Georgian Wine Goes Back to Russia
13 June, 2013
Georgian Wine Goes Back to Russia
Georgian wine and strong drinks that were missing at the Russian market for seven years due to trade embargo, will reappear at Russian trade outlets in two weeks tentatively. This is the period necessary for customs clearance and logistic procedures after which the first batch of Georgian alcohol drinks comprising 21 600 bottles that crossed Kazbegi-Larsi customs check-point of Georgian-Russian border on June 11, 2013 is expected to put in sale in Russia, Levan Davitashvili, Head of Georgian National Wine Agency,
said during his meeting with media on June 11.
“The trade embargo on Georgian wine and mineral water in Russia is lifted,” he announced. “Our prognosis on return to Russian market by early June came true.”
The first certificate and due registration documentation on Georgian wine and alcohol is issued by Russian side and more are expected in store. Russian side sent million excise stamps to 10 Georgian wine and brandy producing companies past week that was the third and last step in a long-awaited and protracted procedures leading to opening Russian market gates to Georgian product. The first two steps included the on-spot inspection of technical and sanitary conditions of Georgian enterprises by Russian experts sent from RosPoterbNadzor, the key sanitary body of Russian Federation, and the registration of approved producers in Russia. Actually inspection part started by end-February of 2013 and including two bouts was pretty successful but the registration process had been drawn out up to May. The third bout of inspection is believed to come soon in a week or so to check more enterprises. According to Davitashvili, more and more companies are supposed to appeal for Russian registration and Georgian export will gradually be increasing to this direction. A group of Russian sommeliers and journalists visited Georgia from June 6-11 to taste Georgian wine at the 6th international exhibition of wines and alcohol drink in Tbilisi as well as the 2nd symposium of Qvevri Wine, a Georgian national unique technology of making wine in a pottery vessel Qvevri embedded in the earth. They esteem Georgian wines highly; Russian consumer misses Georgian wine and expects it back in the middle and high price segment to compete with worldwide fames. The quality of Georgian wines makes Davitashvili hopeful that they will decent competitors. Georgian economic analysts expects around 10-15 million bottle to be exported to Russia yearly bringing USD 60-70 million in the country. This is far below the 52 million bottles exported to Russia before embargo when Russia made 70% of Georgian wine export but Georgian wine industry considers Russian market cautiously this time. They learnt the lesson in 2006 when Russia hurled Georgian agriculture product off Russian market under alleged quality problems thus inflicting a huge impact on Georgian export dependent on Russia by around 18% by 2005. Wine and mineral water suffered the most as Russian share in their export accounted for around 70 and 60% respectively. Gradually the industry diversified its export markets and recovered but the biggest wine export figure making 22 million bottles past year is just 38% of the pre-embargo data accounting to around 57 million bottles in 2005.
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