Blackberry wine to hit the market – The success story of a Georgian student’s enterprise
14 June, 2017
Blackberry wine to hit the market – The success story of a Georgian student’s enterprise
Georgia has been an agrarian country since ancient times that boasted its vast fertile lands, mild climate and 49 types of soils. Most importantly, Georgia is considered the birthplace of wine with around 8000 years of winemaking tradition under its belt. Yet during past decades the country faced serious hardships and economic stagnation that led to the collapse
of rural sector. Now the time of revival of Georgian agriculture sector has come as passionate and hardworking Georgian youth are one of the leading pioneers in this serious mission.

We saw many examples of successful young Georgian entrepreneurs who contribute to Georgian agriculture and economy through their commitment and work. Giorgi Latsabidze, the student of Biology and Agrarian Faculty at Telavi’s Agricultural University is yet another successful and ambitious entrepreneur who has already earned recognition for his gigantic aromatic blackberries (each weighing 15-20 grams) that sell out at great speed. As the young farmer and student says, this is only the beginning and soon he will produce blackberry wine and conquer foreign market with his produce. Currently the young farmer produces and sells not only his farm grown strawberries and blackberries, but their saplings as well. He charges one strawberry sapling for 50 tetris and blackberry sapling for 2 GEL.

“From the age of 19 I have been involved in agriculture sector. Originally it all started from strawberry saplings nursery and was followed by blackberry cultivation. Currently there is a huge demand for strawberry in Georgia. I started this business by myself and the idea came to me after I discovered a certain type of strawberry called San Andreas that is fruiting all year round. When I launched the business, I knew that it would attract the greenhouse workers and the demand would be huge. So I was one of the pioneers who produced and sold this sort of saplings. Whereas others sold one sapling for 6 GEL, I sold it at a relatively cheaper price 1 GEL. As a result, the strawberry sapling business turned out as a huge success. I would like to emphasize that the notion as if imported saplings are better and the ones that have been imported and multiplied here lose their specific features is not true. Moreover, the ones that are imported and sold out straight are frozen and their productivity index is low in comparison with locally cultivated saplings. In addition, the saplings I cultivate and produce are organic and pose no danger to health. This year besides saplings I will also sell my own strawberries that I have planted and grown. I remember when I received my first revenue 1800 GEL, I realized that my idea really worked and demand has gradually increased in different regions of Georgia”, - Giorgi Latsabidze said.
As Giorgi said, the idea to cultivate thornless sort of berries belongs to his mother. We could not find here the sweet sort of blackberries, so we had to import the saplings from the USA multiply . In fact, in Georgia we don’t have the culture of cultivating blackberries for commercial purposes. Gathering wild blackberries and selling is not an easy task. So the market was free for this product and I knew that it would definitely be in demand. As for the European market, there is a colossal demand on blackberries and prices vary from country to country. The leading provider of blackberries at the European market is Serbia, yet the output satisfies only 30 percent of demand while 70 percent remains unexploited. The demand is gradually expanding on blackberries both locally and internationally and Georgia’s key advantage is that we have a huge potential. In comparison with Serbia blackberries grow and ripen a month and a half earlier here. Moreover the sort I grow is called Triple Crown and it ripens earlier than a normal blackberry. As I have already said our superiority lies in the fact that blackberry ripens faster and earlier in Georgia. Subsequently Georgia produces blackberries when other countries such as Chile and Mexico who are the leading producers don’t, so this is our core advantage. So if we want to establish ourselves on the European market, then we have to produce far larger amounts of blackberries, at least 100 or 200 tons. I think that very soon we will supply not only European market but export blackberries to our neighboring countries such as Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey”, - Giorgi explained.
According to the young farmer, currently he is conducting negotiations with Dutch, Greeks, and Austrians who personally visited Georgia and expressed their willingness Georgian-produced blackberry to be exported to their market. Yet there are certain procedures that must be followed for safety and proper transportation. As Giorgi said, special shock fridges are needed to transfer the fruit so that it retains its taste and structure. Within 7 minutes the shock fridges freeze fruit under the - 41 degrees and when the product reaches its destination it is thawed and ready for sale.“We are a post-soviet country that has undergone many difficulties and hardships, so it is really hard to start everything again by yourself. People had no stimulus to produce products in large quantities because there was no market for realization and most of the produce would be spoiled. Fortunately, now things have changed and I am happy that today many youth think about buying and cultivating land and in this way playing their role in developing Georgia’s economy. I have planted strawberries on 6000 sq land and the blackberry on one hectare. This year I am expecting 10 tons of blackberries, as for the strawberries, the harvest will amount to 15 tons. In fact this is the first year I planted San Andreas strawberries and this sort of strawberry produces twice that amount second year. Even though this species are relatively large, they taste wonderful and are not filled with pesticides. Each strawberry weighs around 45-47 grams, whereas black berries amount to 15-20 grams and the level of sugar is 15 % that is quite much for the blackberry. This is the only sort of blackberry that contains this amount of sugar and that is why it is so sweet and delicious. I was planning to export blackberries in little quantities to foreign market, yet I don’t have special fridges that are needed for the transportation, so this year I will supply only Georgian market. There is a substantial demand from different regions of Georgia. Many restaurants buy it in large quantities and serve dishes garnished with blackberry sauce or use it for making juices. Besides locals, tourists like and buy fresh cold raspberries as well”, - Student entrepreneur explained.

On top of that the student from Georgia’s Kakheti region plans to make his own blackberry wine and produce it.

“This year I am planning to produce my own blackberry wine. It is very beneficial, good for heath and has healing features, so it is no less tasty than traditional wine. Blackberry is very nutritious, so in many European countries blackberry wine is surpassing ordinary wine. I think that this will be a new word in the history of Georgian modern wine production. It is noteworthy that in Georgia’s western Imereti region possess a unique tradition of making blackberry wine as well as blackberry sauce that is served with fried chicken, but no one has tried producing it for commercial purposes up to now. I am thinking about experimenting with different technologies and techniques to produce blackberry wine. I think that we have huge potential and developing the berry culture in Georgia will strengthen and revitalize our economy significantly”, - Giorgi Latsabidze remarked.
He thinks that special agency must be formed in the Ministry of Agriculture that will actively support and foster the development of this field. According to him, the agency must be aimed at attracting investors and funding specifically for this field, building processing plants, employing people, supplying entrepreneurs with special technologies and fridges as well as promoting this sector generally. “The government and people should listen to each other and work together for the wellbeing of whole country. I believe that if we follow this path then as a result we will build strong country with robust economy and better financially conditions”, - Giorgi said.

The successful entrepreneur envisions himself and his business in two years not only locally but occupying honorable place on foreign market as well.

Author: Lika Chigladze

Other Stories
Korter: Reliable housing property data in Georgia
It's not a simple job to find fresh homes. But when you use the estate choice service Korter, everything becomes distinct.
Rent a car in Tbilisi –
Are you thinking of booking the best vehicles for your next trip at a very reasonable price? If yes, then this is one of the best decisions you can ever make for yourself.
Pleasant Sunday for the whole family – Renewed Sunday’s brunch at The Biltmore Tbilisi Hotel
Summer, the season of endless fun and vacations, has ended and Tbilisi has become a usually crowded city.
GEL devalues, officials show optimism though
Devaluation of the national currency has sent shockwaves among citizens in Georgia. Officials think that the trend will return to its normal frame, though.
ProCredit Bank’s 20 years of challenges and successes in Georgia and what it means to be a responsible bank
“The bank’s 20-year long presence in Georgia was marked by many challenges and success stories.
Comments on alarming GEL devaluation
The National Bank of Georgia set a new exchange rate, according to which, dollar price became GEL 2.9507 on Tuesday.
Euronews and Silknet sign an MOU to launch “Euronews Georgia”
Euronews and Silknet, Georgia’s leading telecommunications company, are announcing the signing of an MOU in view of launching Euronews Georgia, a news channel and digital platform aimed at a Georgian-speaking audience.
Green Diamond starts to hand over flats to owners as second stage of construction finishes
Second stage of construction of Green Diamond living apartments by MAQRO Construction has finished and process of hand over of flats to owners has started.
Georgian wine tasting in the US came off excellently
Georgian wine tasting in the main cities of the US, New York, Chicago, and Boston went off excellently.
The most wanted fruits from Georgia
The fruit exportation has decreased in Georgia. According to Geostat (National Statistics Office of Georgia), this year, up until May Georgia exported 25 939 300 USD worth of fruit – 6 771 300 USD less than in 2018.
Investment Plan for Europe – Additional EUR 800 million for SMEs as EIF and ProCredit double support for innovative companies
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and ProCredit Group are providing an additional EUR 800 million to innovative small and medium-sized companies (SMEs),
Everything of comfortable life in one space – Second part of construction of one of the largest apartment complexes finished in Tbilisi
Apartment in ecologically clean environment, thousands of square meters of green yard, swimming pools, places for various sports activities, treks for walking and running, commercial spaces – all these available in one space is not a fantasy.
Batumi awarded Europe's Leading Emerging Tourism Destination 2019
World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony 2019 took place on the 8th of June in Madeira, Portugal.
Coca Cola to open new factory in Georgia, will hire female drivers
Coca Cola is opening new factory in Georgia in December.
World's best party supply company now on the Georgian market
The largest party supply store in Georgia - MyDay is launching as the official distributor of AMSCAN from 2019.
Live as a marketing tool and an unprecedented live stream launched by Livetag
Sharing information has become smoother and more versatile in today’s technological world. Recently, live streaming, an online streaming media has become especially popular.
Theme and program of Caspian Energy Forum Tbilisi – 2019 changed
“The 8th International Caspian Energy Forum Tbilisi – 2019, scheduled for June 21, will focus on the development of the Azerbaijan-Georgia relations in the field of economy and energy”,
Misunderstanding over Poti deep sea ports
There was misunderstanding around deep sea ports in Georgia – in Poti.
High demand for dollars or the investment decline – Why Georgian Lari depreciates
$1 equals GEL 2,7470 in the official rate set by the National Bank of Georgia (NBG).
PSP Group confirms negotiations regarding purchasing of GEO Hospitals
PSP Group confirms negotiations regarding purchasing of GEO Hospitals.
New life to be given to Dashbashi Canyon
Georgia’s Agency of Protected Areas is planning to give new life to Dashbashi Canyon in Tsalka (southeastern Georgia).
Who is constructing “Khadori 3” Hydropower Plant in Pankisi Gorge?
Clashes broke out in Pankisi Gorge, Georgia’s northeastern region between special forces and residents
Business Positive – Successful radio program from Radio Positive
Starting point of radio program Business Positive is to meet interesting people, communicate with them and deliver information that is interesting for the audience.
A factory of electric vehicles to be built in Kutaisi
Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze stated that a factory of electric vehicles will be built in Kutaisi at the presentation of the Aigroup business group.
Qvevri-shaped hotel complex to be built in Telavi
A Qvevri-shaped hotel complex is scheduled to be built in the village of Shalauri in Telavi, Kakheti (east part of Georgia).
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
October 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31