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Georgian wine at the table of the iconic Ritz hotel in London

Thursday, January 14
In celebration of its 110th anniversary, an iconic London hotel, the Ritz, has added 150 new wines to its illustrious list, including a 2007 Iago Bitarishvili Chinuri from Georgia.

Italian wine will number amongst the new wines added to the hotel’s wine lista: a 2008 Radikon Jakot, a 2010 Dario Princic Ribolla Gialla and a 2011 Zidarich Vitovska.

Both the Georgian Chinuri and the Italian Ribolla Gialla wines will be available by the glass, reported the global leading drinks trade publication, The Drinks Business.

The new list also places a strong emphasis on indigenous varieties, with lesser known wines from regions and countries including Languedoc, Jura, Corsica, Etna, Georgia, Slovakia and Santorini. A selection of 46 wines have been made available by the glass, including 16 wines which will be available using the Coravin system [the Coravin Wine System uses transformational technology that allows you to pour your favorite wine by the glass, without pulling the cork].

Unveiling the new list at a press tasting in the Renaissance-style splendour of the Ritz’s William Kent Room, Ferlito explained that the it was important to fill geographical gaps.

“When I came to the Ritz one and a half years ago I was so excited about the wine list. It was great, but it was very classic… we were missing other important regions … so this is why I started to speak with my managers and said: we really need to try to add some new stuff,” Ferlito said.

Ferlito explained that while the Ritz management was "open-minded” about adding new wines, the process of updating the Livre du Vin was an arduous one, which first involved drafting a list to include all the geographical areas not included or under-represented on the original list.

“The same was true with the orange wine from Georgia. In Georgia, there are some producers that do international grapes, but Chinuri is only from that region.”

Asked whether the Ritz’s clientele was ready to experience such unconventional wines as Georgian orange wines, Ferlito said that he had been impressed by both the knowledge and open-mindedness about wine among English people. (