Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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 land major honours at 2017 Decanter Awards

19.05.2017. 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, two Georgian companies have been confirmed to have claimed honours by internationally recognised judges of the event.

The Platinum Award for Best Value Georgian Red went to Maranuli winery’s Otskhanuri Sapere wine of 2015 vintage year, marking the first-ever platinum win for a Georgian wine at the contest.

In another major result, a 2012 vintage Saperavi by Winery Khareba was awarded gold in its category.

Georgian wines won 3 medals at Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2017

19.05.2017 (Hvino News). The results of the 2017 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (CMB) have been released recently. The 2017 CMB was held over 5 to 7 May in Valladolid, Spain and attracted 9 080 wines from 50 producer countries.

Georgian wines have won 3 medals: 1 Gold and 2 Silver. The Georgian winners are:

   Georgian Wines & Spirits (GWS) Vismino Grand Saperavi 2014

   Shumi Salome 2013
   Winery Khareba Akhasheni 2014

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Philippe LESPY: GWS has potential to become main player of Georgia in wine production

special guest

18.05.2017 (Hvino News). The special guest of Hvino News today is Mr. Philippe LESPY, CEO at Georgian Wines and Spirits company (GWS). He kindly agreed to answer our questions.

Hvino News: We suggest starting the interview with your company’s brief outline. What is the GWS history? What are the most recent achievements?

Philippe Lespy: GWS is one of the most famous wineries in Georgia that was founded in 1993 in Telavi, Achinebuli on the base of the famous winery “Telavi2“, created in 1976. For me, GWS has been the first modern winery which bottled sustainable quality wines, the first modern winery who planted their own vineyards and used modern production tools. GWS is the 3rd largest wines and spirits group in Georgia and bases its reputation on quality and integrity.

Since 2013, GWS has restarted a production of quality wines. By the end of 2017, GWS will be able to produce 3 million bottles of high quality wines from its own vineyards (still and sparkling wines), and chacha. It can already reach a capacity of processing 6 million of bottles overall. By the end of 2017, the winery will operate 280 hectares of red grape varietals and 120 hectares of white grape varietals. This will combine traditional Georgian (85%) and international varietals (15%). In the near future, GWS will present its new style of organic wines from its own vineyards, including qvevris (traditional amphora fermentation).

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Georgian wine exports to China to grow as Free Trade Agreement is signed

16.05.2017. Georgian wine exports to China are set to grow after the two countries officially signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on 13 May, following a series of negotiations that started as early as December 2015.

The FTA will see China drop a tariff on 93.9% of exported products from Georgia, with 90.9% of products enjoying zero tariff either later this year or early next year, as reported by China’s state news agency Xinhua.

The tariff on remaining products will be reduced over a period of five years.

Once effective, Georgia will become another wine producing country to be exporting wines to China with zero tariff following Chile, New Zealand and Australia, though tariff on Australian wines will only be completely scrapped in 2019.

Impressions of 8-th New Wine Festival in Tbilisi

16.05.2017 (Hvino News). The eighth New Wine Festival took place on May 13 in Tbilisi's Mtatsminda Park Map , where new wines of 2016 harvests from all over Georgia were represented. The participants were nearly every large and small wineries, including family businesses from various regions.

During seven years the festival has become widely known among residents and guests of Tbilisi. The New Wine Festival is now a very popular event in Tbilisi - a must for every wine-lover in Georgia. It is a place where tourists, experts and Georgians come together to have a wonderful day.

Festival's creator and a famous winemaker Iago Bitarishvili said: "The festival has become an important event in terms of marketing: this time it was specially visited by importers from France, Spain, the USA, Australia, Ukraine and Russia, wine journalists from different countries. No less important, the festival has become important both for the city and for the country in terms of tourism, because travel agencies specially plan tours to participate in it. "

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Zurab Ramazashvili becomes the Burgundy Wine Knight

14.05.2017. (Hvino News) Zurab Ramazashvili, the co-founder of Telavi Wine Cellar – one of Georgia’s leading wine producing companies – was nominated as a member of the French “Brotherhood of Knights of  the Wine-Tasting Cup”.

The brotherhood known as “Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin” initiated the new Knight during a solemn ceremony on May 13 at the ancient castle of Château du Clos de Vougeot in the heart of Burgundy, the famous wine producing province of France.

The members of the brotherhood of wine knights of Burgundy are called “chevaliers du Testevin” because of the organization’s medieval symbol – tâtevin or testevin – the traditional wine-tasting cup, used by tasters and wine-producers. An essential tool for winegrowers since the Middle Ages, the cup is made of solid silver or silver-plated, and has a raised design so that the appearance and colour of the wines can be appreciated.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Export of draught wine from Georgia banned

12.05.2017 (Hvino News). The Agrarian Committee of Georgia's Parliament  unanimously approved amendments to the Law on Vine and Wine. Nodar Kereselidze, first deputy minister of agriculture, presented the draft law at the meeting and talked about the reasons why the draft law was on the agenda (Read more: The Law on Wine to be modified).

According to Kereselidze, despite the fact that the current legislation defines a number of terms in the viticulture and winemaking, as well as a number of basic principles are established, it does not meet modern requirements, is not adapted to international terms which in many cases create obstacles to import-export of wine and grape spirits.

Significant changes have been made to the wine classification: qvevri and amber wines were added. Changes are in the order of labeling. The private sector representatives agreed, and it was reflected in the draft law, to ban the export of draught wine which will further promote the quality wine export and will prevent falsification.

Official: Current wine and spirits export data

12.05.2017 (Hvino News) According to official data, in January-April 2017, 18,4 million bottles of wine have been exported from Georgia to 39 countries worldwide, that is 59% higher than the similar data of the last year. In the period under review, 41,4 mil. USD worth of wine have been exported, that is 54% higher than the similar data of the last year.

“According to January-April of this year, wine and other alcohol beverage export indicators have increased by 60% compared with the similar data of the last year... Export has progresses on markets of the EU countries, China, USA and on traditional markets as well” - stated the head of National Wine Agency Giorgi Samanishvili.

The first five of exporter countries is the fallowing: Russia - 11 076 205, China -2 391 981,Ukraine - 1 874 212, Poland - 814 882 and Kazakhstan - 602 407 bottles.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Japan’s wine master is fond of Georgian wine culture

08.05.2017 (Hvino News) Kenichi Ohashi is the first Japanese Master of Wine who came to Georgia last week to explore country's reach wine culture and market. Japanese wine expert was accompanied by wine writer Akihiko Yamamoto, a representative of Japanese Sommelier Association.

On the first day of his visit in Georgia, Japanese guests held a meeting in National Wine Agency, and visited wine company Chateau Mukhrani. The visit continued in Kakheti andthe guests had opportunity to taste over 100 varieties of Georgian wine of the following companies: Giuaani, Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking, Shumi, Telavi Wine Cellar, Teleda, Schuchmann Wines, Vaziani, Shalauri Wine Cellar, Maranuli, Kakha Tchotiashvili Winery, Winery Khareba, also, visited a qvevri-maker Zaza Kbilashvili and learnt the qvevri-making technology. They tasted Gotsa Wines in Kartli.

Georgian wine made impressed Mr. Ohashi,  who is the only Master of Wine in Japan:  “My impression of Georgian wine is absolutely fantastic, I am very ashamed, because I was not familiar with Georgian wine, it's my shame. There is so much new information, number one is the history over 8 thousand years, absolutely, Georgia is an ancestor of wine and wine-making and we should respect this nation - Georgia. The second one is the variety. Georgian wines' style is very suitable for our cuisine, and I think, Georgian wine future on our market is absolutely brilliant” - stated Kenichi Ohashi.

As the head of Marketing and PR Department of National Wine Agency Irakli Cholobargia mentioned, Kenichi Ohashi represents the Agency's contractor marketing company Red Bridge, which organizes marketing and advertising campaign of Georgian wine in Japan this year.

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Yet another Georgian wine made into "Esquire" Top-10 list

04.05.2017 (Hvino News). Just days ago Hvino News informed our readers that Georgian wine was featured in the list of best natural wines published by famous American lifestyle magazine Esquire.

Today we are glad to tell yet another Georgian wine made into a new Esquire's list. This time the magazine compiled of best sparkling wines "The 10 Best Pét-Nat Wines Under $40", and Georgian Mtsvae by Okro's Wines was included in it.

The authors call Georgian wine "Okro's draws on generations of natural winemaking in qvevri, or clay vessels, buried underground. The wine speaks of an indigenous grape varietal, Mtsvane".Quoted price per bottle is 27 US$.

Full text can be found here.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Georgian Wine, Food & Poliphonia

by Nino Gugunishvili

02.05.2017. Best known as the owner of wine producer Pheasant’s Tears and a talented and energetic businessman well versed in the Georgian ‘tamada’ traditions, John H. Wurdeman first discovered Georgian polyphonic singing when he decided to relocate to Georgia back in 1995.

Before starting his winemaking operation and opening a restaurant in Sighnaghi, he and his Georgian wife Ketevan traveled around the country collecting traditional music and creating paintings. In addition to being a successful winemaker and restaurateur, Wurdeman is also an artist with a graduate degree from the Surikov Institute in Moscow.

We met with Wurdeman in his latest restaurant, the cozy Poliphonia, at 23 Amagleba Street in Tbilisi, to talk about wine, Georgian food and two exciting upcoming events. Poliphonia will host a unique tasting on May 5, where guests will have the chance to compare eight different regions of Georgia through wine, cuisine and polyphony. On May 12, the restaurant will host Zero Compromise, a tasting of natural wines presented by the wine growers themselves, from 11am to 5 pm.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Georgian wine on show in Lithuania’s biggest wine exhibition

01.05.2017 (Hvino News). Wine enthusiasts in Lithuania will have a chance to taste some unique Georgian wines.

On May 5-6, the biggest wine and spirits event in the Baltic States wine exhibition "Vyno Dienos 2017” (Wine Days 2017) will showcase six Georgian wine companies: Besini, Askaneli Brothers, Khareba, Guiaani, Zakro Vino, Kindzmarauli Marani, Corporation Georgian Wine.

The wine exhibition gives special platform for the wine insiders where professionals meet professionals and final consumers.

Wine and spirits producers, international importers, gourmet representatives, companies that make glass and wine accessories for two days may enjoy a company and attention of more than 4,000 visitors that are closely related and are interested in the presented products.

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Georgian Tavkveri in top-10 natural wines list of "Esquire" magazine

30.04.2017 (Hvino News). Georgian wine was featured in the list of best natural wines published by famous American lifestyle magazine Esquire.

In Esquire's recent article entitled "The 10 Best Natural Wines Under $40" the wine Tavkveri 2013 by Pheasant's Tears is included in the list of "freshest and funkiest natural wines".

The authors call Georgian wine "A light, bright, and floral red, this tavkveri is made in clay vessels lined with beeswax and completely buried under the earth to coolly ferment". Quoted price per bottle is 22 US$.

Full text can be found here. This article originally appears in the May 2017 issue.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

EU parliamentarians in Strasbourg tasted Georgian wine (with video)

27.04.2017 (Hvino News). Georgia's delegation at Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) hosted a wine tasting in Strasbourg. The delegation's head Tamar Chugoshvili opened the event, while the Resident Representative of Georgia to CoE Constantine Korkelia addressed the attendees, speaking about importance of cooperation with PACE.

According to the First Vice-Speaker, Tamar Chugoshvili, the event entailed high interest of PACE members and was another opportunity to introduce Georgian culture.

Georgian MPs hosted the guests offering Georgian wine, cuisine, cheese and sweets.

Tbilisi: Taste natural wines uncompromisingly on May 12

27.04.2017 (Hvino News). "Zero Compromise" will be a tasting of natural wines in Tbilisi presented by the growers themselves, kicking off at 11 AM on the 12-th of May and continuing to 5 PM.

The wine show will be hosted by 3 natural wine venues - Ghvino Underground  Map , Poliphonia  Map , and Azarphesha  Map  -  all within walking distance from one another.  Small snacks will be served by all three of these unique restaurants.

"It's the best opportunity for both professionals and the public to get acquainted with the people, traditions, and flavours of Georgian natural wine", - explained John Wurdeman, well-known winemaker and one of the event's organizers. "The cost is 25 lari and for this you get a map of how to find the venues, list of which growers are where, a glass with "Zero Compromise" logo, access to all the wines, and small bites of food from some of the best kitchens in Tbilisi", - said Mr. Wurdeman.

To see the full list of participating winemakers, click on the event's poster to enlarge.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Georgian wines by Artevani win medals in Orlando

25.04.2017 (Hvino News). Georgian wines by Art Mtevani LCC were awarded at the recent convention of Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA).

The 74-nd Annual Convention and Exposition took place on April 18-21 in Orlando, Florida. It included  Wine Tasting Competition, where Georgian wines were represented by importer and distributor company InterBalt Products/Medco.

Artevani Organic Kindzmarauli 2015 and Artevani 2011 Rkatsiteli (Tigishvili Vineyard)  were awarded with silver medals.

The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) is the national trade association representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry.

WSWA's Annual Convention & Exposition is the largest gathering of America's wine and spirits distributors with suppliers from around the world who seek to highlight or enter their brands in the U.S. marketplace. WSWA hosts several events throughout the year.

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Tbilisi's New Wine Festival scheduled for May 13

25.04.2017 (Hvino News). The traditional New Wine Festival is scheduled for May 13 at Tbilisi's Mtatsminda Park Map , 11 AM to 6 PM.

Small family-owned wineries, as well as large wineries from all parts of Georgia will present their products. Attendance is free of charge. Visitors are welcome to taste and enjoy some of the Georgia's best wines.

This year’s New Wine Festival gathers 113 participants, including wineries of all sizes, associations, government agencies, wine bars and small business owners.

The New Wine Festival 2017 will traditionally commence with the a qvevri opening ceremony. The Rezo Kiknadze jazz band, the Nali band, the Didgori folklore company along with Khoni People’s Orchestra will perform their selected musical pieces.

Georgian Wine Club announced it will offer 8 10-liter barrels of best Saperavi wine for lottery winners. Visitors will be invited to buy wine-tasting glasses, in return for which they will receive the lottery tickets.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Japan's magazine focuses on Georgian wine

21.04.2017. (Hvino News). Japan's leading magazine NIKKEI STYLE published an article on Georgian wine by Chiharu Otsuka, entitled "The World’s Oldest and Buried in Underground - Georgia’s “Doki Wine”.

Thanks to Embassy of Georgia in Japan, we repost the full translation of the article from Japanese:

Past few years, wine from a certain country is gaining more attentions in the world. It is wine from Georgia, one of the post-soviet states which Japanese people used to call Gurujia until recently.

It all started when the wine making method in Georgia was recorded as one of the intangible cultural heritages of UNESCO in 2013. The method is to use the egg-shaped clay vessels called Qvevri. They store the vessels underground and let the grapes inside fermented.

“We store the vessels underground because the temperature is stable there. Grape’s seeds and stalks are put into the vessels as well therefore the wine contains high level of tannin which is a kind of polyphenol.” Mr. Archil Machavariani, Minister-Counsellor at the Embassy of Georgia to Japan explains.

"Wine Warms Friendship" Reception in Japan

21.04.2017 (Hvino News). Embassy of Georgia in Japan reports that on April 13 it participated in the "Wine Warms Friendship - Discovering Irresistible Wines from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Tunisia" reception, organized with initiative of H.E. Mr. Motome Takisawa, Parliamentary Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Parliamentary Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, H.E. Mr. Motome Takisawa and the Ambassadors delivered speeches for distinguished guests.

During the speech the Ambassador of Georgia, H.E. Dr. Levan Tsintsadze underlined that Georgia represents the cradle of wine and spoke about the unique characteristics of Georgian wine, 8000 years old history and producing style, which was listed as an intangible world heritage by UNESCO in 2013. Dr. Levan Tsintsadze noted that vine represents the symbol of Georgian identity and from the 2000 vine species in the world 525 species have Georgian origin. The Ambassador also underlined that the best Japanese wine "Koshu" is from Georgia, and was brought to Japan 2000-3000 years ago via the "Silk Road".

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

More international buyers at Vinitaly

hvino world news
Hvino World News is our column focusing on important events and news from international wine scene which may be useful and relevant to Georgian wine industry. The column is authored by Ute SEITZ, wine author and wine tourism adviser (Tbilisi). 

19.04.2017 (Hvino News). About 128,000 (127,500 in 2016) visitors from 142 countries were counted by the organizers of Vinitaly, the Italian wine trade fair, which took place in Verona from April 9th till April 12th.

48,000 of these visitors came from abroad – within them about 30,000 “top international buyers”. It was emphasized by the organizers that the number of top buyers increased by 8 % compared to the year before. They registered increased visitor numbers from the USA (+ 6%), from Germany (+ 3%), Great Britain (+ 4%), China (+ 12%), Russia (+ 42%), Japan (+ 2%), Northern Europe (+ 2%), The Netherlands/Belgium (+ 6%) and Brazil (+ 29%). Gigantic growth rates concerning foreign exhibitors were announced by the exhibition corporation. Their number increased by 74 %. However they did not announce that only 3 % of the 4,270 exhibitors came from foreign countries. 97 % of the exhibitors were Italian companies.

Georgia was represented at Vinitaly 2017 by Winery Khareba. The closest neighbors Armenia and Azerbaijan also had minimal representation (one company from each country).