Imeretian Wine Competition #140

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Imeretian Wine Competition 2023: held in Kutaisi for the first time

In early October 2023, for the first time in Georgia, at the mountain resort Sairme Hotels & Resorts, an international competition dedicated to the wines of Imereti – one of the most important wine regions of Sakartvelo – was held. Imereti has everything to attract tourists and represent the country outside of Georgia: large vineyards, an extensive list of grape varieties, up-to-date and traditional winemaking technologies, renowned winemakers, and enormous number of attractions associated with the wine and gastronomic tourism. The purpose of the competition was to attract attention to the region, promoting sharing of information about Imeretian wines and development of the wine tourism.

Before starting the assessment process, the organizers conducted a tour to several local wineries: Baya’s Wine, Khareba, Vartsikhe Marani, where tastings were held. This program was implemented under the leadership of Mari Devidze, Executive Director of DMO Imereti (Destination Management Organization of Imereti) and Ketevan Jurkhadze, Director of Imeretian Wine Association.

The heart of the winemaking Georgia, beating in the mountains

Imereti is the heart of Georgia, beating in the mountains, rivers, waterfalls, canyons, and plains. This is where the Georgian state was born. It is one of the brightest wine regions in Georgia. 70% of the territory is occupied by the mountains, which results in the formation of various zones with their own microclimates and types of soils yielding a wide range of Imereti wines. Imereti is famous for the production of white wines. The most common varieties are white Tsitska, Tsolikouri and Krakhuna. They are used in the production of single-variety and blended wines in the European style, as well as in the production of wines in kvevri, which is called “churi” in Imereti. When wines are made in churi, usually up to 30% of the grapes volume goes as pulp: only grape skin without ridges, and the rest is a pure grape juice. Therefore, the Imeretian wines have greater freshness, high acidity, and bright aromas.

Pool of judges of Imeretian Wine Competition 2023

The best wines were assessed by: Robert Joseph, wine expert from Great Britain, founder and judge of international competitions, wine critic and writer, editorial consultant of Meininger’s Wine Business International, analyst and wine consultant, author of wine brands and wine producer with projects in France and Georgia; Paul Robert Blom, a licensed wine broker and wine judge, general partner of one of the most respectable importing companies in the Netherlands; Darell Joseph, a wine expert from Austria, a member of the jury of international competitions and a lecturer in the field of winemaking in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region; Vladimer Kublashvili, a member of the jury of international wine competitions and chief winemaker of Khareba Winery, Georgia; Tamar Imedadze, Deputy Chairwoman of the Georgian Tasting Commission and a member of the jury of international competitions; Saba Kitiashvili, master of viticulture, international sommelier (ASI 1 certification); Tinatin Jajanidze, Director of Irma Chanturia Wine Laboratory LLC, wine expert, taster in international competitions; Giorgi Samanishvili, oenologist, master of viticulture, economics and law; Ketevan Jurkhadze, Director of the Imeretian Wine Association, wine expert, member of the jury of international competitions, founder of the Kabistoni wine school, founder and winemaker of Kabis Toni Winery, and Iryna Dyachenkova, judge of international competitions, taster of premiere wines, and co-founder of Drinks+ Media Group.

Results of the first Imeretian Wine Competition

The Imereti wine competition was held according to the standards of the OIV. 32 producers with 120 wines took part in the competition.

On November 4, the competition winners were announced in Kutaisi, the administrative and cultural center of Imereti. You can review the list of winners here.

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