The training with the participation of twenty grapevine producers was held in January in a traditional winemaking region of Georgia, Kakheti.
It was conducted by a Spanish international expert in phytosanitary problems of grapevines, Julio Prieto. He represented the Ministry of Agriculture of Spain. The training was a part of the EU4Business program and was supported by the EU and FAO.
The EU and four UN Agencies launched EU Innovative Action for Private Sector Competitiveness in Georgia in 2019 with a budget of EUR 5 million.
The aim of the project is to strengthen the capacities of government and local entities to enhance and manage clusters. It will lead to the development of enterprises and business sophistication. The support and strategic investments together with closer connections with diaspora group will prove that these business strategies are effective.
The entire vineyard cultivation process and the complete cycle of grapevine production were covered by Mr. Prieto at this training. He started with speaking about growing saplings and finally ended with explanation of the right way of harvesting grapes.
General management of different kinds of vineyards, planning of pruning, fertilization, irrigation, organic grapevine production and Integrated Pest Management – all these topics were included in the learning sessions.
All winegrowers present were interested in the topic of Pest Management, because “Lobesia botrana” or “European grape worm” is a common problem.
The method of mating disruptive pheromones hasn’t shown good results because of poor technical guidance.
The commitment of the EU and FAO is the support of Georgian agricultural wine producers and increasing of the sector’s competiveness, profit and resistance to challenges.
The international experience of dealing with the problem of the vine worms was interesting to hear. Giorgi Rukhadze, owner of George Grey Winery, said that a lot of new information had been provided even for the most experienced winegrowers. He also added that it contained knowledge essential for newcomers to avoid many problems.
Javier Sanz Alvarez, the coordinator of EU-FAO Program, stated that grapevines were extremely economically and traditionally important for Georgia, so, the commitment of the EU and FAO was the support of Georgian agricultural wine producers and increasing of the sector’s competiveness, profit and resistance to challenges.
The profit brought by wine exports from Georgia equaled to $250 million (107 million bottles). It showed 359% growth compared to 2012, when the country exported only 23 million bottles and received $71 million of income.
In 2021, Georgia exported more wine and profited by 16% more than in 2020.
Brandy export also increased by 30% compared to 2020 and 554% compared to 2012 (42.2 million bottles). The brandy export earnings grew by 19% (78.3 million).
The export of chacha reached 1 million bottles (up 145% compared to 2020, up 622% compared to 2012). It brought profit equal to $2.6 million (up 126% compared to 2020).
The exports grew in strategic markets: Poland 34% (7, 003, 031), China 29% (5, 934, 937), US 19% (1, 084, 278), Germany 28% (892, 348), Latvia 19% (1, 900, 519), Lithuania 45% (986, 740), Japan 12% (197, 638) and the UK 71% (736, 391). Russia was the main consumer of wine – 62, 115,759 bottles.
For the first time in the history the USA imported more than 1 million bottles of Georgian wine. It was stated that 442 companies exported the wine from Georgia, compared to 120 in 2012.
The overall exports of alcohol brought profit equal to $400 million (up 18% compared to 2020 and up 142% compared to 2012).
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment protection, the exports of Georgian wine reached 5.3 million bottles in January 2022 (up 51% compared to January 2021) and the total profit reached $11.6 million (up 43%).
The National Wine Agency implies measures in order to promote its production on strategic markets: Poland 103%, China 514%, Lithuania 114%, USA 245%, Latvia 22%, Estonia 102%, Japan 482%, and the United Kingdom 35%.
These markets also showed a significant increase: Ukraine 93%, Kazakhstan 106%, the Netherlands 74%, Sweden 234%, Russia 34%, Mongolia 23%, etc.
According to the state agency, 12,123 companies exported Georgian wine.