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Saperavi World Prize 2017 – Why is it good for Georgia?

Soon Tbilisi will host  “Saperavi World Prize” – the first Georgian wine contest for foreign winemakers. Saperavi wines produced around the globe (even in far-away Australia and News Zealand) are being shipped to Georgia, where they are to be judged by country’s best winemaking experts.

Caucasian Business Week is among official media partners of Saperavi World Prize (“SapPrize”). We have received questions from readers about this new event, and contacted the organizers for answers.  Inge Olsson of Georgian wine news is manager of Saperavi World Prize. He kindly agreed to answer our questions.

– These Saperavi wines are produced abroad. Why are they important for Georgia?

– Saperavi is the most famous Georgian variety. In Georgia it’s a legend, but in many countries it is not known. If we want Georgia to sell its products at global market, we must use all opportunities to promote everything Georgian, and of course Saperavi. The winemakers who produce Saperavi wines in USA or New Zealand are doing a very good job for Georgia. And Georgia must not only show its appreciation, but stimulate a wider use of Saperavi in the world.

The words “Saperavi” and “Georgia” must be heard often, to become familiar to international consumers. In result, more people will buy Georgian products. So, Georgian producers will gain direct benefits.

–  What other benefits or advantages are there for Georgia in this project?

Georgia will establish itself as main authority in this sector of winemaking, it will act as consultant to everybody interested in Georgian wine varieties and technologies (for example, qvevri technology).

Georgia must position itself as a “hub”, encouraging people to come here, seek information here, apply to Georgians for expertise, etc. Georgia is one of the most ancient centers of winemaking, but this will remain just a phrase, if we do not install motivational mechanisms. Saperavi World Prize is one of such mechanisms. It can be followed by master-classes, or other educational projects.

–  Can Saperavi World Prize be used to advertise Georgian products?

Yes, Saperavi World Prize is an efficient advertising platform for all companies who seek international exposure. And not just for winemaking companies – SapPrize is a useful resource for attracting attention to all brands, for instance to real estate companies, hotels, tour agencies, even to startups…

– So, Georgian wine brands can be promoted at Saperavi World Prize?

Yes, Georgian wineries are welcome to use this opportunity. Because the Georgian winemakers are out of competition, they are free to use it for advertising, as sponsors. Gold and Diamond sponsors will place their logos on information materials, website, merchandise, and during the winners announcement ceremony.

It’s actually good for the Georgian wine brands that they are not competing in SapPrize – otherwise they could not use it for advertising and marketing.

– But why Georgian wines are not allowed to compete in  “Saperavi World Prize”? Is this fair?

Answer is simple. Wineries who make Saperavi are still very rare in the world – perhaps several dozens only.  In Georgia we have several hundred wineries, and practically all use Saperavi variety to produce thousands of different wines (including Mukuzani, Napareuli, Kindzmarauli, etc.)

Remember, participation in our contest is free – there is no registration fee. So if the contest was open to Georgian wines, we would get hundreds of samples from Georgia, and just several dozens from abroad.

Georgia would outnumber foreign participants, and their chance of winning would be close to zero.  No doubt, the foreign wineries would lose interest in such competition. Next year they would not enter, so the Georgian wines would compete between themselves. Since national contests already exist in Georgia, another such contest would be useless.

–  Who is supporting your project?

SapPrize is thankful to our patrons – National Wine Agency (Ministry of Agriculture), International Chamber of Commerce, Revenue Service (Ministry of Finance), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Intellectual Property Center “Sakpatenti”.

–  How can you guarantee that sponsors of your event will get good visibility and promotion?

World’s leading news agencies, for example AFP (Agence France Presse), have confirmed they would cover Saperavi World Prize, in addition to Georgian television and newspapers. That means global publication and global attention. In addition, SapPrize has several media partners, and our own Hvino News media network with readers in 160 countries and over 1,5 million visits.

For international media’s attention it is also very important what the world’s top experts say about our event. Gerard Basset – World’s Best Sommelier and Officer of the Order of the British Empire – said “It is really wonderful that there is now a special event for Saperavi” and wished us success. On our official site there are many more quotes about SapPrize by Masters of Wine from USA, France, Britain, Hong Kong…

–  Is it difficult to place a brand’s logo at Saperavi World Prize main page?

We soon will finalize this year’s list of sponsors, and place all the logos. The sponsorship packages are flexible, so can fit in any company’s budget.  The first step is to contact us through official website http://sapprize.hvino.com. Our decision-making is quick and friendly. All who want to support SapPrize is welcome, but time is short!