By Levan Sepiskveradze
Stop and ask any citizen of Tbilisi, which day is the most expected one during the year and they will definitely name the New Wine Festival. The fact became such natural and organic for our city and in Georgia general that, from year to year, the New Wine Festival offers more and more novelties to the wine lovers, resulting in diverse and different Festival for every single year.
On May 9, 2015, the major novelty of the New Wine Festival held in Deda Ena Park, was the venue, of course. Starting since 2010, the first five festivals were held at Open Air Museum of Ethnography, near Kus Tba (Turtle Lake) Road; decision of the Festival organizers to change the Festival venue incurred diverse opinions and positions among the wine lovers. There were people who disliked the new venue of the Festival, though the Festival proved that, the above said decision of the Club was right and timely.
Levan Liparteliani, guest of the New Wine Festival: "I'm eagerly looking forward for this day, every single year and when I heard that the venue was changed, I didn't like the news, as I was thinking that the territory of Deda Ena Park wouldn't be enough for such event. Though, I have to confess that I was mistaken. Deda Ena Park was more than I could imagine and the biggest advantage of the venue is that, it is easily reachable by the visitors. So, I confess that it was right decision and it is really cool place for the festival."
Record number of wine companies and family cellars participated in the New Wine Festival, truly indicating that Festival is growing and becomes irreplaceable event for the Georgian winemaking. Part of 55 family cellars, participating in the New Wine Festival this year, was a new comer and we decided to interview exactly these people.
Alexander Beruashvili brought the wine from Kareli, made of Chinuri, famous wine kind of Kartli and passionately offered to the visitors together with his daughters, at the Festival. As he admits, this day is the most special one in his life, as his dream came true and offered his wine to as many people as possible.
Alexander Beruashvili, winemaker: "Unfortunately, wine from Kartli is not so popular, as Kakhetian one.
specially, the wine from our region, there are not many people, being aware of this wine. Now I'm watching people, how they drink Chinuri and I believe that soon Kareli wine will be familiar for everyone and exactly this is my aim. Besides I met with many wonderful people - winemakers from every corner of our country. Really brilliant people, for which especially I would like to express my thanks to the Wine Club, for arranging this festival."
Newcomers of the New Wine Festival, like Alexander Beruashvili, were very happy to meet the other winemakers and make friendship. Unfortunately, as reality shows, winemakers scattered in different corners of Georgia, do not have any possibility to communicate and they are much worried about this fact.
Kakhetian, Kartlian, Imeretian winemakers, including winemakers from Tbilisi, consider making contacts and friendship with the other winemakers, as the major advantage of the wine festival, as exchanging and sharing of opinions, experiences, are the most important issue, from their point of view.
Giorgi Chikhoria, winemaker from Tbilisi: "Like many citizens of Tbilisi, I buy grapes in Kakheti, brought in here and every year, I try to learn something new. I decided to participate in the festival for introducing with the other winemakers and to receive more information about my wine, as here are many people, you can learn from. I was a guest at previous festivals and I liked the situation so much that I decided to present my wine as well. Many people in Tbilisi have good wine and want to introduce their wine to people. New Wine Festival is the only and pretty good chance to do so."
Beside family cellars, there were also many wine companies at the New Wine Festival 2015. There were many among 36 participant wine companies that were also newcomers. "There is no other way, if you want to keep up with the trends of the Georgian winemaking you have to participate in the New Wine Festival, in other case, you will be retarded from novelties, discoveries, etc. Not to participate in the festival is the same as not to participate in World Cup selection for our football team, then why do we need the National Team at all?" - says, representative of one of the newcomer companies.
This year wine festival hosted many wine cellars that were represented as small, so called peasant cellars at previous festivals, but now they were represented as small wine companies. Tendency proves that many peasants show more serious and responsible attitude towards wine business and became major and often the only source of income for many families. Such entrepreneurs include Babaneuri Cellar, Petriaant Cellar, Company "Naotrebi", etc.
We wrote about "Naotrebi" before, wines of the brothers from Chikaani, Beka and Alexander Neshumashvili became popular, when they were presented as peasant wine cellar. Afterwards, their enterprise developed, wine quality was refined and at the Wine Festival we met the group of young people who remembered Naotrebi wine from the previous Festival and asked the organizers of the Festival, where they could taste the wine once more.
Alexander Neshumashvili, winemaker: "This year, Mtsvane Kakhuri of mine is significantly appreciated by people, the wine also very popular in previous year. We have a novelty this year - rosé, first we have experimented, but it turned out to be so good that you see it in the bottle already and I think that such novelties are very important for our small enterprise. I want to thank the Wine Club and Festival organizers, arranging such a magnificent day for the guests and participants of the Festival. As for us, together with my brother and father, get ready for the Festival diligently, as exactly at this Festival people sample and evaluate our new wine."
As usual, New Wine Festival, 2015 was full of novelties and surprises. Number of wine barrels with wine club logos were won by the guests via funny games; it should be noted that majority of the winners were women. It's pretty famous trend in our country that women are interested in wine and you could see many women at the New Wine Festival, being more informed in wine kinds than their accompanying men, having more detailed information about various wine companies.
Eka Masurishvili, New Wine Festival guest: "I often visit Wine Club website and try to receive information about the Georgian wine. I've already read the information about the Festival participants, so, more or less I know the wines, I'm going to sample. My husband always jokes that I love the wine more than him, and I feel very happy about it. I think that, we, the women can love and evaluate wine, pretty well, too."
Beside wine samplings provided for thousands of our citizens and foreign guests at Deda Ena Park, there was arranged Wine Tourism Association stand, where people could get information about interesting wine tours in Georgia. Thereby, handmade products of the famous Nukriani Crafts school was presented at the New Wine Festival; there were such brilliant thick felt handmade products on the venue that one couldn't pass by that easily.
Unlike previous years, New Wine Festival 2015 that was held for the sixth times in our capital took three days in total. Before the major part of the Festival, at Festival's eve, on May 8, Wine Club hosted very interesting sampling of wines made of rare vines. On May 10, wine tours were arranged by the Wine Club, Wine Tourism Association and National Wine Agency, on which I plan to provide detailed information in my coming articles.
© Georgian Wine Club, Wine Informational Center