Thursday, November 30, 2017

New Year's Wine Market 2018

30.11.2017 (Hvino News). Georgian Wine Club and Veris Bazari (Wine Factory No.1) are pleased to invite you to a new holiday - the New Year Wine Fair, to take place on December 23-24. All of Georgia’s flagship companies along with small wine cellars will offer you their best wines for your New Year and Christmas dinner parties. Sparkling wines, along with white dry, amber qvevri wines, red dry, qvevri, semi-sweet and sweet, as well as fortified wines and strong beverages will be available in the same space for you to look, taste, select and purchase.

The New Year Wine Fair will last for two days, from 10 AM to 8 PM. The two floors of old wine cellars at Winery No. 1 (entrance from Petriashvili and Melikishvili streets) were chosen as a venue for the event.

Wineries wishing to participate in the fair can register before December 15. For detailed information, contact the Georgian Wine Club.

Email: info@wineclub.ge, phone: 577 413010.

Get into the holiday spirit!

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Guinness Book of Records lists Georgian wine as world's oldest wine

30.11.2017 (Hvino News). After the recently announced findings of international group of scientists on archaeological evidence discovered near Tbilisi,  the Georgian wine was included in the Guinness Book of World Records as "the oldest wine".

"Chemical evidence of wine, dating back to 6000–5800 BC, was obtained from residues of ancient pottery excavated in the archeological sites in Georgia", - the Guinness World Records webpage reads, - "Prior to this discovery, the oldest chemically identified wine from Hajji Firuz Tepe (Iran) dated back to about 5400–5000 BC. These new findings are from about 600–1,000 years earlier, and indicate that wine-making and possibly viticulture were already in place about 8,000 years ago".

Read original page at Guinness Book here. Read more at: Leading international publications report on world's oldest wine discovery in Georgia.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Prime Minister comments on research findings recognizing Georgia as homeland of wine

17.11.2017. (Hvino News) “Very intensive work has been done by the group of international scientists, and I’m sure everyone is delighted that the research is finalized, and it was acknowledged that the eldest wine was discovered in Georgia. We have a chance to positively introduce our country internationally in this regard, and this gave us the possibility to represent Georgia in the the Center of Wine Civilizations in Bordeaux, ” - Giorgi Kvirikashvili commented on the results of the research, published by National Academy of Sciences of the United States.

In article 'Early Neolithic wine of Georgia in the South Caucasus' scientists from Georgia, USA, France, Italy, Canada, Denmark and Israel presented multi-disciplinary project findings, stating that the chemical analyses of ancient organic compounds found in pottery fabrics from the sites in Georgia date back to early Neolithic period 6,000-5000 BC, thus being the earliest biomolecular archaeological evidence for grape wine and viniculture from the Near East.

“I’m sure this scientific work will continue, and we’ll discover more interesting facts on wine making traditions and wine in Georgia.” the Prime Minister commented today during the weekly government meeting.

"We are excited and proud, and so is every Georgian and every friend of Georgia. I congratulate all of you!" the Prime Minister stated.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Leading international publications report on world's oldest wine discovery in Georgia

16.11.2017. World’s leading editions - BBC News, The Guardian, The New York Times and have reported about this historic discovery. Researchers found wine residue on pottery shards at two Georgian sites dating back to 6,000 B.C. The pottery jars were discovered in two Neolithic villages, called Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora, about 50km south of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi.

The people living at Gadachrili Gora and a nearby village were the world’s earliest known vintners—producing wine on a large scale as early as 6,000 B.C., a time when prehistoric humans were still reliant on stone and bone tools.

“Raise a glass to Georgia, which could now be the birthplace of wine” - The New York Times reports.

The findings are the earliest evidence so far of wine made from the Eurasian grape, which is used in nearly all wine produced worldwide.

Georgian wine at 5 events in New York and Los Angeles

16.11.2017. Georgian wine was showcased at five events of fine, natural wines in the United States’ cities of New York and Los Angeles during the past one week, announced the Georgian National Wine Agency.

RAW NY, an international exhibition of natural wines in New York and RAW LA in Los Angeles hosted exciting collections of fine, natural, organic and biodynamic wine artisans, including some from Georgia as well.

Tamta Kvelaidze of the Georgian National Wine Agency stated that there is growing interest towards Georgian wine in the United States which is also reflected to the wine export statistics.

In the first 10 months of 2017 Georgia exported 395,000 bottles of wines to the United States – 68 percent more compared to the same period of 2016.

The United States takes the ninth place among the top 50 countries that import Georgian wine.

The Georgian National Wine Agency plans to continue active marketing activities in the United States in 2018 as well.

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Georgian wines in Sweden

16.11.2017 (Hvino News). Exhibition "Stockholm Food and Wine" was held at the Scandinavia's largest exhibition center in Stockholm, Sweden on November 9-12.

Georgian wine companies participated in the exhibition for the first time. Represented companies are Bagrationi-1882, Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking, Besini, Askaneli Brothers, Shilda, Vaziani, Kakhetian and BG Wines. They  were represented with assistance of "Georgian Wine for Nordic" company.

During the exhibition Georgian wines were displayed in the main bar of the exhibition where local residents, importers, bloggers, wine journalists and sommeliers had the opportunity to taste Georgian wine and learn about Georgia, its wine culture and history.

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"The Guardian": Evidence of world's earliest winemaking uncovered by archaeologists

by Ashifa Kassam and Nicola Davis

16.11.2017. A series of excavations in Georgia has uncovered evidence of the world’s earliest winemaking, in the form of telltale traces within clay pottery dating back to 6,000BC – suggesting that the practice of making grape wine began hundreds of years earlier than previously believed.

While there are thousands of cultivars of wine around the world, almost all derive from just one species of grape, with the Eurasian grape the only species ever domesticated.

Until now, the oldest jars known to have contained wine dated from 7,000 years ago, with six vessels containing the chemical calling cards of the drink discovered in the Zagros mountains in northern Iran in 1968.

“When we pick up a glass of wine and put it to our lips and taste it we are recapitulating that history that goes back at least 8,000 years,” said Patrick McGovern a co-author of the study from the University of Pennsylvania museum of archaeology and anthropology, who also worked on the earlier Iranian discovery.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Record number of Georgian wine companies take part in ProWine China

15.11.2017 (Hvino News) A record 33 Georgian wine companies are participating in ProWine China in Shanghai - that's 3 companies more than last year. One of largest wine fairs in China is open on 14-16 November in Shanghai's SNIEC exhibition centre.

The full list of Georgian companies represented at ProWine China follows below. In addition, a Georgian masterclass is featured in ProWine's programme. The seminar called "Guide to Premium Georgian wines" by Debra Meiburg MW is scheduled for November 15 at 1:45pm.

Participating Georgian wine companies:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

"The New York Times": Wine from prehistoric Georgia with an 8,000-year-old vintage

By Nicholas St. Fleur

14.11.2017. Raise a glass to Georgia, which could now be the birthplace of wine. The country, which straddles the fertile valleys of the south Caucasus Mountains between Europe and the Middle East, may have been home to the first humans to conquer the common grape, giving rise to chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and thousands of other reds and whites we enjoy today.

In a study published Monday, researchers found wine residue on pottery shards from two archaeological sites in Georgia dating back to 6,000 B.C. The findings are the earliest evidence so far of wine made from the Eurasian grape, which is used in nearly all wine produced worldwide.

“Talk about aging of wine. Here we have an 8,000-year-old vintage that we’ve identified,” said Patrick McGovern, a molecular archaeologist from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and lead author of the study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Georgian wines are the oldest wines in the world

14.11.2017. The Georgians were producing and enjoying wine in the Caucasus as far back as the Neolithic period (6000-5800 BC), new research released today by PNAS reveals. These are the earliest tangible signs of viticulture and winemaking ever discovered, some 600-1,000 years older than the previous recorded discovery of Hajji Firuz Tepe, in the Zagros mountain region of Iran.

The evidence was obtained by applying state-of-the-art technology to newly excavated materials from two sites in Georgia, with an international team led by Patrick McGovern, Scientific Director at Pennsylvania University, also known as the "Indiana Jones of ancient wine".

Georgia, which borders the Black Sea and is situated at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains between Europe and Asia, is noted for its dynamic, traditional winemaking activity. The country attracts interest from wine lovers and professionals alike.

Today Georgia remains faithful to its ancient traditions of making wine in qvevri, large ceramic pots which are buried underground, creating distinctive 'amber' wines. UNESCO has included this unique traditional method in its Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) list.

University of Toronto: Archaeologists find earliest evidence of winemaking in Georgia

by Sean Bettam

14.11.2017. Excavations in the Republic of Georgia by the Gadachrili Gora Regional Archaeological Project Expedition (GRAPE), a joint undertaking between the University of Toronto and the Georgian National Museum, have uncovered evidence of the earliest winemaking anywhere in the world. The discovery dates the origin of the practice to the Neolithic period around 6000 BC, pushing it back 600-1,000 years from the previously accepted date.

The earliest previously known chemical evidence of wine dated to 5400-5000 BC and was from an area in the Zagros Mountains of Iran. Researchers now say the practice began hundreds of years earlier in the South Caucasus region on the border of Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

Excavations have focused on two Early Ceramic Neolithic sites (6000-4500 BC) called Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora, approximately 50 kilometres south of the modern capital of Tbilisi. Pottery fragments of ceramic jars recovered from the sites were collected and subsequently analyzed by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania to ascertain the nature of the residue preserved inside for several millennia.

"Wine Spectator": Origins of winemaking in Georgia stretch back 8,000 years

Photo Wine Spectator / A. Dunlap
by Suzanne Mustacich

14.11.2017. Archaeologists uncover evidence of grapegrowing and winemaking from 6000 BCE in two ancient villages in Georgia. Dr. Patrick McGovern confirmed evidence of winemaking from Stone Age sites near Tbilisi.

Archaeologists excavating in the Republic of Georgia have unearthed wine jars dating back to 6000 BCE, the earliest evidence of the domestication of the Eurasian grapevine for the purpose of making wine.

The discovery hinges on pottery fragments from eight ceramic jars found 30 miles south of the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, a short distance from the modern border with Armenia and Azerbaijan, during the re-excavations of two ancient Stone Age village sites.

The ceramic fragments were taken for a battery of state-of-the-art chemical analyses at the University of Pennsylvania, where Dr. Patrick McGovern, scientific director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the Penn Museum, confirmed the presence of tartaric acid, as well as malic, succinic and citric acids, in the residue in the jars. McGovern is a biomolecular archaeologist with a passion for unlocking the mysteries of ancient alcoholic beverages. Tartaric acid is a chemical marker used to identify the presence of grapes and wine.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Georgian wine on Europe's ARTE television channel (with video)

13.11.2017 (Hvino News) European television channel ARTE is broadcasting a French documentary focusing on Georgian wine "Georgia: journey to the origins of the vineyard" (original title: Géorgie : voyage aux origines de la vigne in its series  "Vines and men" (Des vignes et des hommes). Directors of the film produced by ARTE France are Sarah Carpentier and  Eric Michaud.

ARTE's introduction reads: "A fabulous journey through the most amazing vineyards on the planet, shaped by age-old traditions. Vine and wine were born in Georgia at the foot of the Greater Caucasus more than six thousand years ago. Since ancient times, the wine is made there and kept in jars, buried in the earth, the "qvevris" ... A unique technique, which almost disappeared under the Soviet era, and the winemaker Soliko Tsaishvili and others have saved and perpetuate"

Full documentary can be viewed below (in French):

ARTE is a public Franco-German TV network, that promotes programming in the areas of culture and the arts.

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Official: Georgia increases wine export by 59%

12.11.2017 (Hvino News). According to official data, Georgia has exported about 61 million bottles of wine between January-October 2017, which is 59 percent more in comparison with the same period last year.

Income from wine export equaled $134,6 million that is 52 percent more than the same period last year,” the National Wine Agency reported.

Wine export grew to following countries:

China, by 41 percent- 6,086,733 bottles
Russia, by 87 percent-38,355,125 bottles
Ukraine, by 48 percent-6,237,652 bottles
Poland, by 18 percent-2,151,342 bottles
Latvia, by 31 percent-1,279,718 bottles
Belarus, by 42 percent-1,318,852 bottles
USA, by 68 percent-394,464 bottles
Germany, by 57 percent-367,342 bottles
Israel, by 149 percent-180,824 bottles
France, by 187 percent-98,194 bottles
Azerbaijan, by 76 percent-102,342 bottles

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Georgian winemakers again are in the focus of "Napa Valley Register"

07.11.2017 (Hvino News). Napa Valley Register, an American professional wine business resource, has published a new article on Georgian wines.

"I first tried wines from the Republic of Georgia more than a year ago and wrote a piece titled “The Weird and Wonderful Wines from the Republic of Georgia.” In that piece, I wrote, “There is so much for us to learn about Georgian wine. We can try to compare Georgian wines to wines we know but they really do not fit into a familiar category. Georgia is a country with indigenous varieties and unique techniques and winemaking styles,” - writes author Allison Levine, who is owner a marketing and event-planning agency.

"A year and a half later, I sat down for another seminar on Georgian wines. Wine consultant Taylor Parsons, who led the panel last year after returning from his first trip to Georgia, led the panel again.... He returned to Georgia again this year, and after his second experience, Parsons said he believes that it is our “obligation to tell the whole wine story” of the Republic of Georgia.

The author reviews several favorite wines from the recent tasting, including wines by Archil Guniava, Nikoloz Antadze, Aleksi Tsikhelishvili. Read original article here.

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Metallic qvevri used by winemaker in USA

06.11.2017 (Hvino News). Winemaker Gavin Robertson at Niagara College Teaching Winery in USA is using wine technology resembling that of Georgian qvevri to produce "Orange wine" of Sauvignon Blanc. The difference is that instead of millenia-old traditional use of clay, the modern vessels are made of steel.

Gavin Robertson says: "At NC Teaching Winery, we produce the majority of our wines using conventional, modern technology and scientific principles...  Our buried “orange wine” project will compare the relative simplicity of grapes interacting with microbiology at an appropriate temperature to all of the high tech, sophisticated ways that we achieve consistent, quality products in the modern industry.

The purpose of the project is to explore the idea, with our students and visitors, of low intervention or "natural" winemaking in a way that hearkens back to ancient winemaking techniques. These techniques were prevalent in Neolithic times in the geographic origins of the wine grape, in the Transcaucasian area between the Black and Caspian seas, in what is now Georgia and Armenia"

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

KTW to open a hotel in Akhasheni

01.11.2017. Bank of Georgia announces financing of the Kakhetian Traditional Winery (KTW) project. According to the bank, the group will build a 41-room hotel in Akhasheni, Kakheti region.

The wine cellar, sampling area, restaurant and swimming pool will be placed at the hotel. The investment portfolio of the project is 2.3 million USD funded by the Bank of Georgia. The funding has been issued within frame of the DCFTA project.

It is noteworthy that cooperation between the KTW Group and the Bank of Georgia has been established since 2014 and as a result of this, wine enterprises were opened in Velistsikhe, Keda and Askana.

Wine and brandy of KTW Group is sold in 17 countries worldwide. However, 70 percent of the product import from KTW Group production accounts for Ukraine.

KTW Group has built and equipped one of the biggest spirits industries at the territory of Velistsikhe wine enterprises financed by Bank of Georgia in the Kakheti region.

Construction of two fruit processing plants in Keda and Chokhatauri is one of the first partnerships between the Bank of Georgia and the KTW Group. The Bank of Georgia financed the project in 2014, which produces high quality, natural jams and compots under the brand “Nena”.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Interview with "qvevri-crazed" English natural winemaker

30.10.2017 (Hvino News) British professional wine medias have recently published a detailed interview with Ben Walgate - an English winemaker who is using Georgian qvevri on his farm in East Sussex. His interview to Doug Wregg, marketing director at natural wine importers Les Caves de Pyrene, first appeared in the company's blog as "Chatting with: Ben Walgate, the qvevri-crazed English natural winemaker". Soon it was republished by professional magazine The Buyer under title "Ex-Gusbourne chief Ben Walgate on his English Georgian qvevri-style wine".

"When you go and visit an English winery you would not expect to see the winemaker grappling with an underground Georgian qvevri. But Ben Walgate is determined to do things very differently from his former life with his new natural, biodynanic farm in Peasmarsh, East Sussex", - writes Doug Wregg.

Prior to starting his own farm, Ben Walgate was CEO at Gusbourne Estate, an important sparkling wine producer. When he became interested in natural wines, he "got on a plane and spent three months travelling around Europe, visiting natural and biodynamic producers. It was not only the wine, but also the people, and the approach, that appealed".

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Georgian Embassy hosted book presentation with Carla Capalbo

25.10.2017 (Hvino News).  Embassy of Georgia in Washington hosted the presentation of Carla Capalbo's book "Taste Georgia: A Food and Wine Journey in the Caucasus". Ambassador David Bakradze greeted the guests, followed by Ms. Capalbo describing her journey through heart and soul of Georgia. Guests of the event enjoyed the Georgian wine and appetizers specially selected and prepared from Carla’s book by our Embassy's chef Zuka Shonia.

According to Booklist Online review, “In addition to the brilliant photographs and 65-plus recipes, Capalbo introduces the warm hospitality and amazing wine regions of a country that spans the area between the mountains and the Black Sea. Georgian food and traditions charm.”

“And while the style of cooking and local dishes are distinct as you move about, and interesting details about the country’s lengthy, complicated history keep the pages turning, it’s the photos and descriptions of individual winemaking operations still utilizing thousand-year-old methods that capture the imagination. An agricultural country of stunning beauty far removed from the bustle of tourism-weary western Europe, Capalbo has done the great service of bringing the country’s treasures within reach of any visitor through the use of maps, listings of hundreds of places of interest, and suggested itineraries,” – writes Forword Review.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking to open store in Prague

20.10.2017. Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking plans to open a store in Prague, Czech Republic, the company head Zurab Chkhaidze told Business Course.

In 2016 the company set up KTW Europe subsidiary in Czech Republic, which supplies products to the Czech market. The new store will open in three months, he said.

Advantage of the European representation is that the company is able to receive small orders and this strategy is justified form the economic point of view, Zurab Chkhaidze said.

Nobody will send vehicles for 20-30 boxes from Georgia, while small volume may be bought on the local market, the company director said.

At the European representation the company sells wines, brandy, and food products under Nena brand.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Georgia will present wines at MegaVino in Brussels

19.10.2017 (Hvino News). Nine Georgian wine companies will present their products at the annual MegaVino fair in Brussels.

This year the wine exhibition in Brussels will be held for the 19th time on October 20-23 at the Brussels Expo.

The MegaVino exhibition is the main event dedicated to wine in the Benelux countries and one of the main events in the wine industry. It attracts both professionals and connoisseurs.

List of Georgian winemaking companies:
  • Kakhuri Gvinis Marani
  • Mosmieri 
  • Qimerioni
  • Shilda Winery 
  • Vaziani Company
  • Georgian Wines 
  • Mildiani Family Winery 
  • Chateau Nekresi
  • Dugladze 

Badagoni wins trademark case in China

19.10.2017 (Hvino News). On October 18, Georgian wine company Badagoni held press-conference at Tbilisi's hotel Biltmore, where the main theme was an important lawsuit of Badagoni.

Last year Badagoni applied to register its brand in China, but it was found out that the trademark of Badagoni was already registered there by a Chinese company. Badagoni made a complaint against that company, and won that case to trademark its wine in China, protecting the name and quality of its wines from misuse and imitation in the country. The dispute was resolved in favour of the Georgian side and the registration of the Chinese brand was cancelled.

This was the first case of a Georgian company winning trademark dispute in China. Chairman of the National Agency Giorgi Samanishvili, Chairman of Sakpatenti Nikoloz Gogilidze, founder of Badagoni Giorgi Salakaia, and lawyer Davit Asatiani spoke about the case at the press conference.

Last year China recognized the geographical indications of several Georgian wines including Khvanchkara, Tsinandali and Kindzmarauli as well as Georgian chacha, a strong spirit similar to grappa.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Saperavi World Prize 2017 – Why is it good for Georgia?

18.10.2017. Soon Tbilisi will host  “Saperavi World Prize” – the first Georgian wine contest for foreign winemakers. Saperavi wines produced around the globe (even in far-away Australia and News Zealand) are being shipped to Georgia, where they are to be judged by country’s best winemaking experts.

Caucasian Business Week is among official media partners of Saperavi World Prize (“SapPrize”). We have received questions from readers about this new event, and contacted the organizers for answers.  Inge Olsson of Georgian wine news is manager of Saperavi World Prize. He kindly agreed to answer our questions.

– These Saperavi wines are produced abroad. Why are they important for Georgia?
– Saperavi is the most famous Georgian variety. In Georgia it’s a legend, but in many countries it is not known. If we want Georgia to sell its products at global market, we must use all opportunities to promote everything Georgian, and of course Saperavi. The winemakers who produce Saperavi wines in USA or New Zealand are doing a very good job for Georgia. And Georgia must not only show its appreciation, but stimulate a wider use of Saperavi in the world.

The words “Saperavi” and “Georgia” must be heard often, to become familiar to international consumers. In result, more people will buy Georgian products. So, Georgian producers will gain direct benefits.
–  What other benefits or advantages are there for Georgia in this project?

Georgia will establish itself as main authority in this sector of winemaking, it will act as consultant to everybody interested in Georgian wine varieties and technologies (for example, qvevri technology). Georgia must position itself as a “hub”, encouraging people to come here, seek information here, apply to Georgians for expertise, etc. Georgia is one of the most ancient centers of winemaking, but this will remain just a phrase, if we do not install motivational mechanisms. Saperavi World Prize is one of such mechanisms. It can be followed by master-classes, or other educational projects.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Official: 9 months' data of wine and spirits export

06.10.2017 (Hvino News). In January-September 2017 Georgia exported 52.7 million bottles of wine to 45 countries, up 63% year on year. In the reporting period, the total exports value made up 116 million USD, up 55% year on year.

“According to the export data of January-September 2017, wine export are up by 63% compared with the same period of the previous year. Wine realization income has grown by 55%, that gives the possibility to make a prediction that at the end of the year a record number of wine will be exported from Georgia. Export growth is remarkable in the countries of European Union, Asia, USA and other countries, which is a result of coordinated work and well planed marketing activity of the National Wine Agency and wine sector”- said National Wine Agency's head, Giorgi Samanishvili.

According to National Wine Agency, exports have increased in the following countries: China – 44% (5537261), Russia – 95% (33243157), Ukraine – 54% (5322683), Poland – 14% (1869852), Latvia – 36% (1141778), Belarus – 34% (1054994), the USA – 81% (346398), Germany – 28% (286156), Israel – 305% (170834), Mongolia – 182% (112710), France – 321% (96790), Azerbaijan – 102% (102 342).

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"Forbes": Georgia's tourism strategy is starting to pay off

by Stephan Rabimov

04.10.2017. Georgia takes its tourism seriously, very seriously. Just ask Jesper Black. When the Dutch tourist landed at Tbilisi International Airport becoming the country’s six millionth visitor in 2016 he was whisked away in a Mercedes sedan for a red carpet welcome and private dinner with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. The agency behind the campaign to mark the country’s milestone even created a website for Georgians to vote on which national dish should be served to the six millionth tourist, khinkali dumplings or chkmeruli chicken?

Clearly having jumped from 2.8 million visitors in 2011 to six million in 2016 is a big deal in this former Soviet Republic situated between Europe, Russia and the Middle East. And suddenly it feels as if it’s on every traveler’s radar. In 2015, Georgia ranked 25th on the New York Times’ 52 Places to Go. New flight routes have launched from cities around Europe and this year Georgia made Conde Nast Traveler’s list of hottest upcoming wine destinations.