The Imeretian Wine Association #172

Georgia Imereti
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Rapid Premiere of Ambassador Imereti

The Imeretian Wine Association was established in 2022 with the support and initiative of DMO Imereti (Imereti Destination Management Organization). The main purpose of this association was to open to the world a unique corner of Georgia, the country – the cradle of winemaking – the little-known Imereti region. And in the very first year of its formation, The Imeretian Wine Association did the incredible – it quickly and brilliantly announced Imereti wines in the highest circles of the professional world community.

Imereti is one of the most diverse regions of Georgian winemaking

Imereti is one of the five main wine-growing regions in Georgia, but its role in the history of the cradle of winemaking is special. The unique climatic conditions and properties of the soils, combined with traditional methods and innovative production approaches, put Imereti wines into a league of their own. In particular, the combination of historical practices, such as the use of churi for fermentation, with up-to-date technologies, demonstrates the region’s adaptability to changes and respect for the past. Here, traditions and folk customs are standing behind each dish, each wine’s name. Therefore, experts recommend visiting Imereti first to learn about the unique Georgian winemaking method “Qvevri”, which was included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

The inaugural year – a fruitful beginning

In its inaugural year, the association successfully executed a significant portion of its planned projects. The 2023 has been highly active for the association, involving participation in international competitions, and representing wines from Imeretian wineries at international wine fairs and festivals. Additionally, the association has been actively promoting the ancient winemaking region and implementing various projects to support wine tourism and more. Currently, the association has around 70 member wineries and maranies (cellars).

“The past year marked a fruitful beginning for the association,“ says the director of The Imeretian Wine Association, Keti Jurkhadze. “We planned various training programs and wine tastings organized for our members. These activities hold particular significance for small wineries entering the market with interesting wines. Furthermore, visits from international buyers and journalists have been planned to introduce them to Imereti, one of the most notable and important winemaking and viticulture regions of Georgia, through wine tasting and tours.“

Wine Laboratory

A significant project planned in collaboration with GTZ, Irma Chanturia Wine Laboratory, and Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), last year, was the establishment of a wine laboratory in Imereti. This laboratory is crucial for both major wine-producing companies and small wineries in the region. It will be located in the city of Baghdati, in a newly constructed building, and its equipment installation is scheduled to commence in Autumn. “We anticipate being fully operational by the 2024 harvest.” It is worth noting that the wine laboratory, equipped to meet international standards, is not only important for Imereti but also for the entirety of West Georgia, as indicated by the conducted research.

Goals and Strategy

  • Promotion of Imeretian wine;
  • Maintaining and improving the quality of Imeretian wine;
  • Trainings and qualification raising of association members;
  • Involvement of association members in local and international festivals, exhibitions and competitions.

2023: Competition, exhibitions and international events

  • The Imeretian wine association held the Imeretian wine competition in which about forty Imeretian winemakers participated in both years. The competition revealed gold, silver and grand prize winning wines.
  • With the support of The Imeretian Wine Association and DMO Imereti, wine days were organized in Imereti, attracting foreign media representatives, experts, and enthusiasts. This event will become an annual occurrence and, as Keti Jurkhadze points out, will greatly contribute to enhancing the potential and recognition of Imeretian wines in both domestic and international markets.
  • The first official presentation of Imeretian wine took place in America. in New York, at the largest international wine exhibition Vinexpo America.
  • Within the framework of the exhibition, Imeretian wines were tasted by such famous wine experts as Liza Granik, Erika Frey, Lasha Tsatava, Carmelo Sgandura. Negotiations were also held with Colangelo & Partners representatives.
  • The Imeretian Wine Association was presented with its wines in China at an international wine expo in Guizhou province in September, 2023. 

Today, enthusiasts led by Keti Jurkhadze, who founded The Imeretian Wine Association, with the support of DMO Imereti and all those who are not indifferent to this incredible wine region, are planning further effective steps on different continents on the way to its worldwide fame.


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