Friday, March 30, 2018

International qvevri wines tasting hosted by Swiss Embassy in Tbilisi

Amédée Mathier
30.03.2018 (Hvino News). Amédée Mathier - one of the best known pioneers of qvevri wine making outside Georgia - showcased his product along with other Georgian and foreign wines produced with the use of Georgian traditional method or other "qvevri-like" technologies, at a recent event hosted by Swiss Ambassador H.E. Lukas Beglinger in Tbilisi.

The wine tasting, organized at the Ambassador's residence, focused at the growing international popularity of Georgian winemaking method, and the need of clear definition of terms such as organic, natural, and traditional.

In his presentation, Mr. Mathier raised the question of the necessity of formalization of requirements and rules of qvevri wine production. He summarized qvevri experience at his family-owned winery in Salgesch, Switzerland, since first installation in 2009.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Georgian wine on show in Poland

28.03.2018 (Hvino News). One of the biggest shopping mall chains in Krakow (Poland) is hosting a Georgian wine testing event for people who are looking for specific products for the Easter table. Other activities aimed at promoting Georgian wine will be held throughout Poland, as this country represents one of the strategic markets for Georgian wine export.

The event in Krakow is held from March 22 until the end of month. It is organised by the Georgian National Wine Agency's contractor company Malinova LLC.

Poland is one of the largest importers of Georgian wine. Last year, 2,676,440 bottles of Georgian wine were exported to Poland, according to NWA.

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Monday, March 26, 2018

International Qvevri Wine Competition 2018

26.03.2018 (Hvino News). The 2nd International Qvevri Wine Competition will be held in Georgia on May 3-6, organized by the Georgian Wine Association with support of National Wine Agency.

According to organizers, the main purpose of the competition is "to introduce the best qvevri wine to the world, to encourage the production and consumption of qvevri wine, to increase awareness of qvevri wines produced in different countries".The competition is open exclusively to qvevri wine producers from all countries and wine regions in the world. Samples will be assessed by national and international judges.

The 1st International Qvevri Wine Competition was launched in September 2017 during the 4th International Qvevri Wine Symposium in Georgia.

Information about the competition is here. Registration Form is here.

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Sunday, March 25, 2018

32 Georgian wine producers take part in China Food & Drink Fair in Chengdu

25.03.2018 (Hvino News). 32 Georgian wine companies have participated in the 98th China Food & Drinks Fair in Chengdu (CFDF), Sichuan Province, China, on March 22-24.

The following wine companies participated: Telavi Wine Cellar, Giuaani, Kakhuri, Vite Vera (Besini), Vinagora, Kakhetian Wine Cellar, Askaneli Brothers, BG Wines, Chelti, Tbilvino, Palavani, Kotekhi, Wine Man, Kimerioni, Shilda, Satavado,  Teliani Valley, Jimsher, Corporation Georgian Wine, Bolero and Co, Chateau Mukhrani, Winery Khareba, GWS, Batono, KTW, Maranuli, Georgian Wine House, Mosmieri, Corporation Kindzmarauli, Schuchmann Wines, Vaziani Company, Dugladze Wines and Spirits.

"Georgian wine companies have already participated in the exhibition for the fourth time and it is noteworthy that the number of participant companies is increasing annually. This year's exhibition was quite productive for Georgian wine producer companies. Some of them have already signed new agreements during the exhibition and some has started negotiations with potential importers, which is the main task of Georgian companies participating in this exhibition, " - said Tamta Kvelaidze from Georgia's National Wine Agency.

CFDF  is held since 1955 and regarded as the number one exhibition in China. CFDF is held every spring in Chengdu, and in the autumn in another selected city. As a leading Chinese trade fair in the wine industry, it had approximately 3,000 exhibitors and 300,000 buyers.

25 Georgian wine producers took part in ProWein

25.03.2018 (Hvino News). 25 Georgian wine producers participated in ProWein wine fair in Duesseldorf, Germany, on March 18-20. The event is recognized as one of the most prestigious in the wine industry of Europe.

The following Georgian companies took part in ProWein:

Askaneli Brothers
Bolero & Company
Chigogidze Wines

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Saperavi wines contest in Kiev

17.03.2018 (Hvino News). 16 Saperavi wines participated in recent competition of Saperavi wines in Kiev, Ukraine. The competition organized by Dmitriy Sidorenko School of Sommelier took place at Saperavi restaurant. Professional jury judged at the tasting. The table of results follows:

1 Duruji Valley Qvevri 2013, Ardatrading
2 Vismino 2014, MB Ukraine
3 Iberia Qvevri 2015, Gelati
4 Tamada 2014, MB Ukraine
5 Gelati Elite 2014, Gelati
6 Chateau Mukhrani 2014, MB Ukraine
7 Gelati 2015, Gelati
8 Agmarti, Ardatrading
9 Khareba, Khareba
10 Geo, Bayadera
11 Tbilvino 2016, Vinfort
12 Shabo 2015, Iland
13 Shumi, Ukrimport
14 Bugeuli 2015, Bugeuli
15 Aliko 2016, Bayadera
16 Badagoni 2017, Badagoni

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

"Variety" reviews documentary on Georgian wine

14.03.2018 (Hvino News) A leading American film and entertainment trade magazine Variety has reviewed the new documentary on Georgian wine "Our Blood Is Wine", directed by Emily Railsback and featuring a Chicago sommelier Jeremy Quinn, who visit Georgia. Railsback and Quinn tour through various regions, sampling varietals while getting up-close-and-personal with the Georgian winemakers.

Variety's author Scott Tobias writes: "Documentary begins with what Quinn jokes is a child’s question: Where does wine come from? The answer takes him and Railsback to Georgia, where the winemaking process is so old that an archeologist points to Neolithic ceramics from 6,000 B.C... With iPhone in hand, Railsback and Jeremy Quinn, a Chicago sommelier, explore the 8,000-year-old roots of Georgian winemaking and celebrate its resilience under a host of outside threats".

Variety points out that documentary lacks a strong point of view: "Quinn’s experience as a sommelier should make him a natural tour guide, but he often hovers around the edges of the frame, graciously affirming the value of these wines but rarely asserting himself more forcefully. Though Railsback will occasionally raise her voice off camera, she doesn’t approach the subject with the rhetorical fire of a film like Jonathan Nossiter’s “Mondovino,” which used similar concerns about mass-scale winemaking as a platform to rail against cultural homogeneity. On matters of wine and culture, she is more appreciator than provocateur."

Monday, March 12, 2018

Qvevri wines at RAW WINE fair in London

Photo credit: @TasteOfGeorgiaUK
12.03.2018 (Hvino News). Georgian qvevri wine are be presented at the RAW WINE London, the artisan wine fair on March 11-12.

The organizer of the exhibition is Isabel Légeron, an internationally renown expert in natural winemaking.

8 Georgian winemakers  take part in the exhibition:
  • Babaneuris Marani
  • Ethno - Wine Art LLC
  • Chateau Khashmi
  • Nikalas Marani
  • Gotsa Wines
  • Tibaani
  • Vellino
  • Natenadze's Wine Cellar

Interview with Giorgi Salakaia: "Together we will defend Badagoni!"


12.03.2018 (Hvino News).  Today Hvino News publishes an exclusive interview with Giorgi SALAKAIA, the owner and CEO of the Badagoni company.

Hvino News: Good afternoon, Mr. Giorgi. Thank you for answering our questions. Do you want to talk about the current situation around your company or, perhaps, about the prospects of Badagoni in the near future, after the difficult period is overcome?

Giorgi Salakaia: In today's reality, these are two interrelated themes. As a bolt from the blue, on February 7, the financial police unexpectedly entered the head office of our company in Tbilisi without any prior notification, and seized all financial and other documents, including electronic files and personal correspondence of our company employees who have no relation to the financial activities of Badagoni. Naturally, this action of the financial police, performed in a brutal style, had a negative impact both on the psychological state of our employees and on the overall state of Badagoni.

Hvino News: Why, in your view, did the situation immediately acquire such an acute form, instead of being regulated in a usual legal way?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Tamuka ARAVIASHVILI: I found WINTOUR to fulfil my dream

special guest

08.03.2018 (Hvino News).  On the International Women's Day our special guest is Tamuka ARAVIASHVILI, the only Georgian master student of Erasmus Mundus Wine Tourism Innovation (WINTOUR), who talks about opportunities for young people in Georgia in the sphere of wine tourism.  

Wine tourism is a growing industry, which can have a major impact on employment and identity of the regions in which it takes place. It is also becoming a significant element of the marketing strategy for many wine producers and their representative bodies. WINTOUR international Master program offers a truly integrated study that takes advantage of the tourism and oenology expertise of three universities and regions of Europe - Spain, France, and Portugal.

Hvino News: You are the first WINTOUR student from Georgia – how did get involved? 

Tamuka ARAVIASHVILII am Kakhetian girl from Georgia. Wine world is magical place and being there as a Georgian is privilege for me.  Because of my roots I had a strong connection with winemaking since childhood. I always participated in vineyard works, in harvest or winemaking process as it was part of my family’s lifestyle.  

After I graduated Bachelor in Tourism Management I started planning wine tours in Georgia. The main role on my decision to apply for WINTOUR played a press trip that I planned for journalist and wine expert Miquel Hudin. He was writing a guide book about Georgian wine.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Official: 2 months data of wine export in 2018

06.03.2018 (Hvino News). According to official data, in January - February 2018, 10,8 million bottles of wine were exported to 38 countries worldwide, that is 23% higher than the similar data of the last year. In total, 24,3 mn USD worth of wine was exported, that is 18% higher than last year.

Export growth is notable to the following countries: Japan 213% (44292), UK - 137% (36108), Estonia – 75% ( 88326), Israel - 58% (31272), Latvia - 43% (262110), Poland - 41% (441202), Netherlands - 32% (13491), Russia - 30% (7425286), Kazakhstan - 29% (501282), Germany - 27% (109834), Ukraine – 13%(972976), France - 9% (14036).

The top five importers are: Russia  (7 425 286), Ukraine  (972 976), China  (559 168), Kazakhstan  (501 282), Poland  (441 202).

As of the beginning of the year, 109 companies have exported various amounts of wine.In addition, 2,2 mn bottles (0,5 liters) of brandy and 29,8 thousand bottles of chacha have been exported in January.

Badagoni temporarily suspends operation of Tbilisi headquarters

06.03.2018 (Hvino News). As Giorgi Salakaia, owner and founder of the Badagoni wine company, said at a press conference, the company headquarters in Tbilisi would be closed in the framework of crisis management regime. The company's management will temporarily move to Kakheti region, where two Badagoni's enterprises are located. Badagoni will continue to fulfill its obligations to Georgian and foreign contractors, stressed company's head.

According to the businessman, because of the "dirty information campaign" launched around Badagoni over the past week, the company lost two of the largest contractors. Mr. Salakaia said that he informed Georgian Prime Minister Georgi Kvirikashvili about the situation, and received from him a promise to study the issue and provide support. "I want to emphasize that from the side of the Prime Minister I felt full support towards the company and sincere desire to help, since this issue concerns not only Badagoni, but the entire country," Salakaia said. The businessman expressed his readiness "to solve all issues related to claims against the company judicially, as it happens in civilized and democratic countries."

Friday, March 2, 2018

Results of first Saperavi World Prize are in focus of international mass medias

02.03.2018. The results of first Saperavi World Prize organized by Hvino News are in the focus of many mass medias internationally. 

The recent media coverage of SapPrize included a television program in Georgia, as well as articles published in Australia, Georgia, Great Britain, India, Mexico, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, USA, and other countries. 

Full list of media coverage by countries is here, and screenshots are here.

"We're so excited we can justifiably say we are one of the best places outside of Georgia to grow this variety anywhere in the world, ” - an article in Australian newspaper quoted a participating winemaker Leeanne Puglisi from Ballandean Estate winery.

"Martin Cooper, owner of  Ridgemill Estate [a participating winery] said he was stoked when he heard the news. "We had to pinch ourselves,” he said. "It's pretty incredible to get a gold medal on a world platform,” Mr. Cooper said, as quoted by Australia's newspaper. "We've been growing Saperavi here for six or seven years and it's been doing well in shows but to win on an international stage in the home of Saperavi is pretty special".

"Riverland winemakers are well known for their adoption of alternative grape varieties... And now the South Australian region has won endorsement from a most unlikely source — Georgia. The country, at the intersection of Europe and Asia and which claims to be the birthplace of wine, held its inaugural international wine competition for wine made from the native Georgian grape Saperavi", - writes Alexandra Laskie from the Weekly Times.

Sakura 2018: Japanese female wine experts awarded 7 Georgian wines

02.03.2018 (Hvino News). “SAKURA” Japan Women’s Wine Awards 2018 became known.

Wines were selected after tasting in Japan which took place on 29-31 January. An international wine competition judged exclusively by Japanese female wine specialists awarded Georgian wines with one Double Gold, two Gold and four Silver medals.

Here are the winning Georgian wines:

Double Gold:
  • Kindzmarauli Kisi 2016 

  • Makashvili Wine Cellar Mtsvane 2016
  • Shalauri Wine Cellars Mtsvane 2015 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Winemaker Iago Bitarishvili to launch beer production

01.03.2018.Winemaker Iago Bitarishvili plans to launch beer production. The businessman has already arranged family brewery in the village of Chardakhi to popularize family beer production in Georgia like family wine cellars.

Beer production will be of less output, compared to wine production. The product will be exported to foreign markets, he said.

The businessman will apply Georgian cereals for beer production.

“Today everybody are proud that they use Belgian or other foreign malt in beer production, but we will use Georgian cereals. We have already searched several domestic varieties of barley in Khevsureti. We plan to restore them and then prepare malt”, Iago Bitarishvili said.

The businessman hopes that many other persons will follow his undertaking and a lot of family breweries will function in the country in 5-10 years.

Iago Bitarishvili launched bio wine production in 2005. The businessman exports wines to foreign markets and his wines are sold in many famous restaurants and hotels all over the world.

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

18 medals awarded to Georgian wines at MUNDUS VINI 2018 Spring Tasting

28.02.2018 (Hvino News). Record-breaking 18 Georgian wines have won top gold and silver awards at prestigious competition MUNDUS VINI International Wine Award 2018 in Germany:

The gold prizes were awarded to:

2013 Saperavi Premium (Best of Show Georgia) Winery Khareba
Alaverdi Tradition Dry Red Wine Badagoni
2013 Kakhetian Noble Badagoni
2015 Shilda Winery Napareuli Shilda Winery
2015 Saperavi Shilda Winery
2017 Vazis XIDI N°1 Saperavi Babutsa
2017 Vazis XIDI N°2 Saperavi Babutsa
2017 Vazis XIDI N°3 Saperavi Babutsa
2016 Zangaura Saperavi Georgian Wines

Monday, February 26, 2018

"The Financial": Georgia’s European perspective, or Badagoni taken away from owners?!

The Financial
26.02.2018. Since the “Georgian Dream” came into power in 2013, Georgia has significantly improved all social and economic parameters. According to the assessments of the World Economic Forum and other international organizations Georgia has been dynamically improving its competitiveness, protection of property rights and independence of the justice system. According to the Economic Freedom Rating of the Fraser Institute, Georgia is on the 5th place in the world.

Taking this into account, it is all the more surprising to witness the events that have taken place during the past weeks with regard to the leader of the Georgian wine industry – Badagoni, number one among the Georgian wine exporter companies.

On the 7th of February, Investigation Service of Ministry of Finance of Georgia, without any preliminary notification, brutally intruded into company Badagoni’s office. To many, this reminded the infamous practices widely used by the previous government.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Badagoni Brut voted "Best Sparkling" by Asian Wine Review

25.02.2018 (Hvino News) For the first time in the history of Georgian wine Badagoni Brut  was awarded with the 2018 Trophy "Best Sparkling" at the prestigious Asian Wine Review (AWR) International Wine Competition.

Badagoni's wine received a rating of 97, and is characterized as follows: "Good colour, refreshing nose, showing varietal characters and complexity, fine bubbles, floral and citrus, long saline finish with hints of minerality. Balanced, well-made, great effort".

The award ceremony will be held on March 10, 2018 in Hong Kong, where Mr. Giorgi Salakaia, the owner and CEO of Badagoni is invited to receive the award.

The Asian Wine Review is the world’s most trusted guide to Asian wine production, helping consumers worldwide in making better wine selections and helping wine producers obtain professional feedback.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

'Our Blood Is Wine' documentary to be released in USA (with video)

24.02.2018 (Hvino News). The documentary titled Our Blood Is Wine, premiered this month at the Berlin Film Festival, will be released in select US theaters starting March 9th.

Our Blood Is Wine is about families in Georgia who revive 8,000 year old winemaking traditions that were almost lost during the era of Soviet domination. Our Blood Is Wine is directed by American filmmaker Emily Railsback, making her feature debut after a few other short docs previously.

Filmmaker Emily Railsback and award-winning sommelier Jeremy Quinn provide intimate access to rural family life in Georgia as they explore the rebirth of  winemaking traditions. By using unobtrusive iPhone technology, Railsback brings the voices and ancestral legacies of modern Georgians directly to the viewer, revealing an intricate and resilient society that has survived regular foreign invasion and repeated attempts to erase Georgian culture. The revival of traditional winemaking is the central force driving this powerful, independent and autonomous nation to find its 21st century identity.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Vaziani Winery and Chigogidze Wines receive top awards in Tokyo

21.02.2018 (Hvino News). Georgian winemakers received top prizes at 20th awarding ceremony of the International competition “Japan Wine Challenge” which was held  in Tokyo.

Zurab Chigogidze received the awards won by his company Chigogidze Wines for its Saperavi 2015: the highest award – Platinum Medal - and Regional Trophy as the best red wine from Georgia. Read more at: Georgian wines get top awards at Japan's international wine competition

2 gold medals were awarded to Natia Metreveli, the head of Vaziani Company, for Makashivli Marani Mtsvane 2016 and Khikhvi 2016. Khikhvi 2016 also received a Regional Trophy as the best white wine from Georgia.

Her Highness Princess Takamado greeted the winners, among them were representatives of Georgian wine companies.The official  sponsor of the evening was Vaziani Winery.

Georgian wine was also showcased in the cities of Tokyo and Osaka last week. In total over 100 wine varieties from 35 Georgian companies were represented at wine events in both Japanese cities. About 750 wine professionals attended the Georgian wine events in Tokyo and Osaka.

© Hvino News

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Monday, February 19, 2018

22 year-old Anano Vekua is first Georgian winemaker in South Africa

19.02.2018. ”Recently, Agricultural University of Georgia student Anano Vekua became the first Georgian winemaker girl in South Africa,”- On.ge reports.

”I’ve always liked the idea of producing wine. My sister recommended me to attend Agrarian University’s presentation, where I realized I felt extremely free.  wine making-viticulture sounded very interesting, where I could use my favorite science direction - chemistry. I decided to take a risk and prove producing wine is not just for men.

As for South Africa, there is a project, organized by The Embassy of Georgia in South Africa, Consulate of South Africa, the National Wine Agency and the South African-Georgian Chamber of Commerce, within this employees are exchanged between wine companies.

“The Georgian Winery Corporation” has given me the opportunity to participate in this project and become the first Georgian woman winemaker in South Africa, the second largest factory in the country, called Robertson. The company produces all types of wine, mainly French varieties. For example, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon …They don’t use Georgian types yet, although we’ve discussed with main winemakers there, and they need our characteristic grapes. If they want to use Georgian varieties, it will be a long, but important and wonderful story.

I will stay in South Africa for two months. Here’s a vintage now and I take a part in every process. They include me in various operations daily, sometimes I help with filtration, starting fermentation and control or wine processing.

The First Saperavi World Prize: RESULTS

Friday, February 16, 2018

Saperavi World Prize 2017 announces results, awards Grand Prizes

The Gold, Silver, and Bronze “Azarpeshas” – the grand prizes of Saperavi World Prize 2017 (“SapPrize”) international wine contest – were presented to Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of the winner countries at a special award ceremony on February 15.

The Grand Prize winners are: Saperavi winemakers from Australia - Grand Gold, USA - Grand Silver; Kazakhstan - Grand Bronze. Wines of best-known Georgian variety from all over the world were judged in Georgia for the first time at SapPrize contest organized by us - the wine news publisher Hvino News.

16.02.2018 (Hvino News) Saperavi World Prize Award Ceremony was held at IArt Gallery in Tbilisi. Officials, diplomats, businesspeople, wine experts, and journalists attended the VIP event. The organizer of SapPrize is wine news resource Hvino News, published daily since 2012 in two languages, with a total traffic of nearly two million page views. SapPrize is a joint project of Hvino.com and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The Grand Gold Prize was awarded to Cirami Estate 2015 Saperavi from Australia. "The Gold Azarpesha" was presented to David Kereselidze, Director of Department of Asia, Africa, Australia and Pacific Rim of Georgian Foreign Ministry. The foreign Ministry will deliver the precious prize to Georgian Embassy in Australia, which will present it to the winner in Canberra.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Official January's data: Wine export growing

09.02.2018 (Hvino News). According to official data, in January 2018 Georgia exported 5.12 mn bottles of wine to 24 countries, that is 18% higher than last year. In total 11.4 mn USD worth of wine was exported, that is 31% higher than last year.

Export growth is remarkable in the following countries: Japan 95% (26892), Kazakhstan - 108% (220776), Hong Kong - 100% (15486), Latvia - 90% (116226), Ukraine – 55% (624030), Russia - 24% (3534780), Poland - 13% (177018), Israel - 12% (19680), Czech Republic - 445% (6654), Netherlands - 39% (2248).

Top five importers are: Russia (3534780), Ukraine (624030), China (250238), Kazakhstan (220776) and Poland (177018).

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Head of Badagoni rejected accusations

08.02.2018 (Hvino News) Two plants of Badagoni wine company suspended operation on February 7, after the investigators from the Ministry of Finance showed up at the company headquarters in the morning.

Officers of Investigation Service of Finance Ministry are studying financial documentation in the framework of a criminal case involving the misappropriation of the company's shares. A criminal case was launched upon the application of Vladimer Janjghava, a former shareholder, who demands return of his shares.

At a press conference George Salakaia, the current owner of Badagoni, asked the Prime Minister to interfere in the process. "I categorically appeal to the government of Georgia, and the Prime Minister: Mr. George, you know my attitude to my country. I am the father of seven children. You know my attitude to this industry, I very ask you to interfere in this matter today. I say sincerely, in front of all television cameras: I and my colleagues will not concede Badagoni to the end of our lives", said Mr. Salakaia.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Georgian qvevri producers at natural wine shows in France

06.02.2018 (Hvino News). Georgian qvevri wine producers participated in the exhibitions of natural wines in France: "Les Penitentes" in Angers and "La Dive Boutteille" in Saumur.

“Les Penitentes " and " La Dive Boutteille " were attended by hundreds of winemakers from different parts of the world.

"La Dive Boutteille" is the largest and most popular natural wine exhibition in France, hosted by famous French winemakers. The exhibition attracts wine importers and professionals from different countries specializing in natural wines. In "Les Penitentes" traditionally participate the world's most famous "natural" wine producers. This year the Georgian stand was visited by  famous expert Isabelle Legeron MW.