Al Jazeera on Wine: Georgia’s Most Popular Export Thrives in Embargo

Al Jazeera has dedicated a large article to Georgian wine, featuring the long history and role of wine in the country and the Russian Embargo which conveniently “promoted Georgian wine in the west.”

The reporter compares the Georgian wine making method to the European one and describes a Kvevri, an earthenware vat as a “subterranean pillar of the world’s oldest viticulture.”

“Wine is an integral part of life in Georgia; its use in the religious rites of one of the world’s oldest Christian nations gives it an almost sacred status. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, Georgia's most outspoken son, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, turned his homeland into a major source of wine for the USSR and Communist bloc countries,” the article states and then went on to review the crisis after the Russian ban on Georgian wine imports in 2006.

The article highlights the process of improving the wine quality after the ban and talks about how the industry expanded into former Soviet republics and Communist bloc countries such as Ukraine, Latvia and Poland. These countries “topped the list of new buyers- which also meant compliance with strict EU quality regulations.”

“In 2015 some 210,000 bottles of Georgian wine were sold in the US Georgia's National Wine Agency said in early November - not bad for a niche product hardly known to Americans, some of whom would have mistaken the country for a US state several years ago,” the journalist concludes.

27 November 2015 19:45