In cooperation with the Georgian Wine Association, H.E. Lukas Beglinger, Swiss Ambassador to Georgia, and H.E. Pascal Meunier, French Ambassador to Georgia, hosted a Qvevri wine tasting event at the Swiss Residence on 29 March, 2018.
During the evening, prominent French, Swiss and Georgian wine producers presented to the invited guests a selection of Qvevri-style wines produced in Georgia, France and Switzerland. The honorary guests, including the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Nodar Kereselidze, Ambassadors, business representatives as well as international and local wine experts, enjoyed a unique opportunity to taste some premium wines based on traditional Georgian winemaking techniques and discussed the characteristics and evolution of such wines in Georgia and elsewhere in the world. It was noted that in light of the multitude of techniques and practices subsumed under often confusing labels, it was appropriate to define precisely the notion and intrinsic features of Qvevri wines meeting authentic Georgian standards.
The wine list included 10 typical examples of Qvevri wines produced in Georgia from indigenous grape varieties, samples from the reputable French wineries Château Pontet-Canet (Bordeaux) and Frédéric Magnien (Burgundy), and Qvevri-style wines produced by Adrian Mathier & Fils (Valais, Switzerland) and presented by Amédée Mathier in person.
The evening was organized within the frame of the 2018 Francophonie Festival. Switzerland, a member of the French-speaking world community, joins hands with France to celebrate in Georgia the French language and francophone culture.
“Georgia’s Qvevri wine tradition is a major asset which is internationally recognized and arouses increasing interest among wine producers and consumers in many countries, including Switzerland”, said the Swiss Ambassador. “But Georgia needs to preserve and assert its ownership of this tradition, and this wine event is meant to contribute to ongoing efforts in that regard.”
“Last September I had the pleasure to inaugurate the Cité du Vin exhibition “Georgia cradle of wine” in Bordeaux along with Prime Minister G. Kvirikashvili. This exhibition has been a great success and will be replicated in other parts of the world such as Japan.
In 2018, the Bordeaux region will take an active part in wine sector cooperation between France and Georgia; with 5 different projects in the fields of winery design, vocational education, equipment and technical solutions. It shows French willingness and interest in assisting the valorization of Georgian wines as well as the protection of their designations of origin and geographical indications”, said the French Ambassador.
All the three countries share millennia-old wine making traditions and the status of wine-related UNESCO intangible heritage: The ancient tradition of Qvevri wine-making was inscribed on the representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013. Both the unique terroir of Burgundy and the breathtaking Swiss Lavaux vineyards were inscribed in 2015.