Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Georgian wines win gold medals at Poland’s wine contest

28.06.2017. A Georgian wine company is returning from the biggest wine contest in Poland with two gold medals.

White dry wine Kisi 2015 and red dry wine Mukuzani 2015 of Georgian wine company Shilda Winery won gold medals at the international wine contest Galicja Vitis 2017, which was held on June 22-23 in Krakow.

These golden medals are very important for raising awareness of Georgian wine in Poland, said deputy head of PR and Marketing Department at the Georgian National Wine Agency Tamta Kvelaidze, who was invited as a jury member at the competition.

For the first time this year a new category was added to the competition – a qvevri wine category – which is another step forward popularizing Georgian wine and increasing its export to Poland,” she added.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Dutch wine importers visit Georgia

23.06.2017. A group of Dutch wine importers has visited Georgia to explore the rich history and culture of Georgian wine and learn about the country’s wine market.

The guests visited wine companies in Georgia’s Kartli and Kakheti regions and tasted wines of different types.

The Dutch market is one of the most promising markets for Georgian wine exports, believes the head of the public relations department at the Georgian National Wine Agency, Irakli Cholobargia.

"Taking into account this fact, we signed an agreement with Dutch wine importer company Saperavi Wine Agency at the beginning of this year. This company imports Georgian wine to Holland and contributes to raising awareness of Georgian wine there,” Cholobargia said.

"Within the Dutch wine importers’ tour in Georgia, several agreements were signed with Georgian wine companies that would increase Georgian wine exports to Holland,” he added.

The Director of Saperavi Wine Agency, Bernard Nauta, was also in the group of visiting Dutch wine importers.

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New guide to the ‘Cradle of Wine’ released

by Rupert Millar

23.06.2017. A new book on the wines and winemaking culture of Georgia by award-winning wine writer Miquel Hudin has been released.

‘Georgia: A guide to the cradle of wine’ was officially presented on 9 June at the opening of Winexpo in the Caucasian country’s capital Tbilisi but is now available for purchase globally.

The book, the latest in Hudin’s self-published ‘Vinologue’ series, was co-written by Hudin, who was granted the Geoffrey Roberts Award in 2016 as he began his research, with help from Georgian food and travel expert Daria Kholodilina.

With over 300 pages and numerous photographs, maps and cellar listings, the book focuses on what first-time visitors to the country or even experienced wine professionals can expect from Georgia’s wine and food culture.

There is a special emphasis on that most iconic of Georgian winemaking tools – the ‘qvevri’ – as well as the evolution of Georgian winemaking and experimentation with different techniques as well as the impact of greater global interest in the country’s wines.

The book is available to buy at www.vinologue.com.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sopexa marketing agency to promote Georgian wine

20.06.2017. A large-scale advertising campaign is planned for Georgian wine, which will be launched by international communication and marketing agency for food, wine, and lifestyle Sopexa.

This was decided at yesterday’s meeting in France between Georgia’s Agriculture Minister Levan Davitashvili and the business development manager at Sopexa Anne-Sophie Hottiaux.

Georgian wine will be promoted over four months to strategic countries within the prestigious wine festival at the Bordeaux Centre for Wine and Civilisations in France.

Georgia is invited as a special guest for the event to showcase the history and culture of Georgian wine.

Georgia will present a solo exhibition celebrating its traditional winemaking and viticulture at Bordeaux Centre for Wine and Civilisations. Georgia’s exhibition will be named Vineyard-Georgia and be held from July-October 2017 (read more: In 2017 the year of Georgia in Bordeaux will be celebrated at new Center for Wine and Civilizations).

Monday, June 19, 2017

Georgia wins gold and silver at Citadelles Du Vin in Bordeaux

19.06.2017 (Hvino News). The Citadelles du Vin wine contest was held on June 10-12 in Bourg (near Bordeaux, France). For the 17th time, wine professionals from all over the world came together to determine the best wine producers during the three-day tasting. The winners were solemnly announced on June 17, 2017, during the Vinexpo Bordeaux exhibition.

This year Georgia won 2 gold and 2 silver awards, as well as "Georgia Special Prize":

Gold and Georgia Special Prize:
- Khareba Aged wine 2012, by Winery Khareba

- Makashvili Wine Cellar Cabernet 2015, by Vaziani Company

- Kindzmarauli 2013, by  Kakheti Wine Cellar
- Chacha 1, by Shumi

"For us to get highest appraisal on Cabernet made in qvevri, and especially in Cabernet's homeland - in France - is great success," - said Natia Metreveli, CEO of Vaziani Company, - "I have been invited and attended the award ceremony in Bordeaux, as we were also nominated for Wine Trophy. I am happy that a Georgian company got this special prize".

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Zaza on my mind (Georgian Wine Champs)

by Pamela Busch

18.06.2017. I think everyone in the Bay Area would agree that Zaza Pachulia* is the Republic of Georgia’s greatest export – ever. This nearly seven-foot tall center from Tbilisi, the capital, played a huge role – literally – in the "Warriors" championship victory, and the 98 game path to getting there. [*Zaza Pachulia is Georgian professional basketball player for the "Golden State Warriors" of National Basketball Association - HN]

On the same day the Dubs beat the Cavs and won the NBA Title, the Georgian Wine Association and  National Wine Agency of Georgia held a tasting at the San Francisco Wine School with a few importers. I’d say this was fate although my lucky shirt might have had something to do with it.

At any rate, I was very happy to not know a lot of the people who attended. This tells me that Georgian wines are catching on. “Knowledge that Georgia is the original wine region has increased significantly,” says Chris Terrell, an early champion and a top importer of Georgian wines. “The buyers and influencers are now familiar with the region and the key producers, regions and grape varietals.”

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A book on Georgian qvevri wine published in Japan

17.06.2017. We met Yutaka Kitajima, the Japanese wine writer, at a wine tasting event Qvevri Wines from Outside Georgia, organized as part of the New Wine Festival in 2016. We enjoyed the wines made in the Georgian qvevri by French, Italian, German, Austrian, Slovenian and Japanese winemakers. That day marked the beginning of our friendship and cooperation.

The Wine Club received a very special gift from our Japanese friend a few days ago – an excellent book Georgian Qvevri Wine, telling the story of the Georgian qvevri wine tradition in Japanese.

The book consists of two sections: Section One – Qvevri Wine in Georgia and Section Two – Food and Culture in Georgia. The introductory part provides a review of the Georgian vine species. Separate chapters are dedicated to the Georgian winemakers: Soliko Tsaishvili (Our Wine), Nikoloz Antadze (Antadze Marani), John Wurdeman (Pheasant’s Tears), Archil Natsvlishvili (Kerovani), Iago Bitarishvili (Iago's Wine), Ramaz Nikoladze (Nikoladze Marani), Gaioz Sopromadze (Gaioz Sopromadze Marani), Gogita Makaridze (Makaridze Marani), Zurab Topuridze (Iberieli), along with Zaliko Bozhadze, the qvevri master, and the New Wine Festival 2016.

25 Georgian companies will be represented at Vinexpo in Bordeaux

15.06.2017 (Hvino News). The major international wine and spirits trade event Vinexpo will be held in Bordeaux (France) from 18 to 21 June 2017.

This year 25 companies from Georgia will show products at Vinexpo. This is a large progress compared to previous years, and almost all companies are marked as "new participants". (Generally, Vinexpo 2017 has 236 new participants). The full list of Georgian companies at Vinexpo follows below.

Within the framework of the exhibition there will be a seminar and tasting of Georgian wines, guided by chairman of the NWA Giorgi Samanishvili and the head NWA's tasting commission, vice-president of OIV Anna Godabrelidze.

List of Georgian companies at Vinexpo Bordeaux 2017:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

ICC-Georgia Chairman briefs the Consultative Board of concentrated attacks targeting foreign companies and about the parties standing behind those attacks

14.07.2017. On June 13, ICC Georgia held its 14th Consultative Board Meeting at Biltmore Hotel in a closed working  meeting  that  included   exclusively  ICC  Executive Board, ICC Consultative Board and the Chairs of ICC Commissions.

Mr. Fady Asly- Chairman of ICC Georgia gave Introductory remarks and welcomed to the Consultative Board Members. Mr. Asly overviewed the degrading business climate.

Ms. Eka Gigauri, Executive Director of Transparency International Georgia overviewed the realities of the Georgian judiciary.

Mr. Aleksadre Meladze- Lawyer of Georgian American Alloys informed the attendees of the chain of criminal events that resulted in a technical expropriation of the shareholders.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Results of 9th International Wine Award 2017: Full List

13.06.2017. (Hvino News). The International Wine and Spirits Exhibition ''WinExpo Georgia 2017'' hosted the 9th International Wine Award 2017 on June 9-10.

In total 43 companies presented 164 different types of wine at the contest. On June 10, the awards were presented in six categories: gold (26 medals), silver (36), bronze (84) medals and international diplomas.

The best wines of the year are Saperavi Georgica 2013 by Shumi and Mtsvane Qvevris 2016 produced by the Qvevri Wine Cellar. The Minister of Agriculture Levan Davitashvili, the Chairman of the National Wine Agency Giorgi Samanishvili and jury members awarded the winners.

Levan Davitashvili said:  'The number of participants and winners in this year's competition is really impressive. Apparently, wine sector is developing rapidly, new wine companies are created, modern technologies are introduced and high quality wine is produced in Georgia. It should be noted, that the jury members of the competition are the world's best wine experts and specialists, therefore, their opinions and assessments are important for us as this will further lead to promote the Georgian wine in the international market".

Sarah Abbott covers Georgian wines for British business media outlet

13.06.2017 (Hvino News). Yesterday the British online business resource The Buyer published a detailed article focusing on Georgian wines entitled "Make Georgian wines heroes on your wine list". The author is Sarah Abbott MA (Master of Wine), a British wine expert.

"The wine trade and consumers alike are increasingly looking for wines with history, tradition and a genuine back story. Well, they don’t get much more authentic than wines from Georgia. It might have been making wines for centuries, but it has only been in the last few years that its unique qvevri-style wines are capturing the imagination of our wine buyers and adventurous wine drinkers," - the author wrote in her introduction.

The biggest challenge about Georgia, according to Ms. Abbott, is "that so few people know where it is. Even now in the UK when we talk to consumers – and even trade – we have to say “The Country of Georgia, not the US state”. But other than that, Georgia is in a fantastic position. The wine potential is huge and is increasingly being met. They have thousands of years of unbroken wine tradition, hundreds of native varieties, diverse wine styles, and a wide range of price points. It has not focused on easy drinking low cost international varieties. In fact, Georgia doesn’t really do large volumes of low-cost wine in the way that Romania can, or that Moldova could do. The terrain is too mountainous, and the grip of the indigenous varieties is too strong. Georgia’s positioning is more like New Zealand in terms of price and quantity. It has varieties that you can’t find anywhere else. And of course, Georgia has Qvevri wines, which are a specialist wine style with niche but powerfully emotional appeal."

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Korean wine expert to cover Georgian wines for "Korean Air" inflight magazine

08.06.2017 (Hvino News). Famous South Korean oenologist Jin-Sik Bang recently visited Georgia. A columnist for “Korean Air” inflight magazine with circulation of almost a million copies, professor Jin-Sik Bang plans to focus his 100th anniversary article on Georgian wine.

Jin-Sik Bang visited National Wine Agency and met with the   deputy chairman of National Wine Agency Andro Aslanishvili and the head of marketing department Irakli Cholobargia. He saw the cellar, oenotheca  and museum of the Agency.

Irakli Cholobargia noted that Georgian wine export to South Korea has been progressing over recent years.

“Decision on writing an article about Georgian wine was made by the managers of “Korean Air”. From August till the end of the year, articles on Georgian wine will be published in 4 editions and one of them will be the 100th anniversary article. The on-board journal will be distributed in each airplane and the branches of the company in 130 countries” - said Mr. Cholobargia.

During his tour in Georgia, South Korean wine professional visited the following Georgian wine companies: Telavi Wine Cellar, Satsnakheli, Teliani Valley, Maranuli, Chateau Mukhrani, also he visited qvevri-maker Zaza Kbilashvili in Kakheti.

This was the first visit of Jin-Sik Bang in Georgia, which was supported by the Embassy of Georgia in South Korea.

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10th WinExpo and 9th International Wine Competition will open on June 9 in Tbilisi

08.06.2017 (Hvino News). The 10th International Wine and Spirits Fair WinExpo 2017 will be held on June 9 – 11 at "Expo Georgia", Tbilisi. It will be a three-day event and “the only international wine and spirits fair in Georgia and whole Caucasus region, presenting the full range of the wine industry, products and services,” according to organizers.

"During the 10 years of history, WinExpo Georgia has established itself as a venue for professionals and amateurs working in wine production, distribution and realization. This is an exhibition and business forum for everyone interested in creating a comfortable and business environment that helps to build business relationships and increase the product realization, "said Nino Gamrekeli, head of the Department of Product Development at "Expo Georgia" at press-conference held on June 6.

Along with the wine show, the 9th International Wine Competition will be held. Members of the jury will include Tim Atkin - Chairman (Great Britain), Kenichi Ohashi (Japan), Isa Bal (Turkey), Sarah Abbott (Great Britain), Mikheil Meskhi (Georgia), Gogi Dakishvili (Georgia).

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Official: Georgia's wine and spirits export grew by 64%

07.06.2017 (Hvino News). According to official data, in January-May 2017, 24.75 million bottles of wine have been exported from Georgia to 41 countries worldwide, that is 64 percent higher than the same period in 2016.

In the period under review, 55,52 mil. USD worth of wine have been exported, that is 58% higher than the similar data of the last year.

“In January-May, exports increased to the European Union, China, USA and other traditional markets. We hope that the rate of export increase will be maintained in all directions,” the head of the NWA Giorgi Samanishvili said.

The top importers of Georgian wine during this period were Russia (14,820,976 bottles), China (3,234,144), Ukraine (2,364,112), Kazakhstan (2,364,112) and Poland (978,360).

In addition, during the five-month period 5,521,594 bottles of brandy were exported to 17 countries, 66 percent more than in 2016. January-May brandy exports this year amounted to $13.3 million, which is 73 percent higher than the earnings for 2016.

In total, export income for alcoholic drinks this January-May amounted to $100.8 million, or a growth of 64 percent, compared to the same period in 2016.

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Georgia wins 2 Platinum, 2 Gold, and 64 other medals at Decanter World Wine Awards

03.06.2017 (Hvino News). The 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) results were officially announced recently. 68 Georgian wines have been awarded in this year's competition, which is just a bit more than last year's result (66 total awards).

However, quality of awards has progressed significantly compared to previous years.

For the first time, two Georgian wines were awarded with the highest Platinum awards: Château Mukhrani's Réserve Royale Saperavi 2012 was awarded with Platinum medal as "Best Georgian Red", while Maranuli's Barrel Selected Ostkhanuri Sapere 2015 was awarded as "Best Value Georgian Red". (At the Platinum tastings, different price levels are taken into account. Wines with a retail price of under £15 are judged in ‘best value’ categories, while those over £15 contend for premium categories).

List of 2017 Georgian  Platinum, Gold, and Silver winners follows below:

Friday, June 2, 2017

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC Georgia) draws attention to judicial system

02.06.2017. The Georgian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce ICC- Georgia would like once again to address the recent developments in the judicial system of the country.

The Georgian Judiciary is perceived as bias, unreliable, and corrupt. This perception has increased dramatically in the past years and a very large number of businesses both Georgian and foreign have been defrauded by the Georgian Courts by what is seen as a travesty of Justice.

An increasing number of businesses including many of ICC members and some of them very large investors are extremely dissatisfied with the quality of justice delivered by the Georgian Courts and do report to us very serious flaws in the administration of justice.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

47 Georgian wines received awards of International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) '2017

01.06.2017 (Hvino News) The results of International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) '2017 have been announced recently in London. Georgian wines have received 47 silver and bronze awards of this prestigious wine contest.

Among 2017's winners two wines were awarded with Special Silver Outstanding Award, both of them produced by Telavi Wine Cellar.

Silver Outstanding:

  • Marani Mukuzani 2014, Telavi Wine Cellar
  • Satrapezo 10 Kvevri 2014 Rkatsiteli, Telavi Wine Cellar

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dugladze wine appears on red carpet of Cannes Film Festival

31.05.2017. This year Dugladze Wine traveled to the 70-th International Film Festival of Cannes, in order to support Georgian feature film. Film debut of the young Georgian director and producer took place in Cannes just by support of Georgian wine.

It shall be noted that Dugladze Wine Company which is distinguished by variety of its assortment and character always supports Georgian business. It was also symbolic for us that this year one of Georgian projects became owner of Prime Prize.

Response and interest, caused by occurrence of Georgian wine in Georgian pavilion, exceeded all expectations. Mukuzani, Tibaani, Tsinandali and famous Kindzmarauli - these are the species with which the Company hosted representatives of cinema industry who came from other countries.

We are glad that we made unique precedent to present Georgian gene and wine right in the epicenter of European cinema industry. Sharing of Georgian culture and character is the most important mission for the Company, which began with red carpet and will continue in the future with many interesting projects.

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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Meeting in Tbilisi on wine export to Nordic and Baltic countries

27.05.2017 (Hvino News) On Wednesday 31st of May, 4pm-7pm, a meeting in Tbilisi will be arranged to introduce the possibilities for wine export to the Nordic and Baltic countries. We would highly appreciate your attendance for an informal discussion if you are interested in new areas of export.

The avenue for the meeting is Hotel Kopala Rikhe, Europe Square, Tbilisi.

We kindly ask you to confirm attendance before 30.5.2017. Contact:

On behalf of LCC Geofintra
Managing Director Heikki Pihlajmäki

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Georgia's triumph in London: "Judges were blown away by quality and character of Saperavi"

25.05.2017. (Hvino News). The results of annual International Wine Challenge (IWC) competition were announced recently in London.

"Judges were blown away by the quality and character of Saperavi entries from Georgia", - reads the IWC press release published by one of the most prestigious international wine contests.

"The mountainous Caucasian country is now emerging onto the global wine scene after decades of dependence on the Russian market. Four Golds were awarded to superb examples of this rich but fragrant red grape, from a range of larger and smaller producers", - IWC pointed out.

In total, 47 Georgian wines have received awards of IWC 2017, including Gold and Trophy. Georgia's performance in 2017 was much better than in previous years (see 2016 results here).

Out of 47 awarded wines, Georgia received 6 gold awards, 9 silver, 11 bronze, 21 "Commended" awards.

Full list of Georgian winners follows below:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Gruzwinprom signs 15-year Memorandum of Cooperation with China

24.05.2017 (Hvino News) On May 23 Georgian wine producer Gruzwinprom and Chinese company Jiangxi Silk Road Investment have signed 15-year Memorandum of Cooperation. According to signed agreement the two sides plan to establish a joint company which will promote Georgian brand and support sales of Georgian products in China.

"Today’s Memorandum of Cooperation is one more clear example of how economic relations have been deepening between Georgia and China following to the free trade agreement signed recently between the countries. This cooperation will significantly support Georgian wine export to China – the country which appreciates and honours Georgia’s history and traditions,” - said agriculture minister Levan Davitashvili at the signing ceremony.

Gruzwinprom (spelled as Gruzvinprom in the past) was established in 1929. In 2015 the state-owned winery, located in Gurjaani (Eastern Georgia), was sold at auction for 31.105.000 GEL (about 13 million US$) to Mamuka Potolashvili, nearly tripling the starting offer (read more here). Mr. Potolashvili is 100% shareholder of wine company Bolero & Company. After privatization Bolero & Company invested 5 million GEL and is planning to add 8 million GEL this year into renovation of Gruzwinprom enterprise.

American wine professionals visited Georgia

24.05.2017 (Hvino News). A group of American wine professionals comprising wine importers, sommeliers and wine writers visited Georgia for a week. The group was headed by Julie Peterson of Marq Energie Consulting, a contractor company of Georgian National Wine Agency.

Within the tour the guests got acquainted with the Georgian wine-making techniques and enjoyed wine made by European and traditional methods.

Julie Peterson said that interest in Georgian wine is growing in the US market. "This was the first visit for many wine writers and sommeliers in Georgia. We were in  Western Georgia - Racha, Imereti, Lechkhumi, because we also wanted to see  what was going on in Western Georgia, who are the producers, what are the  different grape varieties, how is the style different then in the East. We have been in Western Georgia for the past three days, today we are in Kartli and for the next three days we are going  to Kakheti. We travel in Eastern Georgia to compare the eastern style and the diversity of varieties with Western Georgian wines "- said the head of Washington-based consultancy.

Amber wines to be included in OIV's list of special wines

24.05.2017 (Hvino News). The International Organization for Vine and Wine (OIV) approved Georgia's proposal to include Georgian traditional "amber wine"  in the OIV's list of special wines.

Georgian amber (so-called "qarvisperi") wine is made by Georgian traditional method with fermentation using grape pulp ("chacha").

As the head of National Wine Agency Giorgi Samanishvili said, proposal made by Georgian side was followed by a positive response from OIV.

"This innovation is another important step to promote popularization and awareness of Georgian traditional wines around the world” - said Giorgi Samanishvili.

According to Mr. Samanishvili,  currently OIV's list of special wines includes 7 wines: sparkling wines, carbonated wines, fortified wines, liqueur wines, naturally sweet wines,  “Icewine”, sherry.

After completion of due procedures, Georgian amber wines will be the 8th one in the OIV list.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Georgia strives to diversify wine export markets

23.05.2017. Georgian wine is continuing to make an impression around the United States, Baltic States, the Great Britain and Japan.

Agriculture Minister Levan Davitashvili believes the export of Georgian wine to Japan will start in about five years.

In his words interest in Georgian wine is high on the Asian market and this year Georgian wine will be actively represented in a marketing campaign in Japan.

Despite all difficulties we have big potential and good results in terms of market diversification. We experience quite significant results on Chinese market. This year we expect to export 10 million bottles of wine in China. This country has become the second-third country in terms of wine export,” said Davitashvili.

Southern-Eastern markets, for example Japan, is included in this year’s action plan. Last year we have tasted [this market] during number of exhibitions. Today one of the wines masters of Japan who creates the market there is an ambassador of Georgian wine in Japan. We can suppose that Georgian wine will be exported to Japan in about five years,” the Minister added.

The next target market for Georgian wine will be South Korea.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Georgian wines get top awards at 2017 Decanter Awards

19.05.2017. (Hvino News) Wines produced by Georgian companies collected some of the major awards at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, with the prestigious international competition concluding this month.

Promoted as the world’s "largest and most influential wine competition”, the 2017 edition of the awards featured over 17,000 wines from across the world.

While the list of prize-winners will only be published by organisers next month, four Georgian companies have been confirmed to have claimed top awards by internationally recognised judges of the event.

The Platinum awards went to Château Mukhrani's Réserve Royale Saperavi 2012 and to Maranuli's Barrel Selected Ostkhanuri Sapere 2015, marking the first-ever platinum wins for Georgian wines at the Decanter contest.

In another major result, Georgia has won two gold medals, for Vaziani's "Makashvili Wine Cellar" Mtsvane, and Winery Khareba's red "In vino veritas". For more details, read here.

Submissions for the 14th edition of Decanter Awards were assessed by over 200 wine experts in London, the United Kingdom. Their ranks included 65 Masters of Wine and 20 Master Sommeliers.

The judges qualified the wines based on their regional and style-based specialisation, tasting the products while knowing the region, style and price bracket of the given wines but being unaware of the producer or the brand name.

Comparing notes between each other, the juries finally reached a consensus on awards for the featured wines.

Gold medal-winning wines were advanced to compete for platinum against other winners from the same region or style, with platinum winners going through to another round of tasting for the ultimate Best in Show award.

Last year, 66 Georgian wines were awarded silver and bronze medals and seals of approval at the contest established in 2004.

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