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Monday, August 21, 2017

Georgian Wine Festival 2017 in South East Asia

21.08.2017 (Hvino News). Georgian wine is the rising star of China’s wine market, with exports increasing 100% or more annually since 2008. 2017 Georgian Wine Festival features exclusive sessions for wine industry professionals and the media, and also wine lovers.

Singapore Station: Georgian Wine Lunch pairing Singaporean Cuisine

Date: 28 AUG 2017 (Mon); Time: 12:30; Venue: National Kitchen by Violet Oon, 1 St. Andrew’s Road #02–01, National Gallery, Singapore 178957
Fee: Free.

Highlights:
    5-course Singapore Cuisine pairing with 10 premium Georgian wines.
    Food elements to highlight the pairing friendliness of Georgian wine, and the diversity of wine styles.
    A full spectrum of wine styles, including: sparkling to still, semi-sweet to dry, traditional qvervi to modern, whites to reds.
    The authentic Georgian wine styles & indigenous grapes would be introduced.
    2 Masters of Wine, Honorary Consul of Georgia, sommeliers and leaders from local wine firms.

Shanghai Station: Masterclass and Tasting (Trade & Media only)

Date: 30 Aug 2017 (Wed); Time: 14:00-15:30 Masterclass, 16:00-18:00 Grand Tasting (Trade & Media)
Venue: The House of Roosevelt -Bund 27, 27 Zhongshan East 1st Rd, Wai Tan, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai, China
Fee: Free.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Saperavi World Prize updates: Georgian winemakers participation discussed; Embassies support SapPrize and more USA contestants join

18.08.2017 (Hvino News). The Saperavi World Prize (SapPrize) international wine contest being organized by Hvino News is gaining momentum. Here is a summary of recent updates of SapPrize project:

Participation of Georgian winemakers in SapPrize

Answering a question of  American wine blogger, SapPrize project manager Inge Olsson explained the reason why SapPrize is open to foreign winemakers only: “The small country of Georgia has over 300 wineries, and nearly all of them use Saperavi. Since our contest entry is free, we could have got hundreds of samples from Georgian producers, so few foreign entries would be outnumbered".

"Their chances of winning would be very low, and we were worried that next year the foreign winemakers would lose interest in participation, and contest would become just another national one, not international as intended. SapPrize's aim is to help the international growers of Saperavi, and to develop their communication with Georgia, not to position Georgia as a rival”, - noted Inge. Read more here.

“Now that you explained the logic it makes perfect sense. I agree keeping the international competition entirely international is the correct decision for all involved”, - commented the blog’s author from Pennsylvania, USA.

Inge Olsson further commented the question of Georgian winemakers participation in SapPrize: “This is very important question, as we are receiving requests from Georgian companies.  Georgian brands cannot enter SapPrize, but because they are not competing they are allowed to use it for advertising, as sponsors. We do understand that Georgian and foreign winemakers want to compete  directly, and we are working to solve this. Our proposal is to grant entry to one of national Georgian contests to the prize-winners of SapPrize. This is under discussion, as depends on the organizers of national contests. All proposals from Georgian wine community welcome!”

Embassies support SapPrize

Saperavi World Prize has received official letters of support from two Georgian Embassies: Embassy to Australia in Canberra, and Embassy to USA in Washington. "It is a great advertisement strategy. We are fully supporting this initiative and willing to provide any assistance, if necessary" - pointed out the Georgian diplomatic representatives in connection with Saperavi World Prize. 

SapPrize organizers commented: “We are very thankful for this support and encouragement from the representatives of Georgian Foreign Ministry. In the current list of SapPrize participants, the major part of winemakers are from Australia and USA (see Participants section)

More USA contestants join in 

Finally, SapPrize is happy to welcome three news contestants from USA, who joined last week: Château Niagara, Fero Vineyards, and McGregor Vineyard, which is the oldest commercial producer of Saperavi wines in the United States.

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Agriculture minister and NWA head invited wine industry leaders to vintage preparatory meeting

18.08.2017. Minister of Agriculture of Georgia Levan Davitashvili and Head of National Wine Agency Giorgi Samanishvili met with the representatives of wine and alcoholic beverage companies regarding the organizational issues of vintage 2017.

The Minister noted that both the government and the private sector are perfectly ready  to carry out  the vintage properly.

“We have all the preconditions for successful vintage. Grape harvest is quite large, and at the same time  wine export has increased. Vintage-related issues are organized - The Government has approved vintage supportive measures. At today's meeting we talked with companies about the details and procedures that are prescribed by the government's decree. The meeting was very important and productive, we received information from the companies about actual issues related to vintage. We believe that we will be able to successfully and effectively conduct the vintage season with the maximum coordination and organization”- stated Levan Davitashvili.

According to Giorgi Samanishvili, Chairman of National Wine Agency, the growing export of wine is one of the prerequisites for successful vintage.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Georgian whisky wins silver awards at World Whisky Masters 2017

16.08.2017 (Hvino News). Georgian whisky Jimsher has won  silver awards at  World Whisky Masters 2017competition  in London.

"The first round of the competition, Europe – Blended Standard, produced two Silver medalists hailing from Georgia: “easy drinking” Jimsher From Georgian Brandy Casks and “waxy, fruity” Jimsher From Tsinandali Casks. Moving into the Europe – Blended Premium round and Jimsher’s success continued, with Jimsher From Saperavi Casks securing a further Silver for its “gorgeous nose”, - reads the article on The World Whisky Masters 2017 results, published in The Spirits Business by editor Amy Hopkins.

The Spirits Business is international spirits magazine and the organizer of World Whisky Masters contest.

On the whole, judges were pleasantly surprised by the level of quality on display, and were excited at the prospect of more varieties coming to market and challenging consumer expectations. As judge Chris Tanner concluded: “Forget what you think you know about world whisky. There’s a whole world out there.”

Friday, August 11, 2017

"Wine Enthusiast" on Georgia and orgins of winemaking

11.08.2017 (Hvino News). Leading American magazine Wine Enthusiast in a recent article is asking the question: Where Does Wine Really Come From? The author Dylan Garrett says that "Europe was relatively late to the game when it comes to winemaking, and the original inventors of our favorite fermented beverage are staging a comeback".

At a recent event hosted by Smithsonian Associates in Washington winemakers and wine historians examined who could in fact claim to be the original creators of wine. "While it’s hard to pinpoint where the first fermented grape beverage was made, researchers traced the origins of domesticated grapes to an area around the headwaters of the Tigris River in Turkey", - reads the article.

Dylan Garrett further highlights ancient Georgian, Armenian, and Lebanese wine traditions:

"Saperavi, for example, is a source of national pride in Georgia. It’s one of the few teinturier grapes—meaning its flesh and skin are both red—used in single-varietal production. It accounts for the vast majority of the nation’s red-wine production, but is rarely seen outside the area other than isolated plantings around New York’s Finger Lakes region.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Saperavi World Prize covered by Australian mass medias

10.08.2017 (Hvino News). Saperavi World Prize, organized  by Hvino News this year for the first time, has recently received significant media coverage in Australia. High media's attention is caused by active participation of Australian winemakers in the contest in Georgia.

In Drinks Bulletin's article "Aussie winemakers dominate 2017 SapPrize entries"  the author Alana House writes:
Ever heard of a wine varietal called Saperavi?
Neither had we until we'd read that Australia was dominating the entries for the 2017 Saperavi World Prize.
Saperavi is the European nation of Georgia's signature grape. David Williams describes its grapes in The Guardian as producing "deeply coloured wines with a kind of wild, almost untamed intensity of tannin, finger-staining fruit and acidity that has very few peers."
Saperavi vines are found in Australia, United States, New Zealand, Central Europe, and former Soviet republics.
However, it's a relative unknown in many countries outside Europe. It was only recognised by the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau as a variety in 2014.
"About 20 years ago there was an effort to clear up confusion and remove 'faux' grape names that were for marketing purposes only," Marti Macinski from Standing Stone, an entrant in the Saperavi World Prize, told the Star Gazette. "My guess is that no one was labeling a Saperavi in this country, so no one spoke up and said 'hey, let's include this grape' and it simply did not make the list." (full text here)
Dan Traucki, director of Wine Assist consultancy (Australia) writes:

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

5 Things: Satavado's Tim Sozashvili on Georgian Wine






by Vivian Liu
 
08.08.2017. We ask Tim Sozashvili about drinking Georgian wine in China – and yes, that would be Georgia the country.

What is your connection to Georgian wine?

Every Georgian is somehow connected to wine. My grandfather has a vineyard and he makes wine at home, in Georgia. My uncle’s winery is 102 years old, and it’s been developing over a century to make the best wine possible. I’ve seen it and I grew up with it.

What’s so special about Georgian wine? 

It’s got a whole history behind it – Georgian wine is the oldest wine. Wine originated in the Caucasus, where Georgia is. French and Italian wines are famous, but wine culture spread there from the Caucasus – and recently French wine scholars finally admitted that Georgiais the cradle of winemaking.

Georgian wines tasting in Amsterdam

08.08.2017 (Hvino News). At a Georgian wines tasting held recently in Amsterdam, Dutch sommeliers tried various parings. The winner was Satrapezo Saperavi Qvevri 2014 pairing with wild goose.

The event was attended by local sommeliers, journalists and wine writers.

"Sommeliers from Western Europe have a general interest in our wines but they need to explore our country. As a result of this tasting, Dutch Guild of Sommeliers selected best sommeliers to visit Georgia in September. We are happy to cooperate with the Dutch Guild of Sommeliers which has a serious interest in our wines",-  said Irakli Cholobargia of National Wine Agency.

In 2017 National Wine Agency signed a contract with Netherlands company "Saperavi Wine Agency", which imports Georgian wine and implements various activities to increase the awareness of Georgian wine in the Netherlands.

12 wines were represented at the tasting in Amsterdam, by Gotsa Wines, Telavi Wine Cellar, Schuchmann Wines, Bagrationi, Koncho & Co and Tbilvino.  The sommeliers descussed how to pair various types of Georgian wines with food.

According to Irakli Cholobargia, the Netherlands market has a great perspective for Georgian wine export.

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

"The Economist" on Georgian wine: Vintage past, rosé future

06.08.2017. ​This week Georgia became the first guest wine region at the shiny new Cité de Vin museum in Bordeaux. Georgians have been making wine for 8,000 years. Though debate still swirls over whether that makes them the oldest winemakers, the drink is central to their culture. The national wine agency says that the word “wine” derives from the Georgian “ghvivili”, meaning to smoulder or ferment; the curls and loops of Georgian script are said to mimic vine fronds and grapes. The country has 525 indigenous grape varieties. It still makes wine using the ancient method of fermenting the whole fruit in conical clay jars. Exports of Georgian wine to America are up 43% on last year; those to China are up 104%. The wine agency recently toured Guangdong province, and recommends a Georgian semi-sweet with some sizzling char siu [Chinese barbecued pork - HN]. It looks as if 2017 might be a very good year.

 
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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Official: Georgia's wine and spirits export grew by 60% in 7 months

05.08.2017 (Hvino News). According to official data, in January-July 2017, around 38,3 million bottles of wine were exported from Georgia to 44 countries worldwide. Based on these numbers, exports were 60 percent higher than for same period in 2016. In the period under review, 84.3 million USD worth of wine have been exported, that is 52% higher than the data of the last year.

“According to the export data of 7 months 2017, wine export has grown by 60% compared to the same period of the previous year. Wine realization income has grown by 52%. Export has grown in the countries of European Union, South-West Asia, USA and other countries, which is a result of collaborated work and marketing activity of National Wine Agency and wine sector”- stated Giorgi Samanishvili, head of National Wine Agency.

Top five export markets are: Russia, China, Ukraine, Poland, and Kazakhstan.

Export growth is remarkable to the following countries: China – 80% (4,462,631), Russia- 86% (23,740,750 bottles), Ukraine – 41% (3,653,334), Poland - 20% (1,427,458), Belarus - 42% (814,022) Latvia - 27% (830,852), USA - 89% (236,012), Germany - 34% (234,000), France - 450% (95,530), Israel - 202% (127,334), Azerbaijan - 170% (102,342).

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Georgia to host first international competition of qvevri wine in September

02.08.2017 (Hvino News). In the framework of the Fourth International Symposium of the Qvevri Wine, the Georgian Wine Association (GWA) will organize the first international contest of qvevri wine in September 2017.

According to GWA, the aim of the competition is to present the best qvevri wines to the world (both Georgian and foreign) and to support qvevri wine production and consumption. At the same time, the contest reflects raising popularity of qvevri wine produced in different countries.

The competition is open to qvevri wine producers from all countries and wine regions in the world. However, there are separate nominations for national (Georgian) and for international wines.

Samples will be assessed by national and international judges, whose number will depend on the amount of wines entered in the competition. A diploma certifying the reward, will be handed or addressed to the owner of the wine declared on the registration sheet. The details can be found here.

Awarded wines (best in the national and international category) will be presented by Master of Wine – Lisa Granik in the Cite du Vin, Bordeaux, during the Qvevri Wine Masterclass on September 17th.

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Debra Meiburg: Georgia offers a great wine variety to China

02.08.2017 (Hvino News). Georgian wine was presented in 4 cities of China. In China's southern province of Guangdong, wine professionals and local media representatives were able to taste up to 40 different Georgian premium wines.

The seminars with tasting were conducted by Debra Meiburg, Master of Wine, in Gvanjou, Chuzunshan, Shenzhen and Foshan. Along with wine professionals, local distributors and importers attended the event.

Debra Meiburg, Master of Wine notes that Georgia offers a wide variety of Georgian wine to Chinese consumers and the Chinese consumers will be able to select the desired wine from these varieties.

China remains a strategic export market of Georgian wine. According to the data of 6 months of 2017, 3, 84 million bottles are exported, with an annual increase of 104%.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Georgia wins top awards at competition of "extreme wines" in Italy

31.07.2017 (Hvino News). Georgian wines have received top awards at international wine competition ‘Mondial des Vins Extrêmes CERVIM’ in Valle d'Aosta, Italy.

Badagoni Saperavi Reserve 2010 was awarded with Grand Gold medal, the competition's highest award.

Another Georgian wine - Chigogidze Wines Saperavi 2015 - was awarded with a silver medal.

CERVIM - Centre for Research, Environmental Sustainability and Advancement of Mountain Viticulture - is an international organisation set up for the specific purpose of promoting and protecting the heroic viticulture. CERVIM defined the criteria to idenfify "heroic" viticultuire
as follows:
  • Vineyard sites at altitudes over 500 meters.
  • Vines planted on slopes greater than 30%.
  • Vines planted on terraces or embankments.
  • Vines planted on small islands in difficult growing conditions.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

French museum raises a glass to 'cradle of wine-making' Georgia

Photo: Getty Images
by Alexandra Lesieur

29.07.2017. France's Cite de Vin museum will toast Georgia's 9,000-year history as the global birthplace of wine-making in a new exhibition from Monday.

The wine history museum in the southwestern city of Bordeaux - dubbed "adult Disneyland" when it opened last year - will showcase 125 objects from the Black Sea nation dating back as far as the Neolithic era.

"We're trying to show how much the phenomenon of wine has been an inseparable part of daily Georgian life and culture since the very beginning," exhibit commissioner Nino Lordkipanidze told AFP.

More than 39,000 people flocked to the museum in the French wine capital this year to see its first major exhibition, "Bistrot!", gathering works of art portraying cafes and bars over the ages.

The Georgia show will see pottery fragments dating back to the 6th century BC - containing traces of tartaric acid, proof of the presence of wine - go on display for the first time.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Georgia's exhibition in Bordeaux Centre for Wine and Civilisation to open next Monday

27.07.2017 (Hvino News). Georgia's solo exhibition celebrating its traditional wine culture at Bordeaux Centre for Wine and Civilisation (La Cité du Vin) will open next Monday.

Georgia is the first ‘Guest Wine Region’ (Vignoble Invité) at prestigious centre  La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux, opened last year. Read more at: French President opens "Cité du Vin" in Bordeaux, meets with Georgian Prime Minister.

The exhibition "Georgia, cradle of viticulture" will be open from July  31 to November 5, 2017. Produced by the Georgian State and the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi, this exhibition will showcase 125 archaeological and ethnographical exhibits, works of art as well as period photographs from the Georgian National Museum collections.

Monday, July 24, 2017

"Culinary Backstreets" on Wine Thieves: Georgia’s vinous bad boys

Photo: Paul Rimple
by Paul Rimple

24.07.2017. In the 1975 short film Gvinis Qurdebi (Wine Thieves), four mischievous villagers sneak into a stingy neighbor’s wine cellar, crack open his qvevri (enormous ceramic urn) and start drinking the wine stored inside. As they get drunk and rambunctious with toasts and song, they wake the winemaker who ends up joining them.

It is in this same spirit of Georgian joie de vivre that Avto Kobakhidze, Givi Apakidze and Zaza Asatiani have come together to take other people’s wine and sell it under their own label, Wine Thieves. Their catchphrase is “The finest quality Georgian wine ‘stolen’ exclusively for you,” although nothing is actually ripped off. If they like a wine from a person with no resources to bottle his or her own vintage, the Thieves buy it at a price set by the winemaker, then bottle and sell it.

Helping humble winegrowers get their juice to market is nothing new in Georgia. Ramaz Nikoladze, the respected Imeretian natural winemaker, has helped get octogenarian Didimi Maglakelidze’s sparse but exquisite Aladasturi and Tsolikouri vintages into bottles and onto tables in the U.S. and Europe. The difference with the Wine Thieves is that they are making a business out the practice.Motivated by a simple love of wine, these three friends started the business a year ago and currently have five family wines in their quiver: a Rkatsiteli-Mtsvane (made by Kobakhidze) and a Saperavi from Kakheti, a Chinuri from Kartli and a Tsolikouri from Imereti. In September they will add a rare Tetra from Racha and a Cabernet from Kakheti to the collection.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saperavi producers of the world to compete for “Saperavi World Prize” in Georgia

22.07.2017 (Hvino News). A gold miniature of “azarpesha” - ancient wine drinking vessel  - will become the award of Saperavi World Prize, the first wine contest of Saperavi wines produced around the world.

Saperavi, the “signature” Georgian grape variety, is becoming increasingly popular in the world. Saperavi wines are produced in Australia, USA, New Zealand, Central Europe, and former Soviet republics.

For the first time the Saperavi wines produced in all these countries will be judged in Georgia, by an international jury involving top experts in Saperavi winemaking.

Saperavi World Prize is conceived to become not only a wine contest of Saperavi wines produced abroad, but “a meeting point of international winemakers and Georgian tradition-keepers, backed by eight millennia-old winemaking history of Georgia – the cradle of wine”, according to official site sapprize.hvino.com.

Georgian wine documentary screening at EBRD in London

22.07.2017 (Hvino News). The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is hosting a screening of new Georgian documentary 'Prime Meridian of Wine' at its London headquarters on 5th October.

In the 1960s, one of greatest discoveries in wine world was the acknowledgment of Georgia as the birthplace of wine. A young man, dreaming of emigration and seeking his place in life, starts traveling the wine route: England (greatest civilization of wine commerce) and France - (Château Margaux, Château d'Yquem, Château Smith Lafitte, Château Branaire-Ducru). The discoveries during his wine adventure bring him back to the birth place of wine, his own birthplace: Georgia.

Read more: Georgian documentary "Prime Meridian of Wine” awarded at Spain's film festival and Hollywood success of Georgian wine documentary.

You are invited to join members of the Georgian community to watch the documentary screening and for a wine tasting at 17.15 BST.  To register, click here.

Venue: EBRD Headquarters, Broadgate City of London, 1 Exchange Square, London EC2A 2JN

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Friday, July 21, 2017

The world’s winemakers to compete for a gold “azarpesha”

21.07.2017. What is an azarpesha? In Georgia, that’s how they used to call the elegant wine vessels with long handle, made of silver or gold. These richly decorated objects are now rare antique collectibles.

Now, a miniature gold azarpesha is chosen as the top award of Saperavi World Prize, the first wine contest of Saperavi wines produced in all continents.

Saperavi, the “signature” Georgian grape variety, is becoming increasingly popular with winemakers around the world. Saperavi wines are produced in USA, Europe, former Soviet republics, and even New Zealand, but it is Australia where this Georgian variety has become especially widespread.

For the first time the Saperavi wines produced in all these countries will be judged in Georgia, by an international jury involving top experts in Saperavi winemaking.

Saperavi World Prize is conceived to become not only a wine contest of Saperavi wines produced abroad, but “a meeting point of international winemakers and Georgian tradition-keepers, backed by eight millennia-old winemaking history of Georgia – the cradle of wine”, according to the contest’s organizers. Information can be found at http://sapprize.hvino.com.

Georgian wine exhibition in Bordeaux to open late July

by Thea Morrison

21.07.2017. Georgia’s Minister of Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili, has confirmed that from July 31 to November 5, the center of wine civilization - Cité des Civilisations Du Vin in Bordeaux, France, will open its doors for the Georgian wine exhibition. Read more at:  In 2017 the year of Georgia in Bordeaux will be celebrated at new Center for Wine and Civilizations and French President opens "Cité du Vin" in Bordeaux, meets with Georgian Prime Minister.)

“It is a very important exhibition - Georgia is the first invited country and it is the proof that Georgia is the motherland of wine, the cradle of viniculture,” Davitashvili stated at the special press-conference on Wednesday.

The Minister explained that participation in the exhibition is a unique platform for popularization of Georgian wine and culture.

“I would like to thank the National Museum of Georgia which has prepared a very interesting exposition which will present Georgian wine and culture at the international center for four months,” Davitashvili added.

Friday, July 14, 2017

US wine experts are exploring Georgian wine

14.07.2017 (Hvino News). A group of  wine experts from USA is visitig Georgia to explore wine cellars in Samegrelo, Imereti, Kartli and Kakheti. The visit was organized by the National Wine Agency.

The group of wine professionals is headed by Julie Peterson of Marq Energie, an American marketing agency and National Wine Agency's contractor.

“We are here this week in Georgia with a group of sommeliers from the US market, from some of the top restaurants, because we are trying to introduce them  to the exciting wine environment in Georgia. This year, exports have been up 43% from last year to the US market. In this group we have sommeliers from Chicago, Saint Louis and New York City,  and we have a waiting list of other sommeliers from the US market who are really interested in exploring and understanding what is happening in Georgia right now” - said Julie Peterson.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Prime Minister inaugurated opening of Nelkarisi Winery in Kakheti

12.07.2017 (Hvino News). Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili inaugurated the opening of Nelkarisi Winery complex on July 9 near the village of Shilda, Kakheti region.

“This is one of the best samples of cooperation between government and private sector”, Kvirikashvili noted. “We have invested more than 4 million USD in this project, of which 600 00 USD is a preferential agro credit. We have employed 75 persons. This is very important. This place is of  serious historical importance, the home of winemaking in Georgia. I believe this archaeological project will open a new interesting page in history of Georgia. I believe this place will raise special interest of tourists and it will become one of the key tourism destinations”, Giorgi Kvirikashvili said.

Nelkarisi Winery is built on the territory of the ancient city of Nelkarisi (1st century BC). Nelkarisi Winery complex unites a wine plant, wine shop, restaurant and wine cellar.

JSC Friends Cellar (Megobrebis Marani) was built in 2014 financed with $600,000 in the framework of the United Agro Project, with an overall investment budget of $4 million. Private Liberty Bank is among partners of the project. The company produces 150,000 bottles of wine per year, selling it on the local market as well as exporting to Azerbaijan, European countries, the US and Great Britain.

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Saperavi joins the ranks of the world’s fine wines

by Robert Joseph

What makes a wine ‘fine’?

12.07.2017. Along with 60 or so wine enthusiasts, professionals and consumers I was lucky to be invited by Nicole Sierra-Rolet, co-founder of the le Chêne Bleu estate in the southern Rhône to try to answer this question at a weekend think tank snappily entitled "Fine Minds 4 Fine Wines".

The ‘fine minds’ Rolet had assembled included some eminent writers: Steven Spurrier, the man behind the Judgement of Paris tasting that first established California’s right to stand on the same vinous podium as Bordeaux and Burgundy; Jancis Robinson of the Financial Times and Oxford Companion to Wine; and Michel Bettane, the unchallenged intellectual supremo of French wine. Among the ‘outsiders’ were Robin Niblett, director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, better known as Chatham House; his colleague Elizabeth Linder, head of its Connectivity Initiative; the wonderfully named branding consultant, Minter Dial; and Rolet’s partner in life and at the domaine, Xavier whose day job is to run the London Stock Exchange.

There were fewer producers and distributors than there might have been, but their team was well represented by Thibault Pontallier of Chateau Margaux, Victor Coulon of Domaine de Beaurenard in Chateauneuf du Pape and Andrew Caillard MW who both produces some terrific reds in the Barossa Valley and helps one of Australia’s biggest distributors to select its wines.

How fine is fine?

Monday, July 10, 2017

"The Guardian"/"The Observer": Gorgeous wines from Georgia

10.07.2017. Britain's The Guardian and The Observer have published a review of 3 Georgian wines as "Wines of the Week".

The review is authored by wine columnist David Williams, who chose Tbilvino Qvevris, Jakeli Khashmi Saperavi and Pheasant’s Tears Saperavi. "With a wine tradition that stretches back 8,000 years and more than 500 indigenous grapes to choose from, David Williams has managed to select just three great Georgian wines for you to try", - reads the preface of article.

Tbilvino Qvevris, Kakheti,  2015 (£10, Marks & Spencer) There are some wines I’ve only started to love after visiting the place they’re made. One is sherry, which made so much more sense once I’d had a glass of chilled manzanilla with a plate of jámon in a bar in Sanlúcar de Barrameda. But there are other wines, from places I’ve never been, that give me a bad case of wanderlust. Georgian wines always have that effect on me. They’re so different, so much their own thing, I start thinking, what sort of place makes wines like this? They’re not especially easy to come by in the UK, but Marks & Sparks has a rather brilliant example of orange-tinted dry white wine aged in qvevri, the traditional Georgian clay vessel, with a subtly chewy, moreishly spicy character.