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The News in Brief

Friday, March 4
The Wall Street Journal publishes article - 'A Toast to Georgian Wine'

The Wall Street Journal has published an article with the title, 'A Toast to Georgian Wine', which concerns wine advocate Alice Feiring’s new book titled ‘For the Love of Wine: My Odyssey Through the World’s Most Ancient Wine Culture’.

“Alice Feiring has never been one to shy away from a cause or to disguise her emotions. And the native New Yorker found a place for both in Georgia, a republic that was once part of Russia and that has endured many invasions over the years.

“Ms. Feiring’s latest work, “For the Love of Wine: My Odyssey Through the World’s Most Ancient Wine Culture” is part handbook on Georgian wine, part winemaking polemic and part guide to Ms. Feiring’s heart.

“I met Ms. Feiring at the Anfora bar for a chat about her book on Monday, the day before it was due to be published by Potomac Books, a division of the University of Nebraska Press. Anfora is one of a handful of Georgian wine strongholds in New York, with a surprisingly large selection. Anfora’s wine buyer David Foss told us a “large group of wine nerds” come to the bar just to drink Georgian wines.

“Mr. Foss and Ms. Feiring fell to bantering about the Georgian wines. Was that one a skin contact white (aka “orange” wine)? Was that pinkish 13-year one a rose or a deliberately oxidized white? They readily exchanged unfamiliar grape names like Sapaveri, Chinuri and Ojaleshi, a red one that Ms. Feiring described as Georgia’s “next happening grape.”

“One that Ms. Feiring described in her book that I wanted to taste was horse breast. Was there a horse breast wine on the Anfora list? There wasn’t. In fact, Ms. Feiring knew of only one commercially produced horse breast wine in all of Georgia.

“Ms. Feiring has traveled to Georgia seven times in the past five years—her initial visit was in 2011 to speak at the first International Qvevri Symposium at the Alaverdi Monastery. The qvevri, a large earthenware vessel that is filled with wine and then put into the ground, was an important part of Georgian winemaking culture before a Soviet emphasis on mass-market, commercial wine made chiefly in tanks. There has since been a renaissance of the qvevri, which is now on the Unesco cultural heritage list, according to Ms. Feiring’s book.

“In Georgia, Ms. Feiring often is accompanied by John Wurdeman, a friend and the garrulous owner of the Georgian winery Pheasant’s Tears. Mr. Wurdeman introduced Ms. Feiring to many memorable wines and winemakers.

“On her travels, Ms. Feiring spends a great deal of time enjoying good food and drink. Georgians, it seems, can’t welcome a guest without hours of feasts and toasts. “It’s a very poor country but they eat very well,” Ms. Feiring noted.

“Recipes for many of the dishes that Ms. Feiring has tasted can be found in the book, including one for Khachapuri, a cheese-filled bread that everyone eats “all the time.” although a few ingredients, such as blue fenugreek, may be hard to find in New York. You can substitute saffron,' Ms. Feiring advised over a glass of 2013 Pheasant’s Tears Chinuri. (Anfora offers several of Mr. Wurdeman’s wines.)

“Ms. Feiring was particularly struck by what she called the “ego-free” way of Georgian winemaking, which she speculated had to do with the fact that Georgia is a deeply religious country. Or perhaps it is the fact that most of the winemakers she met weren’t looking to get rich but merely hoping to support themselves.

“Although Ms. Feiring’s passion for Georgian wines and winemakers is clearly quite strong, an even deeper bond is revealed late in the book.

“As Ms. Feiring was discovering the joy of Georgian wines, her brother, Andrew, was dying of cancer. Ms. Feiring said she had considered taking Andrew’s story out her book but ultimately decided to keep it, finding a “parallel” story of her brother’s struggle and that of her beloved Georgian winemakers.

“Andrew Feiring died before the book was completed, but he would undoubtedly have been proud of his sister’s discovery and celebration of the Georgian wine culture and way of life,” the article says. (IPN)

Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Giorgi Mghebrishvili talks with German media on Georgian-German police cooperation

On March 1, 2015 the Huffington Post published an article entitled “Why Cooperation Brings More than Closing Borders”. Discussing cooperation in the field of security and the fight against crime between Georgia and the Federal Republic of Germany, Giorgi Mgebrishvili, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia, names Germany as one of Georgia's most reliable partners.

“Improving safety in today's globalized world depends more on international cooperation than on the closing of borders. In the fight against crime, Georgia is a reliable and competent partner for Germany. The further deepening of our relations promises an increased safety for all” –said Mr. Giorgi Mghebrishvili.

The Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia explained that the necessity of reforms to reach EU standards resulted in the improvement of Georgian's legal framework on the fight against crime as well as a significant improvement of institutional capacities. AsGiorgi Mgebrishvili notes, in order to prevent illegal cross-border criminal activities, Georgia is actively working with its European partners. Georgia and Germany's international cooperation has been proved by the immediate solution of a large number of crimes committed by citizens of Georgia in Germany.

The Minister of Internal Affairs said that "the legal state is the basis of comprehensive reforms of the Government of Georgia that have contributed to the country's European integration. Integration has also enhanced our legal framework and our institutional capabilities to combat crime. It also improved our capacities for effective cooperation with our European partners in combat and the prevention of illegal cross-border activities. Bilateral cooperation in the field of the police significantly increased the crime detection rate, and more than 90% of readmission requests have been satisfied . In the process of EU visa liberalization, Georgia significantly improved border control and migration management mechanisms; one of the examples being the introduction of biometric passports.”

Giorgi Mgebrishvili also talked about the forms of legal cooperation between Georgia and Germany in the article and emphasized that in addition to the multilateral agreements platforms, such as Europol and Interpol, Georgia and Germany are also enhancing bilateral cooperation in terms of security through intensive exchanges of information and the application of preventive measures. According to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Georgian-German cooperation has been elevated to a new level of crime prevention by the creation of a bilateral working group and the designation of a police liaison officer in Berlin.

“Georgia and Germany share the same values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law of a legal state. We also share a strong commitment to international cooperation as a basis for long-term peace, security and prosperity. Visa-free travel will strengthen and intensify contacts and cooperation between the countries, and we can all benefit from this,” declared Giorgi Mgebrishvili. (Ministry of Internal Affairs)

The number of tourists increased by almost 24% in February compared to the same month last year - Dimitri Kumsishvili

Compared to last year, the number of tourists increased by almost 24% in February, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economics Dimitri Kumsishvili said at a press conference, wherein he presented statistical data of international visitors in February 2016.

“This is a record high rate. The positive trend has been maintained with the EU. We have increasing trends with Italy (29%), France (29%), the UK (14%), Poland (12%) and Germany (7%). This is the result of the active efforts of the Georgian government in this direction,” said Kumsishvili.

According to the Minister of Economics, in February 2016 most visitors arrived from Azerbaijan (+ 41.9%), Turkey (+ 12.2%), Armenia (+ 7.5%), Russia (+ 29.2%) and Ukraine (+ 23.5%). There was also a significant increase from Iran (80.1%), Belarus (30.3%) and the United States (20.5%).

"In February 2016 alone, compared to the previous year,an additional 70 000 tourists visited Georgia. This means that the country's economy received an additional 42 million last month,” said Kumsishvili. (IPN)