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ProWein 2014 - Interest towards the Georgian Wine has increased

by Nana Kobaidze

On 23-25 March of 2014, Germany hosted ProWein for the twentieth time. Representatives from various countries around the globe gathered at the International Trade Fair Wine and Spirits. Georgians were among them. Participation of the Georgians in this prestigious Fair is a pleasant tradition now.  It has become one of the pleasant traditions of the country, as it's been 14 years already that the successful Georgian companies present their products at ProWein, striving for taking proper place in the vast family of world wine.

People interested in wine receive answers to all their questions at the international wine fairs, such as an ongoing situation of the international wine market, existing issues, development issues of the modern winemaking, coming trends, changes in consumers' and producers' taste and many other interesting details. As a rule, leading companies of different countries visit such events and present their best products, facilitating analysis of the situation in general. World wine calendar includes many interesting exhibitions and ProWein is one of the most important among them. 

International Trade Fair Wine and Spirits was first held in 1994, in Düsseldorf. From then on, the Fair is being held annually and presently it is the one of the largest and respectable exhibitions of the world. At this fair, one can see wine companies, field specialists, distributors, importers and exporters, including the representatives of the HORECA. Fairs represent the wide variety of wine and spirits and provides wine tasting as well. 

Every year, the number of participating countries and products are growing. For example, in 2001, ProWein hosted 2520 companies from 35 countries of the world, in 2009 - 3058 exponent of 41 countries, in 2013 the number increased to 4783 companies from 48 countries; this year, ProWein hosted up to 5000 companies from 50 countries, where one could enjoy and taste wine throughout 36000 sq.m. area. 

Georgian delegation first visited Düsseldorf in 2000. Surprisingly, the country, counting 8000 years winemaking history, was presented only with five wine companies in that period of time. Among those five companies was "Tbilvino" and one of its incorporators, Giorgi Margvelashvili. "In 2000-2003 years showed rather low activity. I remember those visitors at the Fair, strangely gazing the stand "GEORGIA". It was discovery for them that such a little, unknown region could make wine" - he says. But, presently, after 14 years, the Georgian pavilion has changed dramatically. Many interested persons visit during the day, so, the Georgian side think about increasing the space. "Interest towards the Georgian wine has been widely increasing for the last years, thus the existing stand is not enough anymore and we are thinking to increase the space" - says Tina Kezeli, Executive Director of the Association "Georgian Wine".    

As for the composition of the delegation and participant companies, official part of the Georgian delegation included Iuri Nozadze, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, Levan Davitashvili, Chairman of the National Wine Agency and Tina Kezeli, Executive Director of the Association "Georgian Wine". Visitors could taste wine products of 16 Georgian companies, including "Winery Khareba," "Château Mukhrani," "Sarajishvili," "Kindzmarauli," "Schuchmann Wines," "Bagrationi 1882," "Besini," "GWS," "Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking," "Kakhuri," "Tbilvino," "Dugladze Wines," "Teliani Valley," "Georgian Wine," "Vaziani" and "Wineman." As the organizers say, major criterion is the product quality. As the Georgian part of the Fair is organized by the Association "Georgian Wine" some privileges were given to the members of the Association, clearly meaning responsibility for providing the high class wine. This was well presented, when in less than three days, all the representatives of 16 companies held the meetings with existing or potential partners and questing for new markets. 

Fair served to be the magnificent chance for all the participating Georgian companies for entering the foreign markets. "ProWein is of historic meaning for us, as we have introduced with those importers and distributors here, we are cooperating with from then on. For example, partners from Lithuania, Belorussia and several countries from the west Europe. I have underlined Lithuania and Belorussia because they represent post-soviet markets, though for becoming partners we had to go to ProWein" - says Giorgi Margvelashvili, an incorporator of the Company "Tbilvino." As he continues, mostly, optimistic and business mood dominates at the Fair, though meeting issues are not always so pleasant. For example, while meeting with the representatives of the Ukrainian and Belorussian partners, they had to talk about the political situation and stagnation existing in their countries and negatively affecting their wine markers. Though, in general, ProWein serves at its best for the Georgian companies.

Notwithstanding the fact that visiting the Fair is not quite affordable, it is worth of it. First of all, Georgian wine will be regularly heard among the countries of the family of the world wine; secondly, as a result of14 years participation that strange and surprised gaze of the foreign wine producers and experts towards the Georgian stand has vanished away. As Tina Kezeli, Executive Director of the Association "Georgian Wine" says, interest towards the Georgian wine has increased dramatically, especially among the wine experts and writers, working in powerful west editions. Several VIPs were interested in our products at present Fair. Views and articles of these persons define the wines rate, thus, their evaluation is very important for us. 

One more interesting "detail" from ProWein 2014: Winners of the Mundus Vini, International Wine Competition organized by the German magazine Meininger's were named during the Fair, including three Georgian companies. Medals were presented to "Château Mukhrani," "Corporation Georgian Wine" and GWS wines (one star from three star scale).    

ProWein 2014 has come to an end. The Georgian delegation returned to its homeland in hopes of visiting Düsseldorf next year in vaster composition and with a richer variety of products for to win the hearts of more wine admirers. 

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