Georgia: Latest beverage news & analysis
When Russia closed its borders to Georgian wine in 2006, it was a bitter blow for the former soviet republic's industry. Russia accounted for around 80% of Georgia's wine sales.
An over-reliance on one market is always a danger. Georgia's wine producers found this out only too well, when Russia closed its doors to Georgian wine in 2006. Since then, however, the country has looked to expand wine exports past its eastern neighbour. What was initially a problem has become an opportunity, as Mark Godfrey reports.
Despite losing their largest market when Russia imposed an export ban in 2006, Georgian wine producers are confidently pursuing other markets. Indeed, the embargo acted as a catalyst for improvements in quality, though informed observers believe Georgian producers may have to be prepared to drop their prices to make further export gains. Mark Godfrey reports from Tbilisi.
Wine producers from Georgia and Moldova will be hoping for a marked rise in exports to the European Union moving forward, following the signing of trade deals last week.
Wines from Georgia are expected to be back on Russian shelves by “late May”, according to the trade body for the country’s wine sector.
Georgian winemakers are aiming to export up to 10m bottles a year to Russia as a seven-year ban looks set to be lifted, according to reports.
An English-language online news portal covering wine produced in the country of Georgia was launched yesterday (1 May).
The EU has agreed to recognise the unique status of 18 Georgian wine names in return for Georgia respecting the protected status of famous European wines, from Champagne to Chianti.
Efes Breweries International is upping its presence in the Georgian beer market through what it calls a “partnership” with the majority owner of JSC Kazbegi brewer in the country.
Georgia’s 18-month ban on wine exports to Russia is entirely unjustified the American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia, a business organisation cultivating commercial links with the US, has claimed.
Around 90% of Georgian wine on the export market is counterfeit, according to Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
A Georgian government minister has called for a ban on Russian beer in retaliation for Russia’s blockade on shipments of wine from Georgia.
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