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Georgian wine: problems and prospects

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, September 14
Vintage has come around again in Georgia. The harvest should be rich, satisfying expectations among farmers. However, this simultaneously creates certain problems for those from the wine producing regions of Georgia. Officials claim that the situation is under control, however, vintage has already started and certain problems are already emerging.

Export issues for Georgian wines still remain pressing. The Russian embargo on Georgian wines which damaged the industry considerably has not been lifted as of yet. Although Georgia managed to diversify its export market, it is still not selling the amount it used to. For instance, in 2005, there was a peak in Georgian wine exports and the revenue from this business approached USD 81 mln. The next year, due to the Russian embargo, revenues were down to USD 41 mln, and in 2007 they fell further to USD 29 mln. Georgia managed to recover slightly in 2010 when revenues reached USD 39 mln. In the first seven months of 2011, Georgian wine exports were already worth USD 27 mln. There is serious speculation over the return of Georgian wine to the Russian market, though the situation is changing very slowly. Officials have discouraged wine producers from making hasty steps regarding the Russian market as the situation is unpredictable.