Japanese winemakers visited Georgia who experienced Georgian wine and wine culture in Kakheti and Kartli. Nishikawa Megumi, the journalist of the major Japanese publication “Mainichi Shimbun”, who is preparing an article about Georgian wine culture was also in the group.
During their visit in Georgia, Japanese winemakers visited the following wine cellars and factories: “Alaverdi Monastery”, “Orgo / Teleta”, “Babaneuris Marani”, “Schuchmann Wines”, “Chateau Mukhrani”, “Telavi Wine Cellar” and “Shumi Winery”, where they learnt the Georgian wine-making technology and tasted the wines made of traditional and classical methods . Also, they learnt Qvevri-making technology and process with Qvevri-maker Zaza Kbilashvili.
The guests also visited the Georgian National Museum, where they saw exhibits related to the 8-thousand year history of Georgian wine. They visited scientific research center of agriculture in Jigurauri, where they got acquainted with the Georgian grape varieties.
Japanese winemakers were specially interested in learning Qvevri wine-making technology. In turn, Georgian winemakers were invited to Japan, where some Japanese winemakers produce wine in Georgian Qvevri.
The guests were also interested in the ongoing research on one of the most common grape varieties in Japan, Koshu’s Georgian origin. In particular, within the framework of the project “Georgian Vine and Wine Culture Research”, the National Wine Agency has sent vine samples of “Koshu” to the laboratory of the French National Institute For Agriculture (INRA Montpellier) for DNA analyze in order to study and verify its origin scientifically.
The tour of Japanese winemakers and journalists in Georgia was organized by the National Wine Agency and the association “Georgian Wine”.
In recent years, Japan has emerged as one of the promising markets for Georgian wine exports, where the Wine National Agency has been conducting active marketing activities for several years to increase awareness of Georgian wine. As a result, the number of exported wine has increased – according to data of 7 months of 2018, Georgia exported about 167 thousand bottles of wine (increase 124%) in Japan.