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The World’s Winemakers to Compete for a Gold “Azarpesha”

What is an azarpesha? In Georgia, that’s how they used to call the elegant wine vessels with long hand, made of silver or gold. These richly decorated objects are now rare antique collectibles.

Now, a miniature gold azarpesha is chosen as the top award of Saperavi World Prize, the first wine contest of Saperavi wines produced in all continents.

Saperavi, the “signature” Georgian grape variety, is becoming increasingly popular with winemakers around the world. Saperavi wines are produced in USA, Europe, former Soviet republics, and even New Zealand, but it is Australia where this Georgian variety has become especially widespread.

For the first time the Saperavi wines produced in all these countries will be judged in Georgia, by an international jury involving top experts in Saperavi winemaking.

Saperavi World Prize is conceived to become not only a wine contest of Saperavi wines produced abroad, but “a meeting point of international winemakers and Georgian tradition-keepers, backed by eight millennia-old winemaking history of Georgia – the cradle of wine”, according to the contest’s organizers. Information can be found at http://sapprize.hvino.com.

The contest, which will become annual, is initiated and organized by wine news publisher Hvino News  with official support of National Wine Agency. Hvino News is the world’s primary news and information resource on Georgian wine, published daily since 2012, in English and Russian languages, with traffic over one million views and readers in 160 countries

“It was not easy task to identify all the world’s wineries which produce Saperavi, and it required a lot of research, – explained Inge Olsson of Hvino News. – But, once we contacted them, we were happy to see the enthusiasm of winemakers excited about our initiative. One of the winemakers has shortened “Saperavi World Prize” to “SapPrize” and we decided to keep the catchy name”.

While the list of participants is almost complete, the entry is still open for wineries from outside Georgia, who produce Saperavi. Participation in the contest is free for winemakers thanks to support of corporate sponsors – Georgian and international companies interested in raising awareness of their brands on international level.

“It seems our project came at right moment, as it was welcomed by everybody: not only winemakers, but also the sponsors, and the mass medias”, – Inge Olsson noted.  “For example, France-Presse – one of world’s leading news agencies – called SapPrize “an excellent initiative”. That’s very important for us, as the attention of leading world press helps to reach the main goal – make Georgia and its culture become better known and more popular in the world”.