Georgian wine gets English news website

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An English-language online news portal covering wine produced in the country of Georgia was launched yesterday 1 May.Hvino News will create a single source of information on the Georgian wine industry in English, the website said. Access is free, with the site offering assistance in preparing and editing material.

via Georgian wine gets English news website.

Wine tours in Georgia

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The region tour allows you to visit a number of Georgian wineries, taste the wines from the modern wineries or home made wine and experience the people and landscape where the grapes are harvested. Visit the flourishing vineyards and wineries of Kakheti and enjoy the delicious wine and warm hospitality of the local population!The richest wine-growing and wine-making region of Georgia, populated with hospitable, openhearted and straightforward people, who live surrounded by mountain chains, old castles, beautiful churches and drink wine as early as mother’s milk – Kakheti province is a “must do”.

via Wine tour.

The FINANCIAL – “Some of the 2-3 Trillion USD of Investment Capital Available in the US Could End Up in Georgia”

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Georgia is an attractive tourist destination in general, but for US tourists to travel to Georgia only, they need to be offered a very unique experience. I think wine tourism with elements of cultural adventure through polyphonic music, food and sightseeing, offers such an experience. But Georgia still needs to develop the necessary infrastructure to receive a sizable number of tourists. I just had group of fourteen American friends in Kakheti for a wine tasting experience and we couldn’t find accommodation in Telavi since all the hotel rooms were booked.

via The FINANCIAL – “Some of the 2-3 Trillion USD of Investment Capital Available in the US Could End Up in Georgia”.

New Wine Festival 2011 Georgia

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New Wine Festival 2011 Georgia

via makhowine’s Channel – YouTube.

Winemakers Go Wild for Qvevri – The Daily Beast

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One of the new Italian converts to qvevri is Elisabetta Foradori. Pouring her rare white, floral wine made from the Nosiola grape, she explains why she loves the qvevri. “My wines find their identity in them so much sooner.” All her production is now in qvevri, even though—don’t tell the Georgians—she too calls them amphorae.Others have added their own twist to the traditional style. Austrian Bernhard Ott makes a Grüner Veltliner labeled, simply, Qvevri. He picks his chemical-free grapes by hand. He crushes them without machinery. He pours the wine, complete with skins, seeds, and stems, into the qvevri, mimicking the way the Georgians vinify their reds. But instead of marinating his wine for a few weeks, he allows the juice to commingle with its parts for months, resulting in a slight orange color and some gritty tannin. After the wine is finished fermenting, he seals the qvevri hermetically with clay and dirt. He then forgets about the wine. Eight months later, he pries the lid open to find the crud sunk to the bottom. This is extreme hands-off winemaking. “The most pure, clear wine is left when the qvevri is opened up,” he says. David Schildnecht, who covers Austria for The Wine Advocate, calls Ott’s Qvevri “revelational.”A qvevri curiosity has now touched down in the New World—not in Napa, where you might expect, but in Virginia. And not for wine, but for cider. Here, too, all roads lead back to Gravner. When John Rhett, general manager of Castle Hill Cider, and cider maker Stuart Madany both former architects tasted Gravner’s wine, they not only loved the flavor but were also attracted to the qvevri’s egg shape. “Whenever nature wants to preserve life energy, it uses the same form, and that is the egg,” Madney says. The two men persuaded Castle Hill’s owners to shell out a hefty sum to import the vessels. This year they planted eight qvevri on Castle Hill’s grounds. Perhaps the world’s first qvevri cider, called Levity, is now available. Whether it’s the egg shape or beginner’s luck, their brew has more complexity, with a deeper flavor and more nuance, than conventional cider offerings.

via Winemakers Go Wild for Qvevri – The Daily Beast.

Georgia: Betting on Clay and Kvevri for Entrée into International Wine Markets |

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“Basically, the Italian winemakers, who took kvevri from Georgia and make kvevri wine, have created a category for the Georgians,” said Chris Terrell, a California-based importer of Georgian wines. “Their [Italian] wines are already selling very, very expensively, so now these [Georgian] wines come in and they have very good value for the people who know.”

Josko Gravner amphora wines, made with Georgian kvevris, range from $50 to $150 in the US; more than a twofold difference with the retail price of one Georgian-made kvevri wine sold in New York City.

Terrell says that the kvevri wines he imports from Georgia fare better in the “high quality, organically-farmed, all-natural wines” market than do Georgian mainstream brands in the table-wine segment. “The quality is getting better, but the labeling and packaging could use some improvement,” he elaborated.

Along with such improvements, observers also say that Georgian wine needs aggressive advertising to raise its profile in new markets like the US. To further this goal, a recent wine symposium, sponsored by the US Agency for International Development, drew a crowd of western oenophiles to Kakheti to experience kvevri culture amid the grape-harvesting season, or rtveli.

At Alaverdi, a 6th-11th century monastery set against the Caucasus’ soaring backdrop, monks served up from their kvevri cellars a heady, dry red Saperavi and a pungent, amber-tinged white Kisi wine.

As the visitors sipped the brew, one New York City restaurateur reported a growing customer interest in Georgian wine, while a Texas potter recounted how a surprise kvevri order from a local wine producer had prompted his decision to travel to Georgia and study the craft.

Yet despite all the fascination with the kvevri, specialists caution that the time-consuming, painstaking nature of making the amphora and its wine will prevent the method’s use from becoming widespread. Larger companies within Georgia are building kvevri wine cellars, but these serve as smaller attractions for tourists and wine aesthetes; not as mission-critical infrastructure.

Using amphoras, a wine company “can produce a maximum of 20-25 tons of kvevri wines,” said Tevzadze. That compares with a volume in the hundreds of tons for more modern methods. Each of the 15 Georgian wineries in the Kvevri Foundation produces just three to 10 tons of wine per season, he added.

“Making wine in a kvevri is so laborious and also expensive that it will never become mainstream,” said Tevzadze.

One successful American winemaker based in Georgia, though, says this is not necessarily bad news for the country’s kvevri winemakers. John Wurdeman, owner of the Pheasant’s Tears winery, believes kvevri aficionados should stay true to the terra-cotta vessels’ reputation for earthy-tasting wines of small volume, but high quality. Said Wurdeman: “It’s a niche product for a niche market.”

via Georgia: Betting on Clay and Kvevri for Entrée into International Wine Markets |

Georgian wine premiers on Travel Channel : By George Sharashidze, in London : Georgia Today on the Web

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Isabelle Legeron is on a quest. The maverick Master of Wine is fighting for authentic wine; wine that is distinct and natural rather than tailored to the international wine mould. Where better to begin her quest than in Georgia; the birthplace of wine?” read the press release distributed to over a hundred guests at the Soho Hotel in London on Monday 11th April. The event, organized by Travel Channel with the support of the British Georgian Chamber of Commerce BGCC, saw the launch of the Travel Channel’s latest documentary That Crazy French Woman in Georgia.Editors and senior journalists from prominent international media outlets such as Sky TV, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mail, Radio Times, and the Daily Telegraph Magazine attended the premier, lapping up a relaxed atmosphere and a variety of fantastic Kvevri wines from a number of leading Georgian wine producers.

via Georgian wine premiers on Travel Channel : By George Sharashidze, in London : Georgia Today on the Web.

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