According to Sozar Subari, Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees, in France, which produces the highest quality wine in the world, grapes are cheaper than in Georgia.
In his words, the current price of grapes cannot be considered bad, especially compared to European.
“It is obvious that the price of grapes, as for example, potatoes cannot be always the same. Sometimes it increases sometimes decreases, and it depends on many factors – primarily on the crop and on demand. The market economy therefore is called the market because all must obey its laws. This year we have a great harvest mainly due to a hail system, which allowed to save about 30% of the crop. Now the price for grapes is what it should be,” Subari notes.
Peasants held protest rallies in some regions of eastern Georgia over the lower purchase price of grapes.
“Before the election, we were told that the price of 1 GEL per one kilo of grapes is low, but now it is even lower. Wineries buy grapes for 35 tetri per kg, moreover, they have not yet begun to accept, and if that continues, the whole crop will be spoiled,” say farmers.
Kakhetian farmers ask the government for help saying that the price of rkatsiteli grape , which as of today makes 70 tetri, including subsidies, should reach at least one lari in order the farmers will be able to repay the costs. According to George Samanishvili, Director of the National Wine Agency, the government subsidizes wine-growers, but it cannot affect the price.
“They will have to negotiate on the price on their own. If they cannot reach an agreement, the state will buy all the grapes, but at a lower price than offered by private companies,” George Samanishvili notes.