National Wine Agency of Georgia evaluated 2017 year in wine and its highlights with CBW.
The recognition of the world scientific community that the ancient trace of winemaking is found on the territory of Georgia, from which it spread throughout the world. On November 13, the PNAS published an article entitled “Georgia’s Early Neolithic Wine from the South Caucasus”, which deals with the newly-based multidisciplinary research of archeological findings found on the territory of Georgia, which confirmed that the inhabitants of the region produced wine In 6000-5800, meaning 8000 years ago. The research was carried out in the framework of ‘’Georgian Vine and Wine Culture Research’’ implemented by National Wine Agency since 2014. Along with Georgian scholars, the staff of Pennsylvania, Montpellier, Milan, Copenhagen, Toronto, Israel’s Weisman Institute and National Institute of Montpellier Agrarian Research (INRA) were involved. The above-mentioned scientific conclusions attracted the attention of world media: The New York Times, BBC, CNN, The Guardian, National Geographic, WashingtonPost etc.) It was published in all leading news and scientific publications, which led to the recognition of Georgian wine at a new level.
Exhibition ‘’Georgia – Cradle of Wine’’ was held in the city of Bordeaux, France at “Cité des Civilisations Du Vin” taking place for almost four months. This exhibition was opened on July 31 of the current year and ended on November 4. On September 14, the Georgian Qvevri was installed as a permanent exposition at the entrance of the center to celebrate “UNESCO” including it on the list of world intangible cultural heritage in 2013. Georgia was the first country to open a cycle of viticulture and winemaking in the Bordeaux Museum. Within the scope of the exhibition there were presented unique archeological and ethnographic samples from the Georgian National Museum confirming that Georgia is the cradle of ancient wine. 60 thousand visitors have visited the exhibition, which is very important to increase recognition and popularize Georgian wine.
In order to popularize and increase recognition of Georgian wine, Georgian wine was presented at more than 200 events (exhibition, tasting, presentation, seminar and so on). In the following countries: China / Hong Kong, Singapore, France, Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany, Baltic States, Japan, Poland, USA, Belgium and others. Dozens of wine professionals visited Georgia and tasted Georgian wine at the place, got acquainted with Georgian wine culture and traditions.
In 2017 record number of wine exported in the history of independent Georgia -70,2 mil. bottles (0,75l) of wine have been exported to 52 countries worldwide, that is 54% higher than the similar data of the last year. In the period under review, 154,8 mil. USD worth of wine have been exported, that is 49% higher than the data of the previous year.
“According to the export data of January-November 2017, wine export has exceeded 70 mil bottles. This indicator will increase by the end of the year, which means, that for the last 30 years, record amount of wine will be exported from Georgia. Export growth is remarkable in the countries of European Union, Asia, USA and other countries, which is a result of coordinated work and well planed marketing activity of the National Wine Agency and wine sector”- stated the Head of the National Wine Agency, Giorgi Samanishvili.
Successful Vintage – 2017. 125 thousand tons of grapes were processed in Kakheti region, revenues of viticulturists reached 144 million GEL. In Racha-Lechkhumi 769 tons of grapes (Aleksandrouli and Mujuretuli) have been processed and the income of vineyards exceeded 5,4 million in the region. More than 130 thousand tons of grapes summed up in Georgia. The current state of winemaking – the growth of wine export, diversification of export markets, expanded wine enterprises, the development of cheap agricultural credits and the agro-insurance system provided a possibility that the subsidy on the quality and condensed grapes in the Kakheti region of 2017 was not issued. The price of grapes was determined in terms of quality and origin, without the government interference, the grapes have almost completely assimilated by the private sector. Over 16 thousand vendors have put grapes in commission to wine companies.
The Parliament of Georgia adopted the draft law “On Change to the Law on Vine and Wine”, according to which the amendments were made to the law. The adoption is important for the development of viticulture and winemaking in the country as a historical, culturally and economically priority sector. The Law on Vine and Wine was adopted in 1998 and significant changes have not been made since 2002. The terms added to the law were refined in terms of content and technically elaborated, which allowed for double interpretation of the separate provisions of the law. Amendments to the existing law will facilitate the implementation of state policy in the field.
The Agency continued to create the Georgian viticulture department cadaster this year. This process was implemented in the vineyards of Akhmeta municipality, where about 6 thousand vineyards were recorded.
2018 – The National Wine Agency will continue to promote Georgian wine and support the growth of export potential. Georgian wine will be presented at all important international exhibitions worldwide. Laboratory studies of wine are also important activities that have significantly improved the quality of the final product, which will be further intensified since 2018. Our aim is to make Georgian wine even more popular worldwide, which is directly reflected on strengthening the wine industry. As it was noted, this year exported the largest amount of wine in the history of independent Georgia. The aim of our work is to reach 100 million bottles in the next few years, which is achieved through the agreed field of wine industry and relevant government agencies.