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Ojaleshi planting boom

The number of people interested in viticulture in Georgia has increased from year to year. Consequently, the demand on vine plants raised and their production, especially rare plants breeding has become a source of lucrative business. Issues concerning vine plants breeding have always been a matter of particular interest for "Georgian Wine Club" and we will continue to discuss these issues many times in future. This time, we would like to attract your attention to the Ojaleshi vine plants, on which special demand is observed this year.

According to the report of the Ministry of Agriculture, nuts and wine have leadership positions in agricultural export, where nuts are only 2 millions ahead of the wine. Therefore, naturally, as in many other villages of Georgia, nuts remain the main source of income for local farmers in Ojaleshi micro zone of Targameuli village, Martvili Municipality. However, Ojaleshi grape and vine plan production has revived in recent years.

It is a long time since the Salkhino monastery monks of Chkondidi eparchy produce wine from Ojaleshi grape grown in specific micro zone near the river Tekhura. However, the development of sales in recent years is connected to the small enterprise “Vino M'artville" who purchased ½ tones of Ojaleshi grapes from the local farmers and produced wine in the village Targameuli in 2012. Their production paved the way in a short period and in two years time their wine established itself in a high-price segment of the wine, both in local and foreign markets such as London, in some high-class restaurants. The example of "Vino M'artville" showed that the demand on Ojaleshi grapes is high at home and abroad.

In 2014, “Winery Khareba" got interested in Ojaleshi grapes that raised new challenges to the local farmers. An increase in need directly reflected on the price and compared to 2013, when the grapes cost 3.00 GEL, it increased by 100% in 2014.

Grape rarity caused by the lack of vineyard area and grape quantity determines the special interest towards Ojaleshi wines. In addition, awareness of this type of grape is very high in the former Soviet Union countries. This wine with tasting features appeared to be interesting among European enologists and American wine writers. 

A Vine-grower from the village Targameuli, Nika Partsvania, says that the demand is high not only on Ojaleshi grapes, but also on the plants this year. That is why 26 vine-growers grafted 100 000 grape plants in early April. According to Nika, every year a small number of Ojaleshi plants were exported to Abkhazia, although the delivery did not meet the need. This year the demand from Abkhazia is unprecedented and a preliminary agreement provides for the customer by approximately 60 000 plants purchase.

"Vino M'artville" also plans to expand its vineyards. Agro LTD-national center of vine and fruit planting material production gave 1500 Ojaleshi plants free of charge provided the expansion of vineyards. The interest of the small business is to have own supply of grapes and not be dependent on the marketing environment formed by the major players in Ojaleshi micro zone. 

It is still unknown what micro and macro economic factors will have an impact on the Ojaleshi sales in 2015 grape harvest. On the background of Russian and Ukrainian economic crisis, the experts expect grape price reduction in Georgia, although this trend is likely to be more or less covered by the internal competition among wine producers in the region. Local farmers cannot meet the demand now, and think about puting more resources into profitable business development.

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June 2024