13th Georgian International Wine Award: the winners are announced at WinExpo Georgia 2023


In the framework of the WinExpo Georgia, Wine Travel Awards (WTA) and Drinks+ exhibition partner, the international wine competition traditionally took place. The winners were selected by a jury composed of Georgian and foreign specialists. 

WinExpo Georgia, WTA and Drinks+ exhibition partner, is a renowned exhibition in the industry. It has a long-standing tradition of providing Georgian wine producers with excellent opportunities to showcase their products to both local and international audiences. Despite the challenges posed by the global pandemic, the interest in Georgian wine continues to grow annually, contributing to the exhibition’s increasing scale and prominence.

WinExpo Georgia 2023 was held on June 2-4 in the 11th pavilion and outdoor spaces of Expo Georgia. 200 companies participated in the exhibition. WinExpo Georgia creates a highly productive working environment. Its significance in the industry is widely recognized, benefiting both the local and international markets. Notably, WinExpo Georgia stands out as the sole exhibition in Georgia that not only showcases products like packaging materials, fertilizers, viticulture and winemaking equipment, nurseries, glass, and accessories but also presents various services.

Moreover, WinExpo Georgia serves as a gathering place for wine enthusiasts seeking to taste the finest wines and alcoholic beverages, meet winemakers, and stay informed about industry news, innovations, and emerging trends.

The WTA and Drinks+ team participated at the WinExpo Georgia with its own stand where we gladly introduced visitors to the opportunities our project opens and to the progressive and innovative community it represents. At the stand in Georgia, in addition to the WTA Guide Special Edition, the corporate newspaper Menu, dedicated to Georgia, was presented in English and Georgian, which the Drinks+ media group publishes in traditional collaboration with the U.S. Meat Export Federation. 

On 2 June, our team held the WTA Celebration in honour of Georgian winners of the 2022-2023 edition. In the framework of the event, a walk-around tasting of exemplary wines produced by our Georgian nominees and partners was organized in a pairing with premium American beef (thanks to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), sponsor of the celebration). SHUMI Winery, the winner in the Visiting card of the country / Must visit, Progressive Approach, Art & History Object categories, presented their wines, as well as a unique alcoholic beverage, Zigu. GWS, another significant winemaking company from Georgia, introduced their wine collection to the guests of the tasting, while Chateau Mukhrani, the WTA public voting winner and one of the best wineries of Georgia, impressed our guests with their premium wines.

On the next day, WinExpo Georgia participants and visitors gathered together in order to discover the names of the winners of the prestigious International Wine Award, which has been successfully held for 13 years. This award significantly contributes to promoting Georgia both domestically and internationally. The winners are determined through blind tastings conducted by Georgian and foreign Masters of Wine, sommeliers, and wine experts. 

11 members of the jury from 7 countries devoted their time and expertise to the competition this year. Leading the competition was Tim Atkin, an esteemed British Master of Wine, broadcaster, and author at respected publications like Decanter. Besides, other jury members were Taylor Parsons – sommelier, marketer, restaurateur; Aurore Jeaudy – oenologue, winemaker, member of the sommelier association of France; Felicity Carter – journalist and magazine editor, consultant in wine export affairs and WTA Jury for the second consecutive year; Chan Jun Park – wine writer and educator, Vice president of Korea International Sommelier Association; Matt Wilkin – Master Sommelier, educator, restaurateur; Anastassia Roncoletta – sommelier, wine expert, and international wine marketer; Mikheil Meskhi – Wine Expert, Consultant-Oenologist, Doctor of Technical Science; Anna Godabrelidze – Engineering technician, oenologue. Director of the faculty of Viticulture and oenology of the Agricultural University of Georgia, State Tasting Commission Chairwoman at the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia; Levan Mekhuzla – Oenologue, chairman of the National Wine Agency of Georgia; Giorgi Dakisvhili – oenologue, wine expert, doctor of food technology, professional Member of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture.

Also, on the sidelines of the exhibition, you could see such notable personalities of the wine world as Robert Joseph, author of the “Wine Travel Guide to the World”, an editorial consultant for Meininger’s Wine Business International and, again, a judge of the WTA. Which, of course, shows the high interest of the world in Georgian wine.

The contest evaluates wines in eight categories, and the top performers receive gold, silver, and bronze medals. During two days, more than 250 types of wine from 80 companies were tasted. The winners were identified in the following wine categories: white dry, white semi-sweet, white qvevri, red dry, red dry qvevri, red semi-sweet, and rosé.

As part of WinExpo 2023, 80 bronze, 67 silver, 9 gold and 3 trophy medals (highest award) were awarded. The wines of the following companies won gold medals in the international wine competition: Khmelos Winery, Lomiskareli, Mildiani Family Winery, Gida Wine, Marani, Chelti Winery. Mildiani Family Winery and Chelti Winery won the highest award-trophy.

Congratulations to all the winners! This year, WTA and WinExpo Georgia have created a wonderful symbiosis, bringing more victories to Georgia and contributing to its recognition and promotion as a great enogastronomic tourism destination.