On the Gurjaani Wine Festival 2019: Gurjaani Evolving as a Winemaking Town

On October 12, a wine festival was held in Akhtala Park in Gurjaani. The City of Wine hosted the festival for the third time this year and featured Qvevri-made wine by the locals, as well as wine, chacha and other drinks of various type, color and age produced by large and small cellars. The festival also met guests with all the traditional dishes that can be paired with wine.

Gurjaani Wine Festival 2019 aims to promote wine tourism development and the popularization of Georgian wine culture and traditions. This year, the festival attracted up to 20,000 domestic and international tourists and got involved in the campaign #Spend4SeasonsInGeorgia, making a special and memorable days for the guests.

The festival offered an exhibition-sale of over 250 winemakers and entrepreneurs producing wine or handmade, creative and thematic works. More than 40 winemakers were there alongside food stalls, ethnographic exhibitions, museum pieces, entrepreneurial and rural area production, and entertaining activities for the young. More than 20 local bands took care of the musical accompaniment, among them Tbilisi Big Band, Georgian Voices, Gurjaani Ensemble, Khareba, Goofy Land, and Loudspeakers.

“Gurjaani Wine Festival is one of the largest events held in the field of winemaking in the region,” said Gurjaani Majoritarian Deputy Davit Songulashvili. “This year, most winemakers participated, presenting their products to the public: both representatives of small cellars as well as great entrepreneurs. The festival is an interesting platforms where visitors can discover famous wines and taste the products of new winemakers. Everyone has their own tradition of winemaking and we had Kakhetian wine, wine from Tsageri, Racha, Baghdati, Shida Kartli and more. The private sector was also involved in the project.”

The Bank of Georgia offered the chance for lucky winemaker Givi Tavetetrishvili, whose wine Vachnadziani Valley won the contest, to attend a wine exhibition and conference in Sweden to explore the latest technologies over four days.

Songulashvili noted that “Gurjaani is slowly evolving in its traditions and abilities as a winemaking town.”

“We have already taken the name of ‘cradle of wine’ abroad and many foreign guests are attending this celebration,” said Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili during a visit to the festival. “Today, Georgia is a leading country in wine production - the oldest, most interesting and most important in the future, as our winemakers are already developing our bio-wine industry, already clear what the world will be demanding in future. I am happy that many women have taken the lead and been very successful in this field. It means that our society is very lively, very energetic, and very forward-looking.”

Gurjaani Wine Festival 2019 was held during Georgian Wine Week and was supported by the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, the National Tourism Administration, the National Wine Agency and was under the patronage of the majoritarian deputy of Gurjaani Davit Songulashvili. Gurjaani Wine Festival’s general sponsor was JSC m² Real Estate and was sponsored by Bank of Georgia Business.

By Mariam Merabishvili

17 October 2019 18:29