Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking opens a new plant

26.09.2016 (Hvino News). Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking (KTW) has launched its new brandy distillery in the village of Velistsikhe Map , Gurjaani district in Kakheti.

Official opening of the plant was attended by Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and other members of the government. "KTW Group is particularly grateful to the government of Georgia, which has created all conditions so that we can serve the people of Georgia", - commented the company.

The plant, equipped with stainless steel tanks, refrigeration equipment, and other modern technologies, will process local grapes to distill brandy spirits.

"With the introduction of the new  plant the company facilities have increased significantly, and this year we have processed 25 thousand tons of grapes for brandy alcohol", reads the company's press release.

Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking (KTW) has invested 7 million GEL in the project. Over the past four years, Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking  has made investments in the amount of $60 million in its projects in Georgia.

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UK samples unique taste of Georgian wine

27.09.2016. Six Georgian wine companies have made an impression in Great Britain at major wine tasting events.

Over 70 exhibitors including specialist importers, boutique wineries and agencies gathered in two UK cities for the autumn edition of the Specialist Importers Trade Tasting (SITT), held in Manchester on September 19 and London on September 21.

Both wine tasting events gave visitors the chance to sample wines from all parts of the world, including places like Georgia that have a rich but vastly unknown history of wine.

The UK event is crucial for new and seasoned trade professionals, as it brings together a wide selection of specialist importers, boutique wineries and agencies, who showcase a vast selection of wines to add to their wine lists.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Grape harvest 2016: 71,300 tonnes of grapes picked so far

26.09. 2016. The grape harvest is in full swing in Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region where so far this season 12,000 farmers have earned over 67.7 million GEL by selling 77,600 tonnes of grapes.

The Georgian National Wine Agency said local growers had processed the following grape varieties:

Rkatsiteli - 43,000 tonnes
Saperavi – 30,400 tonnes
Kakhuri Mtsvane – 2,200 tonnes

To date most grapes were processed in Kakheti’s Gurjaani municipality – 26,800 tonnes. Followed by:

Telavi – 19,000 tonnes
Kvareli – 18,700 tonnes
Sighnaghi – 6,600 tonnes
Lagodekhi – 2,400 tonnes
Dedoplistskaro – 1,600 tonnes
Akhmeta –1,600 tonnes
Sagarejo – 1,300 tonnes

Two days ago Georgian wine company Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking (KTW) opened a new grape processing and brandy spirit distillation plant in Velistikhe Village Map , also in Kakheti region.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Telavi Wine Cellar wins gold and silver at Mundus Vini 2016 Summer Tasting

23.09.2016 (Hvino News). Georgian producer Telavi Wine Cellar (Marani) won 3 gold and 1 silver medals at prestigious  Mundus Vini 2016 Summer Tasting in Germany. The awards were announced recently.

Telavi Marani was the only Georgian producer to win awards at this summer's Munus Vini. The following wines of Telavi Wine Cellar are the winners:

   Marani Kondoli Vineyards Saperavi 2013
   Satrapezo Saperavi 2013
   Marani Reserve 2007 (+“Best of Show Georgia”)

   Marani Mukuzani 2013

In addition to gold medal, “Marani Reserve” was also named as  “Best of Show Georgia”.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Georgian Wine Week 2016 is launched

22.09.2016 (Hvino News). Today starts the Georgian Wine Week, organized by Georgia’s Ministry of Agriculture and National Wine Agency.

A number of events will be held throughout Georgia till October 2. Wine festivals will be held in Telavi and Marneuli, including wine contests and other activities.

The Week starts on September 22 with inauguration of the Qvevri Workshop School in Ikalto. The event includes a photo exhibition and award ceremony for the monastery wine. Simultaneously in Telavi, Georgian wines of different companies will be presented in street pavilions. Visitors will be able to taste the wine, Georgian sweets, and cheese.

September 23 in the Library of Vine and Wine (at Georgian National Library), exhibition and presentation of new books related to the Georgian viticulture is scheduled. The presentation will be lead by writer George Barisashvili.

"Georgian wine culture center" was developed in Xinjiang - China's province with population of 22 million

22.09.2016. (Hvino News). Mutual collaboration memorandum was signed between National Wine Agency of ministry of agriculture of Georgia and "Georgian Wine Culture Center" of Urumqi, Xinjiang province, China.

The memorandum was signed by the head of National Wine Agency, Giorgi Samanishvili and the general manager of Beifang Jianda, Tong Jia.

"Georgian Wine Culture Center" was developed by one of the major Georgian wine importer companies, "Xinjiang Beifang Jianda Trade Co., Ltd".

As the head of national wine agency, Giorgi Samanishvili stated, Xinjiang province is one of the first in China, Georgian wine export began several years ago.

"Xinjiang province is significant on China market, here, Georgian wine and wine culture is better known, than in other provinces. Our partner "Beifang Jianda" has been exported Georgian wine in China for more than 10 years. They have already developed "Georgian Wine Culture Center" in Xinjiang province and today, we have signed memorandum of collaboration with this center and we will do our best to improve Georgian wine and culture publicity in Xinjiang province"- stated Giorgi Samanishvili.

"China Daily": Georgian wine industry toasts trade pact

by Mike Peters and Zhong Nan

22.09.2016. A day after China and Georgia announced they will sign a free trade agreement later this year, Georgia's agriculture minister said the two countries' wine industries will quickly be big beneficiaries.

"Our countries have a special relationship that goes back to the Silk Road era and before,"said Levan Davitashvili, who took a break from Georgia's ongoing election campaign to discuss the news with a group of visiting Chinese journalists.

"Today the tariff on wine imports in China is 48.5 percent, but after the FTA goes into effect next summer, it will be zero," he said. “There will be big benefits for both countries, especially for Chinese producers who will be doing joint ventures in Georgia".

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Badagoni wins 7 medals at top Japanese wine contest

20.09.2016. The unique taste of Georgian wine is making an impression in Japan, where last week a local wine producer won seven medals at a prestigious wine competition.

Georgia’s Badagoni wine company was honoured wih gold, silver and bronze medals at the 19th Japan Wine Challenge, an event regarded as one of the most prestigious wine competitions in Asia.

Badagoni’s Kakhuri Tsarchinebuli wine won gold and at the same time, was named the best Georgian wine at the competition.

Other wines by Badagoni, such as Alaverdi Traditions, Tsinandali, Maestro and Badagoni Brut, won silver and bronze medals at the contest, which was held from September 2-4 in Japan’s capital Tokyo.

Just over 1,600 wines were entered and judged in the contest by a panel of leading wine professionals from Japan and across the world.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Georgia declaration on wine tourism

Fostering sustainable tourism development through intangible cultural heritage

As global tourism is on the rise and competition between destinations grows, unique local and regional intangible cultural heritage has gradually become the discerning factor for the allure and enjoyment of tourists. Gastronomy tourism has emerged as particularly important in this regard, not only because food and drink is central to any tourist experience, but also because the concept of gastronomy tourism has evolved to encompass its cultural facets and link to local culture. Incorporated into its discourse are the ethical and sustainable values of the territory, the landscape, the sea, local history, values and culture heritage.

Wine tourism, as a crucial component of gastronomy tourism, has evolved into a key element for both emerging and mature tourism destinations in which tourists can experience the culture and lifestyle of destinations while fostering sustainable tourism development.

UNWTO: Wine tourism – a growing tourism segment

20.09.2016. The link between wine tourism and culture, history and lifestyle and the contribution of this segment to the development of the sector has been widely discussed during the 1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism held in the Kakheti region in Georgia. During two days (7-9 September) the event convened over 200 participants including policy makers and tourism experts from nearly 50 countries.  

In the last decade, wine tourism has become a key component of gastronomy tourism and a pillar in the strategies of diversification of many destinations. The event was a unique opportunity to discover the richness of local Georgian culture and to exchange innovative ideas to promote wine tourism between destinations already experienced in wine tourism with others with a high potential in that segment. Ministries, Destination Management Organizations (DMOS) and National Tourism Organizations (NTOs), universities, tour operators and wine professionals were among the participants.

“Wine tourism is intimately related to the identity of destinations and comprises cultural, economic and historical values. Furthermore, it constitutes a major driver in diversification strategies helping destinations to enrich the touristic offer and to attract different publics. This Conference tries not only to emphasize these but also to promote exchanges and to build cooperation among destinations with a potential in this field,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai at the opening of the Conference.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Best Georgian wine on show at prestigious speciality & fine food fair, London

by Nino Gugunishvili

14.09.2016. For the first time in its history, the UK’s leading showcase of fine food and drink this year featured Georgian wine brands Badagoni and Lagvinari at London Olympia. With more than 850 exhibitors, London’s Speciality and Fine Food Fair is known as “the place to discover what’s making the news and what’s about to. From the new producers to the more established specialty brands, you’re sure to find fresh ideas and fresh new products to enhance your business offering.”

London-based company Cenimex, founded by Berdia Qamarauli and Dennis Muriu in August 2015, is a British import-export venture. It works under the Georgian Wine Club brand name, specializing in Georgian wine import and promotion in the UK. With a concept of selling only the highest quality Georgian wines to the UK market, the company is currently working with several Georgian wine companies and is planning to add more Georgian wine brands to their portfolio in the near future, “thus guaranteeing an exeptional wine experience to UK customers,” said Qamarauli.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

US wine experts visit Georgia

by Thea Morrison

13.09.2016. A ten-member group of US wine experts led by international wine master Lisa Granik visited Georgian wine companies and small wineries in the Kartli and Kakheti regions. [Experts group included Kyle Eberle, Giancarlo Luiggi, Carolyn Beaty, Aaron Zebrook, Amber Rill, Tristan Prat-Vincent, Bruno Almeida, Isabella Fitzgerald, Barbara Haimes - HN]

According to Granik, who is the head of Georgia’s contractor company TastingWorks, the quality of Georgian wine is increasing by the year. She noted that the quality of many commercial and non-commercial wines has reached international standards.

“The quality and desire to produce very high-quality wine at a world-standard level is increasing in Georgia,” she noted, adding that such tours as this latest aim to increase awareness of Georgian wine in the US and help to introduce traditional Georgian wine-making methods to foreign professionals.

“This will eventually contribute to the growth of export of Georgian wine, and wine tourism in Georgia,'' she said.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Georgian wine class in Washington area

12.09.2016 (Hvino News). On September 16 at Total Wine  Map  in Alexandria (Virginia, USA) a Georgian wine class will be held at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Entrance fee is $5.

"Join us for a fun evening of free food and wine from Georgia, the country not the state. We will be taking over the tasting room for a sit down in depth wine class on Georgian wines, the history, the varietals and the taste," - the organizers say.

5 Georgian wines will be tasted including varietals such as Rkatsiteli and Saperavi made in both modern and qvevri style from producers such as Teliani Valley, Schuchmann Wines, and Vinoterra.

"Invite a friend and don’t miss this chance to discover Georgian wine!"

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Official stats for August: Georgia exports 42% more wine

11.09.2016 (Hvino News). According to Georgia's National Wine Agency (NWA), over 28 million bottles of wine were exported to 46 countries last month, bringing $64.8 million back into the economy.

In August 2016 Georgia exported 42 percent more wine year-on-year (y/y), and generated 16 percent more revenue by selling 28,156,547 bottles of wine abroad.

The top five countries that imported the most Georgian wine in August 2016 were:

Russia – 14,664,610 bottles
China – 3,368,361 bottles
Ukraine – 3,042,192 bottles
Kazakhstan – 2,287, 826 bottles
Poland – 1,367,960 bottles

Year-on-year exports of Georgian wine increased to:

Friday, September 9, 2016

WTO's Taleb Rifai: "Georgia is a must-see place for every winemaker”

09.09.2016 (Hvino News). "I am glad to see how effectively the Government of Georgia has been working to turn Georgia into a country that offers diverse tourism opportunities,” said Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), yesterday at the first session of the first Global Conference on Wine Tourism, organised by the UNWTO  and Georgia's National Tourism Administration (GNTA).

Over 250 guests from 42 countries took part in the conference, which was held in Georgia on September 7-9.

Dr. Rifai said Georgians were the champions and leaders in wine tourism and a "must-see place for every winemaker”. "This would be a very educational visit as everyone will be able to learn about wine history and at the same time experience great pleasure and joy of life by drinking Georgian wine,” he added.

"When we are talking about wine we should realise it was born 8,000 years ago in this very place. Every time you hold a bottle of wine, think about the whole process – about the vineyards, grapes and the way wine gets from the vineyards to your table,” Dr. Rifai said.

Georgia’s economy minister Dimitry Kumsishvili also welcomed the conference participants and said these types of conferences helped raise awareness of Georgia. "Tourism plays an important part in Georgia’s economy. In 2015 Georgia hit a record as it hosted about six million international visitors. This record will is set to be broken again for sure,” Kumsishvili said.

The minister also shared the popular legend, according to which the land given by the God to Georgians was the one he planned to keep for his mother. "That's why we call Georgia Motherland", - added Mr. Kumsishvili.

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism inaugurated in Tbilisi

08.09.2016 (Hvino News). The 1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism was opened on September 7th in Tbilisi. The conference is organized by World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in collaboration with the Georgian National Tourism Administration.

The conference was opened by Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of UNWTO, who addressed conference participants during dinner reception in Tbilisi.

"This is the biggest event in our country’s life in terms of cementing Georgia’s image as the world’s cradle of wine”, said Mr. Kvirikashvili.

The conference guests were entertained with Georgian traditional dancing and singing. Mr. Rifai made a toast for prosperity of Georgia and development of wine tourism industry in the country.

The first conference session will be held in Kakheti, where the guests will also visit the Alaverdi Monastery, famous for its wine, and Winery Khareba's "Wine Tunnel".

The working sessions will be opened by welcoming remarks by Georgia's minister of economy Dimitry Kumsishvili and UNWTO's Taleb Rifai.

The sessions will continue in Chateau Mukhrani on September 9.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

UNWTO Secretary-General to attend the First International Conference on Wine Tourism in Georgia

07.09.2016. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in collaboration with the Georgian National Tourism Administration will present the 1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism to be held in the Kakheti wine region of Georgia from 7-9 September.

The Conference will have a unique and dynamic format in which the sessions will take place in different wineries.

Expert speakers will provide snapshot presentations to lead the debates which will ensue at each of the tables.

Participants will be requested to actively participate in the interactive debates with the expert speakers which will be rotating among the tables. The conclusions of the Conference will be a compilation of all the information debated during each meeting.

“Wine tourism represents a growing segment with immense opportunities to diversify demand. In the case of Georgia, this potential is well-known and we are very pleased to be holding the first UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism in the country,” said Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of UNWTO.

[Hvino News will provide coverage of UNWTO Global Conference. Hvino.com's director is attending the Conference as participant - HN]

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

UN to host first conference on wine tourism in Georgia

06.09.2016. For the first edition of a UN-organized conference on wine tourism, leaders will gather in the cradle of winemaking next week to discuss the burgeoning industry and its importance in local heritage.

It's a strategic and significant decision to hold the first edition of the UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism in the South Caucasus country of Georgia instead of bigger and more popular wine tourism destinations like France, Italy, Spain or Australia.

By choosing Georgia, organizers are returning to what some experts have described as the birthplace of winemaking.

Evidence of winemaking traditions have been traced back 8,000 years among archeological records found in Georgia, well before reaching Western Europe.

At the conference, experts and industry leaders will discuss the development of a Wine Tourism Prototype, a model that will focus on the integration of wineries in the local cultural, economic, social and environmental heritage.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Miquel Hudin receives 2016 Geoffrey Roberts Award for book on Georgian wine

05.09.2016 (Hvino News). Wine journalist Miquel Hudin is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Geoffrey Roberts Award for a new book about Georgian wine.  Founded in 1996 in the UK to commemorate the life and work of pioneer importer Geoffrey Roberts, this annual award is a travel bursary to further the cause of New World or emerging region wines. There is only one recipient per year who is judged to have been making a positive difference in the world of wine. The award is currently presented by The Vintner's Company that received its first Charter in 1363 and is one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London in the UK.

Thanks to the Geoffrey Roberts award, Miquel Hudin has now commenced research for a new title in his Vinologue enotourism book series which will extensively cover the different wine regions, grapes, cellars and wines of the Republic of Georgia.  He is currently traveling across the entire country to visit and profile the best wineries as well as to taste and review the wines.  Miquel Hudin is a Certified Sommelier who has judged several international wine competitions and traveled extensively to different wine regions around the world. He is a regular contributor to Decanter, Harpers, the Guild of Sommeliers, and the World of Fine Wine.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Grape harvest begins in Georgia’s wine region Kakheti

03.09.2016. This year’s grape harvest has begun in Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region.

More than 1,850 tons of Rkatsiteli grape and more than 1,110 tons of saperavi has been processed in Dedoplistskaro.

Wine producing companies pay 80 tetris (tetri is 0.01 GEL) for saperavi, 35 tetris for rkatsiteli and mtsvane grapes.

The government adds a subsidy, which is 20 tetris for saperavi and 45 tetris for rtkatsiteli and mtsvane. As a result, winegrowers will get one GEL for a kilogram of saperavi and 80 tetris for a kilogram of rkatsiteli or mtsvane.

Some winegrowers are unhappy with the prices and think they are too low, especially the rkatsiteli price. Locals from the village Chandari say they think one kilo should cost at least one GEL. Some of them told the newspaper Rezonansi that with the government subsidy it won’t be that hard for them to sell the harvest.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Government subsidizes Vintage 2016

31.08.2016. Within the framework of the Vintage 2015 program, the government decided to issue 0.45 GEL per kg for Rkatsiteli grapes, 0.20 GEL per kg for Saperavi and 0.45 GEL for one kg of Kakhetian Green as subsidies. The highest price is on Mujuretuli/Aleksandrouli grapes with wine factories having to pay 2 GEL per kg within the state subsidies program.

The statement was made by Georgia’s Minister of Agriculture Otar Danelia at the opening of the Vintage 2016 harvest coordination center in Telavi, Kakheti Region.

The event was also attended by Deputy Minister of Agriculture Levan Davitashvili, head of the National Wine Agency Giorgi Samanishvili, and representatives of local government and wine producing companies.

Danelia spoke about the importance of the subsidies from the state, adding the decision was made considering the interest of viticulturists as well as the interests of winemakers.

(Republic of) Georgia on my mind: Wine tourism’s future in the “Cradle of Wine”

by Mike Veseth

31.08.2016. In a few days Sue and I will be jetting off to the Republic of Georgia for the first United Nations World Tourism Organization Global Conference on Wine Tourism.We have been trying to learn all we can about Georgia and its wine and wine tourism industries in preparation for the trip. I thought you might be interested in three of the resources we have found especially useful.

Taber’s Final Frontier

George Taber spent the best part of a year circling the globe collecting wine tourism experiences that he chronicled in an entertaining 2009 book called In Search of Bacchus.  Most of the places Taber visited would be on any globetrotter’s wine tourism map — Burgundy, Bordeaux, Tuscany and so on — and his reporting and first person accounts are very interesting. Taber waited until the final chapter to veer off the conventional road map to visit Georgia, which he calls wine’s “final frontier.”

Taber had a great time in Georgia, the “Cradle of Wine,” 8000 vintages and counting. He loved the people and culture and was fascinated by the wine, reporting on the traditional wine-making process using big clay jars called qvervi (which are buried in the earth as shown below) to ferment and store the wine until ready to drink.

Monday, August 29, 2016

10 Georgian wines win awards at China's CWSA 2016 contest

29.08.2016 (Hvino News). Ten wines from four Georgian producers were awarded at China Wine & Spirits Awards (CWSA) 2016. Georgian wines won 6 gold medals, 2 silver and 2 bronze awards. This is a serious progress compared to last year's results, when Georgian products won only 3 medals.

The Georgian prize-winners are:


Shumi Saperavi Cabernet 2014
Shumi Mtsvane Iberiuli 2013
Kakhuri Gvinis Marani Manavi 2014
Kakhuri Gvinis Marani Saperavi 2013
Tsereteli Wine and Spirits Mukuzani 2014
Georgian Vine and Wine Company Saperavi 2015

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Georgian wine tasting & dinner in Washington

24.08.2016. (Hvino News). Please join us for a Georgian wine tasting and dinner conversation with Janet Cam, Janet Cam Consulting, LLC and Noel Brockett, Director of Operations and Sales, Georgian Wine House.

WHEN: Thursday, August 25, 2016 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
WHERE: The Tabard Inn - 1739 N Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20036, United States

The Republic of Georgia is considered to be the birthplace of wine – with supporting archaeological evidence dating back to 6000 BC. But is there more than pure historical interest in this fact? Indeed! An ancient Georgian winemaking technique unearthed by the archaeologists has become a passion once again, in modern Georgia: the qvevri method, recognized by UNESCO as the oldest winemaking tradition on the World Heritage list.

These natural wines made with wild airborne yeast have a cider-like nose and oxidized taste reminiscent of sherry. Though the method is rooted in ancient Georgia, modern winemakers around the world have now created an “amber/orange” wine trend, a renaissance of white wine vinified with skin contact which first took place with the use of qvevri. An example of amber wine is available on our wine list by the glass.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Why now is the time to drink wines from Georgia (the country)

Photo: Melissa Hom
by Chris Crowley

19.08.2016. The main thing you notice about Mariam Losebidze’s 2014 Tavkveri is that it tastes like it’s infused with smoked fat. This is wine, albeit obscure wine, and wine tends not to taste like bacon. But Losebidze is one of only a handful of female winemakers from the country of Georgia — the former Soviet republic sandwiched between Russia and Armenia’s northern border — and her wines are unapologetically bold. They were also, until recently, largely only available in her home country. But now some of America’s most progressive importers and sommeliers have turned their attention to Georgia, which produces wines that are unlike anything else.

Just as you might expect, plenty of Georgian wine is a far cry from grand cru Burgundies or the Pinot Noirs of California. For Western palates, much of it can seem, frankly, weird. In a lot of ways, the growing appreciation for Georgian wine is an extension of the continuing demand for so-called natural wines, the catchall term that refers to wines made with minimal processing, resulting in unpredictable, rustic wines where the makers — as opposed to the grape or region — are often the focus.

Even the most hard-core natural-wine geek will still find a lot to unpack when digging into Georgia’s wine culture, which is 8,000 years old. There are, after all, some 525 indigenous grape varietals, about 50 of which are commonly used in commercial production. That means drinkers will have to familiarize themselves with grapes like Rkatsiteli and Kisi. Georgia is also best known for wines that are aged in qvevri, traditional clay vessels that are sealed with honey and buried in the ground and can result in fresh, young wines that nevertheless have a dense, chalky texture.