First ღVino Forum in the US
America-Georgia Business Council, based in Washington DC, organized the first ღVino Forum in the US on November 11–13. Three day cycle of events celebrated 8000 years of living wine culture in Georgia — cradle of winemaking. The Forum was designed to further advance the understanding of the origin of wine, the historical geopolitical and economic influence of wine for Georgia and in the region, and the current role of the Georgian wine sector on the worldwide stage.
The Forum was inspired by the increasing worldwide interest in Georgian ancient wine-making traditions augmented by the release of the 2017 archaeological report by international team of scientists and U.S. National Academy of Sciences on the Early Neolithic Wine of Georgia in the South Caucasus tracing the start of the viticulture and winemaking to around 6000 B.C. in Georgia, along with the first guest-country exhibit at the Cité des Civilisations Du Vin wine civilization museum in Bordeaux/France last year.
Since 2013 Georgian traditional method of Qvevri wine-making has been recognized as a part of the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Embassy of Georgia hosted hundreds of visitors for the first event of the ღVino Forum 2018 — Saferavi Festival on November 11th. Festival attendees had a unique opportunity to taste a variety of Saperavi wines and meet some of world renown wine-experts and some of Georgia’s top winemakers.
Saperavi (sah-per-ah-vee) is deep in fruit character, yet brisk with acidity, this gutsy grape is gaining worldwide attention as the leading red Georgian indigenous variety. Translated literally as “for giving color”, Saperavi reflects a deep, inky and often fully opaque color. It is one of the few teinturier — red skin and red flesh — grape varieties in the world.
Second day of the ღvino Forum continued in the Georgian restaurant Supra in Washington DC with even bigger variety of Georgian wines tasting for media and retailers, windup with a round table discussion with the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, the Head of the National Wine Agency of Georgia and the wine and viticulture experts.
After eight centuries of winemaking, the country of Georgia is continuing to keep their tradition alive through the ongoing use of ancient traditions as well as modern winemaking methods. With over 100,000 family wineries and over 400 commercial wineries, Georgia is a rich and diverse winemaking region.
The final unique, multi-panel event of the ღvino Forum 2018 — Wine, Society, and Geopolitics: How History, Political Economy, and Wine Intersect in the Caucasus and Beyond conference, which took place at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), explored the history, geopolitics, and political economy of wine production in the South Caucasus region.
As a primary driver of Georgia’s burgeoning tourism industry (representing 18% of Georgia’s GDP in 2017) wine has been crucial to the internal development of Georgia’s trade, finance, and legal infrastructure. Panels explored how wine production has evolved historically in Georgia and the Caucasus and transformed Georgia’s economy, offering lessons for the region as a whole; the geopolitical consequences of a new wave of trade liberalization and foreign investment for the Caucasus; and the dynamics of local and global economies of wine, their politics and prospects.