The most significant trend of the Georgian wine sector since 2008 has been the rapid and determined diversification of export markets.
While the “traditional” CIS (i.e., former Soviet) markets still account for the majority of exports by volume, the strategic and trend-setting markets of the UK and USA are showing encouraging growth, as well as a welcome focus on the high value, premium-quality segment of Georgian wines.
The National Wine Agency of Georgia was founded ten years ago and has been critical in Georgia’s mission to diversify markets through improved wine quality, and communication. The agency sits within the Ministry of Agriculture.
All wines exported from Georgia have passed several strict tests for quality and authenticity. They must pass an official tasting panel, which assesses the wines for quality and typicity. Many iterations of these panel tastings are held in the National Wine Agency tasting laboratory through the year. Additionally, the agency conducts spot checks on wineries. The National Wine Agency also tests for alcoholic carbon stabilization isotope correlation. (Which reveals any alcoholic adulteration.) The Agency issues the mandatory certificates of export compliance to wines that pass the tests. Wines that fail cannot be exported.
Additionally, wines of protected designation of origin (PDO) are controlled from harvest to bottling to ensure that the specified origin on the label is genuine – at least for wines bottled in Georgia.
In January 2019, the export of Georgian wine in bulk was prohibited to prevent the passing off of basic bulk wine as famous appellations by some rogue importers in traditional markets.
This commitment to the quality, consistency and authenticity of exported Georgian wine is rewarded by the growth in some of the world’s most sophisticated and demanding wine markets.