'A Gently Fermenting Revolution - Women in the Georgian Wine Business'

Wine is deeply rooted in Georgian culture and the 8000 year old wine vessel found in 2017 brought final evidence that Georgia is the motherland of wine. International interests in Georgian wine are steadily increasing and offering a possibility for the improvement of the country’s economy.

The wine sector, still mainly dominated by men, is facing a gentle but revolutionary change. Women were always involved in winemaking as the invisible parts of their men’s businesses,but since 2010 more and more women have been stepping out of the shadows to become leading entrepreneurs in Georgian winemaking.

“Let’s make it a successful day for women in winemaking,” Eva Knirsch, spouse of the Ambassador of Federal Republic of Germany in Georgia, said when opening the conference ‘Women in the Georgian Wine Business’, which took place on April 23 at the National Wine Agency.

Supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the National Wine Agency organized the event to foster the gentle feminization of winemaking. The discussion of women’s role in the economy and especially in winemaking was the main aim of the conference.

“It is important to discuss women’s role in winemaking and especially talk about such challenges as the lack of access to finances, knowledge and resources. After that we can slowly overcome impeding factors for young women,” said Elene Otarashvili, Deputy CEO of the Georgian Wine Holding and founder of the Georgian Business Tourism Association.

One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of the book ‘A Gently Fermenting Revolution – Women in the Georgian Wine Business’ written by Keto Ninidze and Nino Natroshvili on behalf of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, who initiated and financed the whole project. The book aims to present, collect and highlight the fruitful work of women in the wine business to date. “The book not only seeks to show women’s stories but aims to highlight how they changed the traditional area of Georgian winemaking by introducing new, creative and innovative approaches,” Ninidze stated. Over centuries and in countless poems, the male perspective was recited; the book aims to broaden this one-sided perspective and bring a completely new understanding of how winemaking can be seen and done from a female point of view. It is an inspiring collection of females becoming in a male dominated business; it further aims to motivate young women when choosing a profession. 

Other highlights of the event were a live video conference with the German Women in Wine Association and a Presentation of the Georgian Association of Women Winemakers. 

All the speakers emphasized, it is important for Georgia to overcome the impeding stereotypes of the sector and focus on how the economy can benefit from a female approach. “We have to work together to contribute to the country’s development by following one vision. No matter if we are men or women, it is in all our identity. Grapes and wines are everybody’s business,” Tamar Gerliani, owner of Malati Wines concluded. 

By Lisa Maier

Image Source: National Wine Agency 

23 April 2019 17:44