The First Bio-Wine in Georgia
01 December, 2011
The First Bio-Wine in Georgia

“Mesmerizing taste…

Fascinating wine…

Emphasized Georgian identity”…

 

This is the impression of the world-famous wine promoter, a leading journalist specializing in wine; and a prominent, prize-winning sommelier, Zoltan Szabo. He was impressed by the first Georgian bio-wine, corresponding with international standards. “One significant thing is that you have original breeds growing only in Georgia and nowhere else. Furthermore, some technologies of wine producing, such as “kvevri”-are fascinating. “Kvevri” (big jug), made of clay, is organic itself, thus it positively affects the whole process

of producing the organic wine. The most fascinating part is a long-time tradition and indigenous breeds, which will attract the world”.

The Nikolashvili family has been cultivating vine grapes of Saperavi breed in Gurjaani (Kakheti region) since 1925. In 2008, a 5,80-Hectar vineyard was granted the first bio-certificate in Georgia. Receiving this certificate is considered to be an extremely complicated procedure. Special experts study the wine cultivating process carefully for three years, and only after rigorous checking through laboratory they finally conclude that it really is a bio-product. Only thus can a product access the market of Finland, which the Georgian Saperavi bio-wine has already achieved.

“My vineyard is located on my ancestors’ birthplace, on the edge of Alazani valley, Kakheti region. All conditions of cultivating the bio-products are strictly preserved. It is prohibited to use pesticides in bio-farming. They contaminate the soil and the product itself. We only use contact drugs, that bring no harm”, Givi Nikolashvili, the owner of the vineyard says. According to him, cultivating the vine this way is a much more complicated process from the technological point of view and at the same time it is more time-consuming. Therefore, the harvest is smaller but the final result is that it is totally unadulterated and its quality is high. “Besides, it provides an advantage on the market. It is always beneficial to say that our wine is organic and made without the use of chemicals”, Mr. Nikolashvili explains.

According to Givi Nikolashvili, nowadays the world tendency is to change the usual production by bio-production. In some countries, they even intend to restrict the import of inorganic wine. “This will cause serious shifts in the world market, which on its part will be an extra opportunity for our wider access to the international market”, Georgian wine-maker states.

Nikolashvilis’ Saperavi bio-wine has reached the entire Georgian market and public awareness about the unique wine is increasing. However, it appeared much more difficult to achieve the same results abroad. Givi Nikolasvhili’s son, Irakli who is responsible for promoting Georgian bio-wine in Canada, emphasizes that they know very little about Georgian wine and it is extremely difficult for a new player to find an access in this field. “It helps that I am not a trader or a reseller, I am a producer; it is my family wine and this is the very first word I say when I have business negotiations. Thus we attract much more attention and are on the path of gaining a decent place on the Toronto’s market. Significantly, we find it crucial that not only our wine in general is popularized around the world. Whenever one Georgian wine-breed achieves success, the other brands attract attention too, which eventually is of huge importance for the country”, Irakli Nikolashvili says.

The world-famous sommelier Zoltan Szabo has been advocating Georgian wine for a while now and he sees huge potential in Georgian wine to become appreciated worldwide.  “This phenomenon is something unique. It is not only about wine, but there is a story to be told with it; including Georgian people, your traditions, your culture. This story will trigger minds of people around the world to taste this wine, feel and discover something unique, as a result attracting them to arrive and get familiar with the country where it is grown. Thus, spreading the word will be the great opportunity to enlarge the export market of Georgian wine. A lot of labor, a lot of love go into producing this wine and I learn every day, ever since I’ve been staying here and I make discoveries with my every step”, Mr. Szabo says.

He calls it a process of  “telling the world who you are”. Advocating the fact that the wine is absolutely natural, he believes that sunshine, grapes, soil, people and traditions make the whole story. Therefore, soon Georgian bio-wine will personify a noble image of the country from where it comes.

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