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Good grape harvest prospects

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, August 25
This year Georgia will have a bountiful grape harvest. It is expected that 150 000 tons of grapes will be harvested in Kakheti alone. So the major problem facing Georgia now is how to manage this large harvest.

In 2006 Russia closed its market to Georgian wines and since then the process of finding new markets for their wines has been difficult for most wineries. This year, however, representatives of the government promise that harvesting the grapes will be well organized and Georgian farmers will face no serious problems. Most of the wineries have reserves of wine from previous years, so the government has allocated GEL 6 million as a credit for two companies which will be distilling spirits from the wine and will export these spirits. This will enable Georgian wine makers to empty their reserves and make room for the new harvest. The Georgian government has allocated GEL 24 million for this years’ grape harvest. This money will be paid not only to the wineries but to the farmers as well. To the price for 1 kilogram of grapes which the wineries will pay the farmers the state will add an extra 15 tetri for 1 kilo of white grapes – Rkatsiteli and 25 Tetri for Saperavi red/black grapes.

Winery owners are still very cautious, however. Many of them state that in most cases they will give priority to the grapes harvested from their own vineyards and afterwards they will buy grapes from the farmers. For instance Telavi Wine Cellar is going to process 2500 tons of grapes this year. Of this amount 1800 tons will be harvested from its own vineyards and the balance will be purchased from farmers. Teliani Valley will process 90% of grapes from its own vineyards. Kindzmarauli and Alaverdi wineries will satisfy all the demand for grapes from their own vineyards. However Minister of Agriculture Bakur Kvezereli still insists that this years’ grape harvest allocation will be much more organized than in previous years.