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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

1200 GEL in a bottle of wine: John Wurdeman charity auction raises 20 000 GEL

30.12.2015. On December 27, in an informal setting in Vino Underground  Map , the natural wine manufacturers and enthusiasts conducted auction in support of John Wurdeman and sold rare Georgian natural wines from private collections [read more here].  Unique wines from almost all wine regions of Georgia - Kakheti, Kartli, Imereti, Guria, Samegrelo and even Meskheti (wines from there are not available now in Georgia) were represented in the auction. These were, for example, Tsitska-Tsolikouri 2010 and Tsolikouri 2013 from Nicoladze Wine Cellar, Iago's Wine 2003, Naotari’s Kisi 2012, Our Wine’s Rkatsiteli Tsarapi 2006, Amber-coloured Chkhaveri 2010 by Iberieli, Saperavi 2012 by Kakha Berishvili and others.

56 bottles of wine sold in total (23 retail, and 33 in lots) and the sales amounted to 18 020 GEL. Niki Antadze’s Rkatsiteli 2010 was sold at 1200 GEL that was the most expensive wine sold in the auction. Iago’s Chinuri and Jakeli Organic Vines and Wine’s Saperavi Khashmi were sold at 1010 GEL. Particularly interesting was activity of women in the auction, who did not let Mandili’s (Marina Kurtanidze, Tea Melanashvili) Mtsvane to anyone and bought this wine at 850 GEL.

The most expensive among the wines grouped in lots was a lot consisted of Saperavi 2013 by Kakha Berishvili, Iberieli’s (Zurab Topuridze) Chkhaveri 2009, Coupage of Jani and Skhiltaubani and Mtsvane by Okro Wines.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Rare wines auction and crowdfunding campaign to support John Wurdeman of Pheasant's Tears

26.12.2015 (Hvino News) On December 27th, at 4 PM, the friends of John Wurdeman and the Georgian natural wine invite you to the charity event to be held at Vino Underground, G. Tabidze Street 15, Tbilisi  Map .

There will be an auction of rare and collectible Georgian natural wines that are not found anywhere else on the market.

John Wurdeman is founder of Georgian wine brand Pheasant's Tears and a well-known advocate of Georgian natural wine and culture. John's friends and colleagues are joining forces to support him, because on December 11th Wurdeman's house in Sighnaghi (Kakheti) was completely destroyed by fire. All his personal possessions and the ethnographic artifacts that he and his wife have been gathering over past 20 years are lost in fire.

The fire also damaged Pheasant's Tears wine cellar  Map   where John hosted his guests. It was the house where John, born and raised in the U.S., settled in the 90-es. Read more about John Wurdeman here: How a CD in Virginia led to a wine rebirth in Georgia and Pheasant’s Tears wine blends traditional elements of Georgian culture. Just days ago Hvino News wrote about one of Pheasant's Tears wines featured in Bloomberg's top wines list.

Earlier, an emergency crowdfunding campaign in support John Wurdeman was launched, which already raised $23,750 out of  $30k needed. All funds will be used by John and Ketevan to rebuild their home.

For everyone interested in helping John Wurdeman and his family to rebuild his home and cellar, here is the link to his crowdfunding page: https://www.gofundme.com/m2ej8rb2

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Georgian Rkatsiteli in Bloomberg's best wines list, called "fascinating"

24.12.2015 (Hvino News). "I am always asked if I drink inexpensive wines. Of course, I do – if the wines are really good. Happily, I can report that it is easier than ever to buy great stuff without spending a fortune,” - says  wine critic Elin McCoy, who authored article on the Bloomberg website that lists the 50 best wines under $50 USD.

"Fermented on grape skins like a red, this delicious apricot-y white from the Republic of Georgia is an “orange” wine aged in clay amphoras", - says McCoy about the only Georgian wine in her list - Pheasant’s Tears Rkatsiteli wine (see Hvino's Catalogue's three entries here). It is listed at price $20 USD. The author tasted all of the wines including Pheasant’s Tears Rkatsiteli and says the wine delivers plenty of value for the price.

Elin McCoy placed Georgian wine into a group entitled "Wines for Geeks - Fascinating niche bottles" - together with: 2004 Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Reserva; 2012 Paolo Bea Umbria Bianco Santa Chiara; and Valdespino Fino Inocente Sherry (which all have higher price tags).

Bloomberg is one of world's leading  media companies, a major source of  financial data.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Georgia in "Condé Nast Traveler" list of "hottest wine destinations 2016"

21.12.2015 (Hvino News). Georgia is listed in "The Hottest Wine Destinations of 2016" by luxury travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler.

"The Hottest Wine Destinations of 2016" is a list compiled by Condé Nast Traveler's Laura Giannatempo, published on December 17.

The magazine reads: "We asked some of the country’s top wine experts to tell us where they’re excited to go in the New Year. What we got is the wine lover’s definitive list of regions to explore." About Georgia:

"Georgia — the former Soviet Union country, not the American state, and one of the oldest wine regions in the world — has become a wine hotspot in the past few years. The traditional Georgian method using kvevris — beautiful, amphora-type clay vessels for fermenting, storing, and aging wine underground — is now being replicated by many natural winemakers all over the world. “The land, the history, the culture, the food, the wine, the people—it was one of the most powerful wine trips I’ve ever taken,” says Pascaline Lepeltier, beverage director of Rouge Tomate Chelsea, NYC."

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Schuchmann Wines to build wine spa

17.12.2015 (Hvino News). Schuchmann Wines Georgia announced plans to promote wellness tourism in the country, wine therapy (vinotherapy) in particular.

Nutsa Abramishvili, head of Schuchmann Wines, said that work on design of "Schuchmann Wine Spa" complex has already begun.  It will be a complex offering relaxing, spa and wellness procedures. In her words, the company's goal is to create local brand focused on recreational tourism that has great potential in Georgia. She notes it is the so-called "luxury" trend and prices are slightly higher than average, however, they will be available for the guests of the complex.

One of the first a "Vinotherapy" spa hotels was opened in La Rioja, Spain. Vinotherapy makes use of the benefits from the grape and the vine extracts to provide effective skincare treatments, with anti-ageing action. 

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Introduction to Georgia: Discussing producers and grape varieties

12.12.2015. [Part of interview with Stetson Robbins, sales manager at Blue Danube Wine Company, a U.S. importer of Georgian wines].

Let’s talk about the producers. How would you introduce them?

S: I’ll start with Kindzmarauli Marani and Shumi who share a similar story. Both are larger, modern wineries, producing “European-style” wines. This means that instead of qvevri they use stainless steel and/or oak barrels. They are located on either side of the Alazani River, in Kakheti — Georgia’s largest wine region — within two major appellations. Kindzmarauli Marani is on the left bank in the Kindzmarauli appellation Map , known for semi-sweet reds. Shumi is on the right bank within Tsinandali Map , an important white wine appellation. Even though both are considered large wineries, there is so much care that goes into the wines. Instead of purchasing fruit, both source from their own estates. Both are also dedicated to Georgia’s viticultural future. You can find experimental vineyards at both estates with hundreds of varietals, both indigenous and international. The goal is to see which grapes are most successful in their conditions. It’s encouraging to see this interest in supporting Georgia’s rich viticultural heritage from large and small producers alike.

The rest of the producers employ more traditional methods, using qvevri for fermentation and aging. If you want a window into the past, drink the wines from Shavnabada Monastery. This Orthodox monastery is located on the outskirts of Tbilisi Map , where classical wines are made under the strict supervision of the Monks. These Monks have been instrumental in making high quality qvevri wines for many centuries. The monastery is so far off the beaten path that we would not have known about it had it not been for Jean-Michel Morel of Kabaj in Slovenia. He apprenticed at this winery and was the one that introduced us to the wines. Drinking these wines is an almost spiritual or sacred experience.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Private Georgian wine tasting in Washington on January 12th

07.12.2015. Georgian wines have been making their way onto wine lists at some of DC’s trendiest restaurants lately, but the wines themselves are anything but faddish. Georgia is home to the world’s oldest continuous winemaking tradition, stretching back more than 7,000 years. Its most talented vintners are making natural wines using native grapes and ancient fermentation methods that yield complex flavors you won’t find elsewhere. Join Wendy Stuart of Food Works Group and Jenny Holm of The Georgian Table for a guided tasting and discover the fascinating stories behind these one-of-a-kind wines.

Guided Georgian Wine Tasting
Five wines plus light snacks and sweets
Tuesday, Jan. 12, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Private residence near U St. NW in Washington, DC (Address will be sent after ticket purchase)
$40 per person

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Hvino starts Christmas Sale - best shopping season for companies interested in international promotion

06.12.2015. As holiday season is coming, we at Hvino.com have prepared a big load of presents to our clients and friends - wine producers and other companies who want to raise their brand visibility among international readership.

Since our launch in 2012, Hvino has grown into a multi-function portal consisting of 6 independent web resources. It includes new unique services such as first Georgian Wine Catalogue, and first interactive Wine Map. Our core daily English news service Hvino News with ever-growing traffic reaches every country of the world (to be exact, 169 countries!).

With 6 independent web platforms, we now have all kinds of various advertising options - for any purpose and any budget. And even more discounts and special offers! In addition to simple banners, clients may advertise on Hvino Map (Premium map markers can make your winery or shop immediately visible on the map); add new wines labels to Catalogue; or even buy the whole background space on some sites! We have got so many options that the list would be too long. So we decided to save time of our clients and friends:

Instead of a long list of all our marketing and advertising possibilities, discounts, and bonuses on all 6 sites, we are making one simple Holiday Season Offer. We give 1-3 months of FREE BONUS SERVICE and/or 25%, 35% and 50% DISCOUNTS from usual price, and we advise which our services are most cost-efficient for your goals!

If you are a company interested in promotion with us, simply tell us  which target group you want to reach with your message, and what's your budget limit. That's all.

Our marketing professionals will quickly (in 24 hours) present SEVERAL alternative packages for your choice. Our proposals will be made individually, to meet your specific needs, based on optimal use of ALL our tools. 

We hope this approach will help you save time (and money). Take advantage of Hvino's Holiday Season Offer. It's the best time to plan your 2016 Hvino marketing campaigns with huge savings.



Happy holidays!

Hong Kong's lifestyle magazine covers more Georgian wines

06.12.2015 (Hvino News). Last October Post Magazine, a popular Hong Kong's magazine published by South China Morning Post, has featured an article on Georgian white wines. Today the Chinese lifestyle periodical explores the theme further with its second take on Georgian wines, by the same author Sarah Wong.

Entitled "Three outstanding wines from Georgia", the article covers Georgian qvevri-fermented reds available from local distributor in Hong Kong:
  • Badagoni Alaverdi Tradition Red 2007, price in Hong Kong HK$760 (almost 100 US dollars);
  • Pheasant's Tears Shavkapito 2010, HK$330;
  • Teleda (Orgo) Saperavi 2007, HK$420.

Sarah Wong writes: "Gaumarjos! Georgia, as mentioned in these pages recently, has a wine history that dates back to ancient times. The tamada, or toastmaster, has long played an integral role in the ritual of wine drinking. A tamada is similar to a master of ceremonies, and his job is to introduce each toast during feasts and other celebrations... Cheers, or, as they say in Georgia, gaumarjos!"

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Georgia once again in focus of Vogue magazine

04.12.2015. (Hvino News). Just a couple months ago Hvino News reported about American Vogue magazine's mentioning Georgian wine on top of the Vogue's list of orange wines (read more: Vogue magazine lists Georgian Iago's Chinuri as number one orange wine).

On December 2 Georgia appears again in the focus of Vogue's attention. This time the renown magazine goes further in exploration of Georgia. Vogue published five reasons why one should visit Georgia, in the article “Why Georgia (the country) is the secret gem of Europe”.

The author Liana Satenstein starts her article with a direct call to action:
"This holiday season, forget the plane ticket to Milan. Cancel Berlin. And don’t bother with London. Instead, head to Georgia".
The first of Vogue's reasons is Georgian food and wine:
Over the past few years, a wave of Georgian restaurants have become a hit stateside... And there is no doubt about why this Eastern European cuisine has crossed the Atlantic.... Georgian wine—it’s fermented in a kvevri, a B.C. tradition that involves a clay vessel buried far underground.
Besides delicacies such as khachapuri ("bread is in the shape of a pinched boat, stuffed and baked with a traditional Georgian cheese called suluguni"), other attractions listed by Vogue include Georgian ballet, sulfur baths, and Tbilisi's architecture. A little bit oversimplified list, in our view, but anyway thanks to Vogue for covering Georgia.

We hope the readers who will visit Georgia will report many other really unique attractive features of Georgia, and discover that it is a gem indeed.

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Friday, November 27, 2015

"Al Jazeera": Wine, Georgia's most popular export, thrives in embargo

by Mansur Mirovalev

27.11.2015. Temori Saalishvili lifts a lid from a round ceramic vat in the concrete floor of his basement. With a wooden pitchfork, he stirs a bubbling, pungent, amber-coloured liquid filled with grape skins, stems and seeds.

After several more days of fermentation, the liquid will turn into young, full-bodied "orange" wine with strong tannins and fruity overtones.

The wine seems to have absorbed the flavours of the landscape around it: walnut and persimmon trees skirting stone houses, a patchwork of sun-kissed fields and lush meadows watered by the snow-covered Greater Caucasus Mountains, and garlands of dry saffron flowers hanging in Saalishvili's kitchen.

Most European wines are made by fermenting grape juice after it has been separated from the grape skins. But traditional Georgian wine, or hvino, is skin-fermented without yeast and chemicals, mostly in containers similar to the one below Saalishvili's basement floor. It is called kvevri - an earthenware vat more than two metres tall that was installed by Saalishvili's grandfather half a century ago and is now a subterranean pillar of the world's oldest viticulture.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

CNN: Is Georgia the world’s cradle of wine? [With video]

25.11.2015. (Hvino News). Sumnima Udas, CNN International's Delhi-based correspondent, presented the new CNN video following the Silk Road route.

"Visit Kakheti, Georgia's lush wine-producing region and find out why many believe the country is the world's cradle of wine”, -reports the new CNN video devoted to Georgia's Tbilisi and Kakheti.

Watch the video:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Free Georgian wine tastings in USA

22.11.2015. (Hvino News). Several free Georgian wine tastings will be held in USA (Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia) in November-December. Here are locations and dates:

NOVEMBER 2015

November 22  12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Whole Foods Market – Georgetown, 2323 Wisconsin Ave N.W.
Washington, DC 20007 Map  
Georgian Wines will include: Teliani Valley's Tsolikouri, Tvishi, Saperavi, Mukuzani, Kindzmarauli.

November 24  4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Whole Foods Market – Georgetown, 2323 Wisconsin Ave N.W.
Washington, DC 20007 Map  
Georgian Wines will include: Teliani Valley's Tsolikouri, Tvishi, Saperavi, Mukuzani, Kindzmarauli.

DECEMBER 2015

December 4  3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Total Wine & More Laurel (Corridor), 3321 Corridor Marketplace
Laurel, MD 20724
We will be tasting the following wines: Teliani Valley's Tsolikouri, Tvishi, Saperavi, Mukuzani, Kindzmarauli, Schuchmann Pirosmani, Schuchmann Mukuzani.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Taste Georgian wine this Thanksgiving in US

22.11.2015. If you are a wine enthusiast currently in the United States, you have a chance to taste Georgian wine for free.

Thanksgiving Georgian wine tastings will take place at four different locations in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia this week.

Free wine tasting will include Teliani Valley's Tsinandali, Tvishi, Saperavi, Kindzmarauli.

"Thanksgiving is approaching and we have excellent Georgian wines that in our opinion pair particularly well with the spirit of Thankgiving and the accompanying dinner table,” said event organisers.

"They represent the best of Georgian grape varietals and the millennia-old Georgian wine culture.”

At Whole Foods Market located in Georgetown Map   the Georgian wine tasting will be held on November 22th at 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm; on November 24th - at 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm.

For full schedule of Georgian wine tastings in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia in November - December click here.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Belfast Telegraph": Friends bring taste of Georgian wine to Northern Ireland's top restaurants

by John Mulgrew

17.11.2015. Two young Co Down [County Down is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland - HN] friends are bringing the tastes and smells of the Georgian wine industry to some of Northern Ireland's top restaurants.

Adam McCullough and Simon Bryans, both 22, from Holywood, are now selling some of the Baltic [J yes, that's the way the original Irish newspaper reads - HN] state's top red and white tipples on to top tables, including the now Michelin-starred Deanes Eipic restaurant in Belfast.

The pair have combined both their love of wine, and a gap in the market, to introduce Northern Ireland and the Republic to something entirely new, with their business Harland Wines.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Georgian wine from Teleda winery wins gold in China

16.11.2015 (Hvino News). On November 15-17  China's Guangzhou is hosting the 15th International Wine and Spirits Exhibition - Interwine Guangzhou 2015. 9 Georgian wine companies are taking part: Besini, Askaneli Brothers, Bagrationi 1882, Teliani Valley, Dugladze, Kakhuri Wine Cellar, Khareba, Telavi Wine Cellar, Batono.

Wine contest  Interwine Guangzhou 2015 was held in the framework of the exhibition, at which Georgian wine company by Teleda won the gold award. The winning wine is Teleda Amber Dry 2011. Total 183 wines from 23 countries were submitted to the wine contest.

China(Guangzhou) International Wine & Spirits Exhibition (Interwine) was founded in 2005 and located in Guangzhou, South China. As an international exhibition, Interwine has established close business relationships with wineries from 72 countries. The exhibition facts show that after 10 years development,  Interwine has collected more than 2000 exhibitors and 50000 visitors and covered 50000 square meter exhibiting area totally.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Georgia's wine and tourism agencies briefed journalists on first UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism

13.11.2015 (Hvino News) Yesterday in Tbilisi the the heads of the National Tourism Administration and National Wine Agency - Giorgi Chogovadze and Giorgi Samanishvili - held a joint press conference regarding the first Global Conference on Wine Tourism, planned for 2016 in Georgia.

The wine conference will be held under the auspices of United Nations's World Tourism Organization - UNWTO.

As announced last moth at UNWTO event in London, the first UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism will be held in Georgia’s Kakheti wine region on September 7-9, 2016 (read more here). The activity is part of the UNWTO Gastronomy Network plan of action.

The representatives of Georgia's wine and tourism agencies briefed the journalists at Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel on the conference project details, and answered the questions.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Georgian wines: an interesting pawn in U.S. geopolitics

11.11.2015 (Hvino News). American wine writer W. Blake Gray covered Georgian wines in his blog's recent post entitled "Georgian wines: an interesting pawn in U.S. geopolitics". The article was based on a Georgian wine tasting conducted recently by Lisa Granik in San Francisco, in the framework of Georgian Wine Month in USA.

The post starts with somewhat ironical mention of the American governmental assistance to Georgian winemaking industry: "Quick quiz: can you name the country whose wines get financial support from the U.S. State Department? If you said the United States of America, nice try. The U.S. government's idea of supporting its own country's wine is to keep the beer & wine distributors who heavily contribute to political campaigns happy. It's not like the European Union, where wine producers get all sorts of government  support. No, the answer is a country that is in Europe, but not in the E.U., and therefore not able to balance its budget with money from Germany. It's Georgia: "the country, not the state," as you have to tell everyone whenever you talk about Georgian wine."

The author further makes assessment of Georgian wine production, pointing out that "Georgia produces 15 million cases a year, which sounds like a lot from a country of 4.5 million people, but it's only about as much as Barefoot Cellars, and it's only about 60% of what it produced in the Soviet era".

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Georgian wines by Kakhuri Gvinis Marani win awards at Hong Kong fair

10.11.2015 (Hvino News). The 8th HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, one of the largest fairs of its kind in Asia, was opened on November 5-7 with more than 1,000 exhibitors from 32 countries and regions.

Georgian Saperavi 2011 wine from Kakhuri Gvinis Marani (Kakhetian Wine Cellar) has won two top awards:  Grand Prix in the nomination of Best Regional Wine in Eastern Europe, and the Gold Medal. The Bronze Medal was given to Mukuzani 2011 by the same company.

Other Georgian companies represented at HKTDC include Tbilvino, Winery Khareba, Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking, Badagoni, Georgian Wine House, and Georgian Wines & Spirits Company.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, Levan Davitashvili, to promote Georgian wine on the international market it is essential to take part and win in such high-class international exhibitions.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Historical wine cellar was opened by Prime Minister Garibashvili in Saguramo

09.11.2015 (Hvino News). On November 8, the opening ceremony of the renovated and restored historical marani (wine cellar) of Tadeos Guramishvili took place in village Saguramo, in presence of prime minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili, ex-prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, and the members of the Georgian government.

The historical wine cellar is situated on territory of Ilia Chavchavadze Museum. The officials were attending the Museum on the occasion of Ilia Chavchavadze's anniversary (Prince Ilia Chavchavadze was prominent 19-th century Georgian politician and poet).

The marani project in the village Saguramo, Mtskheta region  Map  , was implemented by wine-producing company Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking. This is a historical monument of the XVIII century, preserving unique Georgian wine-making equipment.

Tourists will be able to visit the historical cellar of Tadeos Guramishvili, and to get acquainted with Georgian culture and taste Georgian wine.

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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Jakeli's Saperavi wins Grand Prix in Poland

08.11.2015 (Hvino News). Polish specialized magazine Wino has awarded Georgian wine with prize at Wino's Grand Prix awards (Nagrody Grand Prix Magazynu Wino 2015). 

The winner of a bronze Grand Prix in category "Best red wines" is Jakeli's Khashmi Saperavi Organic 2011.This Georgian wine is imported to Poland by Krako Slow Wines.

Wino is a bi-monthly magazine established in 2002, currently the largest independent wine periodical in Poland.

Jakeli's family vineyard (5.5 ha)  Map  was started in 2001 near the village Khashmi in the Iori valley, Kakheti, at the foothill of the Tsivgombori  mountain range. The vineyard is at 760 meters above sea level. It is managed organically, never irrigated and sprayed maximum 5 times in May-July. No oak barrels are used, and no filtering. Jakeli winery became member of the Biological Farming Association ELKANA in 2004. Since 2009, their production is certified organic according to standard Green Caucasus.

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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Georgia's modest achievement at ENOEXPO wine contest in Poland

07.11.2015 (Hvino News). On November 4-6 in Krakow, Poland, 11 Georgian wine companies participated in the international wine fair ENOEXPO 2015: Telavi Wine Cellar, Teliani Valley, Vaziani, Khareba Winery, Askaneli Brothers, Corporation Kindzmarauli, Kakhuri, Besini, Twins Wine Cellar, Chateau Telavi, Tibaneli.

Within the fair a 7th ENOEXPO 2015 Winemaking Competition was held. According to recently announced results, just one Georgian wine is among winners: a silver medal was awarded to Amiran Vepkhvadze's Krakhuna 2013.

In 2014, Georgia won 9 medals at ENOEXPO, including 4 gold medals (see details here). In 2013, Georgia was awarded with 6 medals, including 2 gold (see details here). So, compared to previous years, Georgia's achievements show a sharp decrease.

Poland is an important export market for Georgian wine, according to National Wine Agency. Latest figures showed Georgia exported 1.26 million bottles of wine to Poland during the first 10 months of 2015, a 2% increase from the same period of last year.

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Friday, November 6, 2015

Georgia exports more than 28 million bottles of wine, earns $77.2m

06.11.2015. Georgia has exported 28,101,431 bottles of wine to 42 countries in the first 10 months of 2015, generating $77.2 million USD.

In recent months Georgian wine was gaining popularity and making an impression in strategically important markets such as China, the European Union (EU) and United States (US), said local wine experts.

The Georgian National Wine Agency reported China was one of the most strategically important markets for Georgia, where wine exports had increased by 87 percent. Between January-October 2015 Georgia exported more than 1.8 million bottles of wine to China.

The taste of Georgian wine was also being enjoyed all over the EU:
  • Poland – 1,260,870 bottles (two percent increase);
  • Latvia – 924,792 bottles (three percent increase);
  • Estonia – 389,274 bottles (35 percent increase);
  • Germany – 211,236 bottles (14 percent increase);
  • The Netherlands – 47,232 bottles (88 percent increase); 
  • France – 29,100 bottles (104 percent increase).
Other strategically important markets were:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Georgia to host UNWTO’s 1st Global Conference on Wine Tourism in 2016

05.11.2015 (Hvino News) Wine tourism is set to really take off next year after it was announced that the first UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism will be held in Georgia’s Kakheti wine region from Sept. 7-9, 2016.

The 1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism was officially launched by UNWTO and the Georgian National Tourism Administration on the occasion of the World Travel Market in London. The activity is part of the UNWTO Gastronomy Network plan of action.

The UNWTO and the Georgian National Tourism Administration made the announcement at World Travel Market session. As explained by UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, who led the presentation with the head of Georgian National Tourism Administration, George Chogovadze, and the Georgian Ambassador to Spain, Zurab Pololikashvili, “Wine tourism represents a growing segment with immense opportunities to diversify demand. In the case of Georgia, this potential is well known as we are very pleased to be holding the first UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism in the country.”

Friday, October 30, 2015

Georgia's leading business association published article on Usakhelouri wine contributed by Hvino.com

30.10.2015 (Hvino News). The latest issue of ICCommerce features the article about Georgian wine Usakhelouri, which was contributed by Hvino.com.

The article, entitled Say “Oosa-Hello-Oory”: Georgia’s most precious wine on its way to global recognition, traces the intriguing story of one of Georgia's rarest and most expensive wines - since the Stalin's epoch, when it was exclusively produced for the government in Kremlin, till its re-birth nowadays thanks to the enthusiasts' efforts. The article includes comments by Giorgi Samanishvili, director of National Wine Agency.

The full text of article in English on Usakhelouri wine is reposted by Hvino News here. The Georgian translation can be found here.

The original magazine article in both languages as PDF file can be downloaded here. The full ICCommerce Edition V can be downloaded here, as PDF file.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Say “Oosa-Hello-Oory”: Georgia’s most precious wine on its way to global recognition

(Here is the Georgian version / ქართულად)
(Here is the Russian version / НА РУССКОМ ЯЗЫКЕ)

by Alexander Kaffka

The officers of Stalin’s secret police actually counted the amount of Usakhelouri wine produced, and made sure the peasants did not retain a drop of precious product for personal use.  It’s small wonder that almost nobody knew about this rare wine, and even fewer had ever tasted it.

Above all the fuss

29.10.2015. While visiting a supermarket in Tbilisi, a business traveler or a tourist can rarely miss the wine department. Usually, it is the liveliest spot of every shopping center, with some action taking place all the time. Surrounded by other departments’ lonely and ordinary-looking shelves, the wine place is the one, which is inhabited - by promoters. They are usually charming girls in colorful national costumes, who welcome you and offer free wine tasting. Yes, they are promoting their products but they are acting in such a delicate and friendly way, that you feel they just want to make your life better. The lucky traveler is offered a pretty amazing choice of wines to try, which are generously poured into full-size glasses (not microscopic plastic thimbles used for promotions elsewhere in the world). Easily and without any pressure, after one or two sips, you realize you are in a country where wine indeed plays a very special role.

After several visits paid to such wine departments, a typical foreigner may become perfectly aware of various brands of Kindzmarauli, Rkatsiteli, Mtsvane and dozens of other hard-to-pronounce but delicious Georgian wines – without spending a dime. But there is one wine, which is never offered for free, and for a good reason. It’s the Usakhelouri (here is how to pronounce: Oosa-hello-oory), dark red semisweet wine made of one of the most rare of Georgia’s whopping 400 grape varieties. Usakhelouri wines are expensive, hard-to-find in Georgia and almost completely unavailable abroad. Because of its rarity and high price, this wine is little known even among Georgians themselves. Usually bottled in elegant, slender non-standard glassware, Usakhelauri stands in solemn solitude on a remote shelf of the wine department, far above all the fuss of daily promotions, fenced by its price tag from the casual shopper, waiting for the right connoisseur.

I find it rather pointless to describe the taste of wine in writing. If you are lucky to be reading this in Georgia, you may invest in a bottle of Usakhelouri and taste it yourself in a company of friends (Yes, the price is rather high for a Georgian wine but still is comparable to the cost of a good dinner in a restaurant, so it is not unaffordable.) If you are outside of the country, but still are familiar of Georgian wines, just remember the best Khvanchkara you have tried - not too sweet one – and imagine something much more fresh, rich and elegant. If you like this idea, maybe you’ve just got another serious reason for paying a visit to Georgia.

Monday, October 26, 2015

An introduction to Georgian wine in Washington, D.C.

by Jenny Holm

26.10.2015. Rkatsiteli, kisi, saperavi, ojaleshi. You might not have heard of them, but they’re already listed on some of the trendiest wine lists in town, from Compass Rose to Red Hen. They’re Georgian wines and they’re worth seeking out.

Georgia may well be the birthplace of wine. Evidence shows that people living near the Caucasus Mountains have been fermenting grapes into wine for approximately 8,000 years, longer than anywhere else on the planet. Families all over Georgia maintain their own small vineyards and make wine at home, downing hundreds of liters a year at feasts celebrating everything from births and weddings to birthdays and appliance purchases.

With its mild climate and long history of viticulture, Georgia (along with Moldova) once produced most of the wine consumed in the Soviet Union. Mass production collapsed along with the USSR, but out of its ashes rose a new generation of winemakers using traditional methods to create high-quality wines for a niche market. They’re unusual, fun to say, and good to drink. Here’s what you need to know:

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hong Kong's lifestyle magazine covers Georgian white wines

25.10.2015 (Hvino News). Post Magazine, a popular Hong Kong's lifestyle magazine published by South China Morning Post, has published an article on Georgian wines. The article by Sarah Wong is entitled "Three wines from Georgia, a country with an 8,000-year wine history".

She writes: "Search for Georgia online and you'll find far more references to the American state than to the country. Many oenophiles aren't even aware that wine is made in Georgia (the country, not the state) but, for experts, it's an exciting region that is well worth exploring."

The author quoted Eko Glonti, of the Lagvinari winery  Map , saying "Georgians do not make wine. They give birth to the wine. A wine is like a person. It is born, lives and dies."

Article in Post Magazine focuses on Georgia's white varieties rkatsiteli and kisi, noting that "White wines made using qvevri undergo an entire change in character. Their colour deepens to a golden hue, which is why they are known as amber wines. On the nose, they may have honey, apricot and dried orange peel notes. Their palate is surprisingly powerful and full - these are wines that benefit from time and conversation. Firm tannins make them ideal food wines that will pair well with white meat."