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American professionals familiarized with Georgian wine market

Friday, May 26
A group of American wine professionals comprising wine importers, sommeliers and wine writers visited Georgia for a week. The leader of the group is Julie Peterson, the head of a National Wine Agency contractor company, Marq Energie..

Within the tour, the guests visited Georgian wine producing companies in Kartli, Imereti, Guria, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kakheti, where they became acquainted with Georgian wine-making techniques and enjoyed wine made with European and traditional methods.

As the head of Marq Energie stated, interest in Georgian wine is growing in the US.

"This was the first visit for many wine writers and sommeliers in Georgia. We were in western Georgia, in Racha, Imereti, and Lechkhumi, because we also wanted to see what was going on in western Georgia; who are the producers there, what different grape varieties do they use, how is the style different from that of the east. We have been in western Georgia for the past three days, and today we are in Kartli and for the next three days we are going to Kakheti. We will then travel throughout eastern Georgia to compare the eastern style and the diversity of varieties with western Georgian wines,” said Julie Peterson.

Patrick Comiskey, a well-known journalist and the main correspondent of the Wine and Spirit magazine, who also writes in the Los Angeles Times, is a member of the group.

“This is my first trip to Georgia. I've been familiar with Georgian wines for some years now, but it is a completely different experience to be here , it is so much more real to me and the place becomes so much more alive. The best thing about the people, the wine and the culture is the sense of authenticity here, in the wines especially, which is really important to convey to my readers. It is one of the most beautiful countries of wine that I've ever seen and it is one of the most humbling authentic, the wines feel like they come from a particular not just a place, but a place from the heart,” stated Patrick Comiskey.

Winemaker Iago Bitarishvili states that such activities promote the increase of Georgian wine publicity and thus increases exports on the international market.

“The diversification of markets is very important for Georgian wines. When it comes to the US market, it is doubly important, as it is one of the biggest markets in the world where wine is valued, According to US export results, we are moving forward year after year, but the potential of our wine in this country is much higher and the events that are being held in the US, including exhibitions or other tastings, is very important for increasing the awareness of Georgian wine on the American market,” said Iago Bitarishvili.

The tour was organized by the National Wine Agency. The guests were able to taste the following wine producers: "Amiran Vepkhvadze Cellar", "Archil Guniava Cellar", "Ramaz Nikoladze Wines", "Pataridze Family Cellar", "Royal Khvanchkara", "Usakhelauri Vineyards", "Zurab Topuridze Family Cellar" "Mamuka Chkheidze's Cellar", "Iago Wines", "Sagvinari", "Vita Winnia", "Shalauri Wine Cellar", "Pheasant's Tears" , "Chotiashvili Wine Cellar", "Papari Valley", "Mukado Wines", "Lukasi", "Tamar Milorava Wines", “Winery Nika” “Winery Nika”, “Okro Wines”, “Giuaani”, and the Qvevri-based producer, Zaza Kbilashvili.

The US has the potential to become one of the most important export markets of Georgian wine. The implementation of active marketing activities in the United States promotes Georgian wine awareness and competitiveness on the US market and the expansion of Georgian wines' export area in general. According to the data of four months of the current year, Georgia exported 101,370 bottles (0,75 l) of wine to the US, which is 21% higher than similar data of the last year. (