as marketing point of view. Georgian entrepreneurs always face problems there.

It was also mentioned that some years ago the Turkish side provided a large quota for wine to Georgia and received favorable conditions for its products to be introduced and sold in Georgia. Georgia enthusiastically agreed to receive high quotas for wine, but it could not sell the product within the required amount.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Schuchmann Wines to become a holding company

15.01.2014 (Hvino News). Schuchmann Wines Georgia is in process of forming the holding company of a variety of businesses, according to company's CEO Nutsa Abramishvili.

A few days ago, Georgian Forbes magazine  published an interview with Schuchmann Wines' founder, 72 -year-old Burkhard Schuchmann (in Georgian language, see here). Schuchmann Wines' founder says in the article that his company will become a holding company for various types of businesses. "We will create strong Georgian brands and then will sell these brands abroad," - Mr. Schuchmann says about his plans for the future.

According to Nutsa Abramishvili, the holding will focus on two directions: tourism (hotel business) and agriculture (wine production).

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Some facts about Georgian wine you may not know

Jean Chardin (1643 – 1713)
by Levan Kakochashvili

12.01.2014. Many scientists believe that the cult of wine in Europe originated from Georgia. Thousands of years ago, people who inhabited the territory, which today we call Georgia,were familiar with the process of wine making from grape. Proof of this can be found in Xenophon’s (431 BC) and Strabo’s (II c. BC) works, while archaeological sources indicate the existence of winemaking in Georgia as far back as 8000 BC.

In the 4th century St. Nino, enlightener of Georgia, came to Georgia from Cappadocia with a grapevine cross twined into her hair. In the 9th century, at the Academy of Education, located in the old Georgian city of Ikalto (Kakheti), a winemaking faculty was founded.

The famous French traveler Jean Sharden [spelling correction: Chardin - HN] visited Georgia in 1669, and in his memoirs noted that the best Kakhetian wine was being exported in significant quantities to the Armenian region and the Ispahan court (a city in Persia) at a cost of 8 francs per pack. Hailing the quality of Georgian wine, he wrote: “... safe to say that nowhere people drink so much wine in such good quality as in Georgia”.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Georgian and Armenian winemakers discuss the idea of “Caucasian Wine Brand"

11.01.2014 (Hvino News). A heated discussion is going on between Georgian and Armenian winemakers over various issues.

President of the Association of Georgian Sommeliers Shalva Khetsuriani calls nonviable the  initiative by president of the Winemakers Union of Armenia Avag Harutyunyan to create a unified "Caucasian wine" brand. Mr. Harutyunyan recently came up with this initiative of "Caucasian wine" brand, under which Armenian, Georgian and Azerbaijani wines will be marketed.

President of the Winemakers Union of Armenia adds  that when the wine industry is developing rapidly in the world, the Georgian winemakers should think not about Georgia’s  status as the cradle of wine but about regional integration.

President of  the Association of Georgian Sommeliers  Shalva Khetsuriani claims the Georgian wine tastes very different from other wines, so it makes no sense to create a unified brand. He says that in such cases the user will simply get confused and will not understand what he drinks. Khetsuriani notes that over the centuries Georgian wine has successfully established itself on the market without creating a unified brand.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

National Wine Agency has no plans to promote Georgian wines at Sochi Olympics

09.01.2014 (Hvino News). According to the National Wine Agency, Russian news agencies' reports about the promotion of Georgian wine at the Sochi Olympics are incorrect. On Tuesday, Russian media reported that Georgia plans to advertise wine at the Olympics, but the Georgian National Wine Agency rejected this in a statement. The National Wine Agency does not plan to advertise Georgian wine at the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics, but it is still unknown whether private companies will do it on their own initiative.

Director of the  National Wine Agency Levan Davitashvili says: "The National Wine Agency is not going to advertise the wine in the framework of the Sochi Olympics. However, we do not exclude initiatives from the private sector.” According to him, the interest towards the Georgian wine is growing in the international markets including the Russian market. "For Georgian companies which are engaged in export, there is no obstacle in the way. The important thing is to have quality product," - says Levan  Davitashvli.

According to the agency, 47 million bottles of wine were exported  to 46 countries in 2013. 22 million bottles were exported to Russia. A total export of alcoholic beverages (wine, brandy and other spirits) amounts to 231 829 540 USD, which is 42 %  higher than in 2012.

Earlier in November 2013, Georgian wine was officially promoted at the EU Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania (read more here).

© Hvino News    DRINK GEORGIAN

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Georgia seeks to prove that it is origin of viniculture

08.01.2014. The Georgian authorities have prepared a project that aims to become a scientific substantiation of the fact that it is the birthplace of wine, the head of the National Agency of Wine, Levan Davitashvili said.

"The project is scientific in nature and aims to establish and identify the origins of Georgian viniculture," Russian agency Interfax quotes Mr. Davitashvili. Leading genetic scientists and archaeologists from Germany, France and other countries will participate in the project. Levan Davitashvili also said that Georgia is working on making Georgian wine popular and that there are already developed market strategies to do so.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hvino to launch Georgian wine catalogue with independent rating

31.12.2013 (Hvino News). Hvino.com in 2014 will launch the first online catalogue of Georgian wines. According to Alexander Kaffka, the head of Hvino.com, the Georgia's online portal will work to add a much-needed wine catalogue to its services.

“We receive signals from international consumers, who say they need help in picking the wines from the shelf, while shop assistants cannot provide this help in many cases. This is why Hvino will launch our own online catalogue, which will provide independent expert rating, and easy-to-read information on many Georgian wines”.

Hvino has been working on its own multi-source rating system for some time. Hvino’s original rating formula takes several international ratings into a singe account, as well as medals and other awards won at international wine contests. This multi-source rating formula will ensure neutrality, which will make it easy for consumers to select the wine.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Georgian wine to be presented at Sochi Winter Olympics

29.12.2013 (Hvino News). Georgian wine will be presented during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games through numerous Georgian restaurants in Sochi, Russia, but not through "Georgian House". The idea of having a dedicated "Georgian House" at the Sochi Olympics was has been abandoned.

"At the moment, negotiations are underway with several famous Georgian producers interested in selling their wine brands during the Olympics. The quantity of wine will be determined by Russian importers,  who distribute Georgian wine in Russia", - said Levan Davitashvili, head o National Wine Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, in his interview to Russian daily Izvestia.

According to him, Khvanchkara, Kindzmarauli, Tvishi, Saperavi and Mukuzani are in highest demand in  Russia.

Georgian delegation at the Sochi Olympics will be headed by Leri Khabelov, president of National Olympic Committee.

© Hvino News    DRINK GEORGIAN!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Georgia's wine export to Turkey is below market quota

26.12.2013 (Hvino News) Georgia will  not fully master the wine quota of one million bottles on the Turkish market in 2014.

National Wine Agency explains that Georgia's wine quota exceeds the demand on Turkish market. Also, the Turkish market is characterized by bureaucratic difficulties.

NWA predicts that next year 50 thousand liters of wine will be exported from Georgia to Turkey. Currently, tens of thousands of bottles have been exported to Turkey.

© Hvino News    DRINK GEORGIAN!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A rainy night in. Georgia?

24.12.2013. 23rd December.  It's raining.  It's blowing a gale.  It's party time.  But not at Purple Teeth's temporary London HQ.  After facing the queues on Oxford Street just to buy the perfect cheese for our Christmas dinner, and being almost swept away Mary Poppins style, I decided:  I'm not going out there, and you can't make me. But London, I promise you, I'm not tired of you yet.

So this begs the question.  Which wine should I enjoy while Mr Purple Teeth had gone to watch Arsenal vs Chelsea in the local boozer?  There are lots of lovely wines laid in for the festive season, and doubtless, 6 kinds of dessert wine will be too many.  But the lure of sharing something unusual with you, proved too much.  So to Georgia I went on this rainy night.

How many of my dear readers have tasted Georgian wine?  I've had only a small, but imperfect tasting (from a plastic cup, in the early hours of a Monday morning, after myriad flavoured vodkas) of a sweet Georgian wine made from the Saperavi grape.  So when I spotted a Saperavi in the "fine and rare" section of the John Lewis food hall (also available from Waitrose Wine online and Ocado) in my first week in London, seeing it was on special offer at the time, I couldn't resist popping it into my basket.  This 2007 Orovela is one of just 8880 bottles made in the foothills of the Caucasus mountains.  Orovela is apparently a kind of Georgian ploughing song, which could be heard echoing through the hillsides in days of yore.  Luckily now, it's an accessible brand of wine that means we don't have to go to a specialist.

Monday, December 23, 2013

East and West

23.12.2013. After 'North' and 'South' came 'East and West'. Kind of predictable but as one expert fretted, 'West' was going to be tricky given that only non-vinifera and hybrid varieties could be said to originate there if by West one meant America.

Not to be daunted by  trifle like that, the organisers of this tasting decided to focus on the Seven Percenters of California - the growers who make wine from grapes other than Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and the like plus a Baco Noir from Oregon.

Perhaps more by bad luck, the East didn't shine on this occasion and it was the West that provided the best and most popular wine.

The two absolute favourites, satifyingly enough, represented both sides. From the East, Verdernikov's Krasnostop Zolotovsky (Rostov-on-Don) was a big hit and the  Forlorn Hope 'Suspiro del Moro' Alvarelhao was so popular a second bottle had to be opened. The winners on both sides were:


Mavrud. This Bulgarian speciality really shone. The other Bulgarian favourite, Melnik came second being rather over tannic in comparison. The Bulgarian crosses were disappointing.

The Georgians failed to hit their usual mark which was quite a surprise and the Hungarians were also surprisingly disappointing. This was bad luck because we have tasted fabulous examples of many of these wines previously as you can see by entering the names some of these grapes in our Search Engine.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Korea: Georgian envoy upbeat about wine marketing

by Kang Hyun-kyung

22.12.2013. The Embassy of Georgia threw a wine-tasting party at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Wednesday, weeks after the Georgian wine-making techniques made the list of the world’s intangible cultural heritage.

More than 100 people, including experts in the wine industry and foreign diplomats based in Seoul, showed up at the year-end event to explore the taste of Georgian wines.

This is the third time that the embassy has hosted a wine-tasting event, following two events last year.

Ambassador Nokoloz Apkhazava vowed to work more actively to promote Georgian wine in Korea, saying that the wine-tasting event marks the beginning of that resolve.

He said that there are several things which make Georgian wines “special and unique.”

“Unlike wines from other countries, Georgian wineries use a clay vessel, which we call a kvevri, and store wines for several years deep underground,” the envoy said. “Georgians are the first producers of wines in the world and our long history in wine production makes our wines unique.”

Monday, December 16, 2013

Georgia doubles wine exports as Russian market reopens

16.12.2013. Russia bought almost half of all wine exported by Georgia in 2013, just months after a longtime ban was lifted, Georgia’s agriculture ministry said Monday.

Georgia sold 21.8 million bottles to Russia after Moscow ended an embargo in June that had been imposed in 2006.

The level of demand has prompted the Caucasus nation to double its forecast for Russian wine sales in 2014 from 12-15 million bottles to more than 30 million, Georgy Seturidze, head of the Georgian-Russian Economic Cooperation Center, told Prime news agency.

The reopening of the Russian market helped Georgia to double wine exports this year to 44.7 million bottles, the ministry’s annual report showed. It sold wine to 48 countries worldwide in 2013.

In March, Russia’s consumer rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, cleared 36 Georgian winemakers and four mineral water producers to resume deliveries to Russia. Exports of Georgian wine and other agricultural goods to Russia resumed in June.


Friday, December 13, 2013

A Taste of Georgia in London

by Sophie Ibbotson and Max Lovell-Hoare

13.12.2013. Taste Georgia, the first Georgian Christmas Fair, took place in London last week [correction: from November 28 to December 1 - HN]  introducing thousands of Londoners to the country’s finest foods, wines and culture. Set in the historic Cathedral Square in Southwark, visitors were treated to live performances as well as tasty treats.

HE Alexandra Hall, Britain’s ambassador to Tbilisi, said, “I am thrilled the Taste Georgia is taking place in London. This is a fantastic opportunity for people living or visiting London to get to know the rich Georgian culture and taste the wonderful food and wine this country has to offer.”

Her enthusiasm for the project was echoed by Master of Wine, Sarah Abbott, who concurred: “It was wonderful to see so many people discovering and enjoying the great treasures of Georgian wine and food.”

The smiles of the hundreds of happy customers packed into the square each lunchtime was certainly a tribute both to the quality of the food and its appeal to London’s palate.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Teliani Valley Tsinandali honoured with 88 rate by "Wine Spectator"

12.12.2013. At 2013's Wine Spectator blind tasting Teliani Valley Tsinandali has been honoured with the 88 rate, highest among other Georgian wines. Only two sorts among other type of Georgian wines have been graded with such high rate. The first 88 rate was awarded to the Teliany Valley Mukuzani in 2010. Teliani Valley's other wines were also awarded with high points: Tsolikouri Lechkhumi – 87 score, Saperavi Kakheti – 86 score, Saperavi Kakheti Unfiltered – 85 score, Cabernet – Saperavi Kakheti Reserve – 83 score.

The most reliable, rigorous and critical wine degustator – Wine Spectator -  is the leader publication in this sphere, its editors annually conduct blind tastings of thousands of wines. Wine Spectator's description for Teliani Valley Tsinandali:

Redolent of green apple and spice, this features plenty of pastry notes in the mix. Quite creamy midpalate, with hints of pumpkin on the crisp finish. Drink now.

Company News

Director of National Wine Agency explains an expected price hike for wine by increased demand

13.12.2013 (Hvino News). The National Wine Agency is not going to interfere with the companies’ decisions on the expected price hike. As director of the Agency states to Georgian Commersant radio, they do not have the opportunity to influence legislation. Levan Davitashvili says that the market will regulate situation and companies will continue to increase prices until the market allows this.

Davitashvili explains the decision on wine price increase by the increasing demand for wine but notes that up to 80 manufacturers are operating in the market, including those who will meet the market demand with a relatively lower price.

© Hvino News       |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2013's Media Rating of Georgian Wine Companies: Tbilvino leads again

11.12.2013. (Hvino News).  This year's Media Rating of Georgian Wine Companies became known today. For the second time Hvino News prepares its analytic report, which is now based on 20 months of our global media monitoring.

Compared to 2012's data, both leaders - Tbilvino and Teliani Valley - have confirmed their strong position in the media, as they keep their Gold and Silver positions respectively for the second year in row.

Congratulations to Tbilvino's management and PR team for the most successful media outreach!

The Bronze shifted  from Pheasant's Tears to Wine Man. Wine Man showed excellent progress from the 7th position in 2012 to the Top-3 in 2013!

Shuchmann Wines, who shared Silver in 2012, went down to 4th place, but with just a minimal gap.

The number of mentions of other companies can be seen from the tables (Click on the images to enlarge).

2012's Media Rating results can be found here. Our media data includes both the international English-language media monitoring and the articles published by Hvino News under its own copyright. Hvino News was the first to conduct regular media analysis of Georgian wine industry.

© Hvino News 

This article was reposted by:

Georgian Wines for Winter Warmth (in Philadelphia)

11.12.2013 (Hvino News) The holidays are here! Get in the spirit with our Winter Coat drive and Georgian wine Happy Hour!

WHEN: December 15, 2013 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
WHERE: Jet Wine Bar
1525 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146, USA
COST: Free Samples, Free Cocktail with Donation

From 4-6, we will be offering samples of wines from the Republic of Georgia. Wine-making likely began around Georgia, and its ancient techniques have been awarded UNESCO Protected-Heritage status. We will try several of its wines, including dry & semi-dry, still & sparkling. All are available in select PA stores, so taste some ideas for gift-giving!

Further get yourself in the spirit of giving by bringing your new or gently-used winter coats, or new hats, & gloves to Jet for the charitable organization, Feel The Warmth. Bring in a coat, or a hat/glove combo, or a new toy and receive a free Georgian cocktail – our take on Chacha.

© Hvino News   |  DRINK GEORGIAN!