Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wine Culture Research Project launched in Georgia

13.02.2014. Presentation of the "Georgian Vineyard and Viniculture Research Project" was held by the National Wine Agency. General Director of the Georgian National Museum Davit Lortkipanidze, Minister of Agriculture Shalva Pipia, and the head of the National Wine Agency Levan Davitashvili, attended the presentation together with world renown researchers and scientists.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili attended the presentation.  Presenting the Georgian Vineyard and Viniculture Research Project at the Georgian National Museum on February 11th, Garibashvili raised the idea of establishing a Georgian Wine Day, which would be annually celebrated on the last Sunday in October. Garibashvili said the history of Georgian viniculture is inseparable from the history of the Georgian people. And thus, the vineyard and viniculture are equal parts of the Georgian identity.

“We are obligated to take care of our viticulture and promote its preservation and development,” the Prime Minister stated.

He said that Georgian wine, made in special wine vats, astonishes the world and is becoming more and more popular. “It is not accidental that the Georgian wine vat was granted the status of a cultural heritage by UNESCO,” Garibashvili stated.


Georgian restaurant Marani to open in London's Mayfair in March

13.02.2014. Marani, a new Georgian restaurant that features hand-painted murals and what is claimed to be the largest selection of Georgian wines this side of the Caucasus mountains, is set to open in London's Mayfair in March this year.

The restaurant, which sits on what was the site of Tempo, at 54 Curzon Street, aims to champion a "lighter, contemporary style" of Georgian food through a menu created by Georgian chef Tekuna Gachechiladze.

It will revive authentic flavours, inspired by Georgia's location on the Silk Road, with Indian spices, ingredients from Persia and cooking styles from the Middle East, alongside French and Mediterranean influences, while also offering modern interpretations of traditional “supra” dishes.

The dishes, many of which are designed for sharing, will include classics such as Khinkali dumplings, Khachapuri cheese bread and spiced broths, alongside slow-cooked stews served in cast iron pots, skewered meats prepared on the mangal grill and vegetarian dishes.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Prime Minister Garibashvili initiates wine museum and National Wine Day

12.02.2014.  Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has proposed an initiative to create a wine museum in Tbilisi and to establish a National Wine Day in Georgia.

Garibashvili made this announcement today at the presentation of "Wine Culture Research Project” at Georgia’s National Museum.

"I am proposing an initiative to create a wine museum. It will become a center where the entire history of Georgian wine will be collected. I am sure this kind of place will attract many Georgian and foreign visitors,” Garibashvili said.

The PM then appealed to the Wine Agency to start working on the museum project.

As for the Georgian National Wine Day, Garibashvili said the day would be celebrated in October.

"I also want to initiate celebration of a wine day on the last Sunday of October. This will help to further popularise Georigan wines,” Garibashvili added.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

XIV International Exhibition “Wine & Winemaking. High Degree”

11.02.2014. Demonstration of new promotion mechanisms of wine and spirits, as well as popularization of culture of their moderate consumption are the main accents of the upcoming XIV International Exhibition “Wine & Winemaking. High Degree”. For the workers of the wine-producing industry of Ukraine the main event of the year will be held on March 20-22, 2014 at the Exhibition Centre of Odessa  Sea Port.

The venue remains the same! Territory of the exhibition will be turned into unique platform of effective business communication of producers, retailers and representatives of public bodies as well as a platform for  unforgettable reality show for consumers who have a  rare occasion – to be  able to taste first  and only then to buy guaranteed quality beverages.

Museum of Georgian wine to be opened in Tbilisi

11.02.2014 (Hvino News). A museum of Georgian wine will be opened in Tbilisi upon the Georgian Prime Minister's initiative. In addition, Irakli Gharibashvili proposes to establish a day of Georgian wine, which will be celebrated annually on the last Sunday of October.

He says that the country with such a huge tradition should have a place where history of Georgian wine will be presented. In his words, a museum of wine should be created in Tbilisi and it's going to become a center where the entire history of Georgian wine would be collected.

Premier Minister believes that the museum will be visited by both Georgian and foreign visitors. Gharibashvili asks the National Wine Agency as soon as possible to begin work on the museum project. PM says that these new initiatives will help further popularize Georgian wines.

© Hvino News

Friday, February 7, 2014

Deliveries of Georgian wine to Russia twice higher than forecasted

07.02.2014 (Hvino News). Deliveries of Georgian wine in Russia were twice higher than forecast. According to Russian Customs Service cited by RBC Daily, six months after the termination of the embargo 14.79 million liters of wine (more than 21 million bottles) were imported from Georgia. Thus, Georgian winemakers hit the top ten importers, taking total imports of 5.45 per cent in real terms. Prior to the embargo in 2005, the figure was 9 percent.

According to the experts' forecasts, the return of Georgian wine to Russia was supposed to be much more modest.  Gennady Onishchenko spoke of up to 6 million liters and one percent of the Russian market, which could “overpower” Georgian importers. But despite pessimistic prognosis of former hear of Rospotrebnadzor,  after 7-year pause  Kindzmarauli and Khvanchkara quickly returned old positions.

Slightly more optimistic in April 2013 was the head of the National Agency of wine Levan Davitashvili. According to him, this could be about 7 million liters.

© Hvino News       |  DRINK GEORGIAN!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Georgian businessman demands public discussions of EU association project

06.02.2014. Gogi Topadze, Georgian beer magnate and member of the Georgian Dream coalition, has demanded that the government publish the text of the Georgian-EU association project for public discussions. Topadze himself has already read the document and knows that the agreement will give Georgian products access to the world’s largest market.

The document has already been initialed at the Vilnius summit of the Eastern Partnership and cannot be changed. Signing of the association agreement may result in blocking access to the Russian market, refusal to sign it is risky in the light of events in Ukraine.

Over 20 million bottles of wine were sold in Russia, or 5.5% of total wine imports in Russia, in the months following the lifting of the 7-year trade embargo. Georgia has doubled wine exports, gaining additional millions of dollars of income and creating thousands of new jobs.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

IWINETC in Tbilisi offers special discounts

05.02.2014. IWINETC 2014, the International meeting place for the wine and culinary tourism industry has announced a range of special offers and discounts for all attendees of the event, which will take place in Tbilisi Marriott, Georgia from 29 – 30 March 2014. Discounts available here.

Participants of IWINETC will also be able to take advantage of discounted accommodation during their time in Tbilisi. Attendees can secure reduced rates at the both the Tbilisi Marriott and the nearby Courtyard Marriott.

To find out more about the benefits of attending IWINETC 2014 as a conference delegate and to register, please visit www.iwinetc.com.

Tour operators or travel agents specialized in wine and culinary tourism or considering adding this lucrative product to their portfolio could be eligible to attend IWINETC as an Invited Buyer. To find out more, please view the info for the Wine Tourism Meet Up and Fam Trip.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Rocking the “cradle of wine”

Photo georgianews.ge
by Robert Linkous

02.02.2014. By hook or crook, by science and archaeology, Georgian government intends to dig up or nail down the “cradle of wine,” and prove it is not in a neighboring country. Still, in the wide world of wine there must be room enough for the Georgian and Armenian wine cultures. Already from the north Georgia is encroached upon along its “creeping” border with Russia; surely to the south it is not too late for peace in our time.

Indeed, a new venture in Yerevan, Old World Wine Tours, looks forward this year to its first full season of being the only people who offer combined tours of wine regions in both countries. By email Matt Bartelsian, who has done marketing for the company, explained: “Georgia is known as the birthplace of wine (about 8,000 years of history), but recently the world’s oldest winery was found in Armenia (about 6,100 years old) and is soon to be open to the public.”

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Georgian wines in Paris (again)

01.02.2014. The wines of Georgia are having their show again in Paris, first here in Chateaubriand, the wine-wise restaurant on Avenue Parmentier in the 11th, then in several other wine events including in the ones popping up around the Loire Wines Fair in Angers, namely Les Pénitentes in Angers and La Dive Bouteille in Saumur. That's why Angers is a good wine destination at this time of the year, because in addition to the wines of the Loire region, you can taste the wines from many other regions and meet these winemakers who share the passion for real wines.

This event was organized by Thierry Puzelat and the owners of Chateaubriand, Thierry Puzelat playing an important role in the awakening of the European public to these wines of Georgia and to their antique winemaking techniques. This free tasting event took place on a monday like most professional tasting events, it lasted from 10am to 6pm and featured the wines of 10 winegrowers from Georgia, many of them being present in person :

Ramaz Nikoladze, John Wurdeman, Lago Bitarishvili, Nika Bakhia, Kakhaber Berishvili, Zurab Topuridze,Nikoloz Antadze, Malkhaz Jakeli, Jani Okruashvili and temuri Dakishvili. I managed to get there after work like last year and taste a few wines before they packed up at about 6:40.

ICC Georgia Discount Card

01.02.2014. ICC-Georgia is delighted to announce that by the end of January it will be launching its new initiative - ICC Georgia Discount Card that offers to its members and members’ staff exclusive cut-price deals.

ICC Georgia is supporting again its members by establishing the most inclusive and diverse M2M discount project ever offered in Georgia by any business organization. The cardholder is eligible to receive 15 different discounts from various businesses [including Hvino.com - HN]. For detailed list, please click here. The discount list of participants will be constantly upgraded and increased throughout the year.

The aim of the program is to increase customer loyalty, company visibility and revenues for discount participants; while for the cardholders it gives an opportunity to get discounts on various services and products offered by participating members. More than five thousand cards will be distributed by end of January to ICC Georgia members and to their staff as well as to ICC Georgia Youth members. The number of eligible card recipients will be in constant increase with the participation of more ICC members into the program.

Expected price increase on alcohol in Russia will not impact Georgian wine producers

31.01.2014. Due to sharp depreciation of Russian Ruble, the analytics predict 10-15% price increase on the alcohol, although Georgian wine producer states that it will not change any thing for Georgian wine exporters.

Member of the board of a leading Georgian wine company Tbilvino Zurab Margvelashvili states that the company makes payments to Russian suppliers in "stable currency" and that's why export incomes of Tbilvino in USD will not changed.

Director of Federal and Regional Markets Research Center of Russia Vadim Drobiz stated in the interview with Izvestia that due to Ruble depreciation to USD and Euro, they expect about 10-15% price increase on the imported alcohols. Especially they expect price increase on wine and strong alcohol drinks.

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.