Adulteration of Bulk Wines – How Wine Qualify Affects Grape Prices
Wine quality is of essential importance in a country with traditional winemaking; however, bulk wines are more in-demand at Georgian restaurants, thanks to low prices, while wine adulteration issues remains relevant for many years.
Consequently, bulk wines are widely consumed compared to bottled wines. Top class European restaurants offer a wide assortment of Georgian-European wines, while clients of other segment avoid high prices and therefore, they suffer from the shameful tradition of wine adulteration.
Independent MP Levan Koberidze says that Rkatsiteli wines are the most in-demand products in Georgia, other than Rkatsiteli grapes themselves. This means that the consumer market is saturated with huge volumes of falsified wines.
“Based on the high productivity indicators and traditions, the Georgian market is saturated with so-called bulk or family wines. Is it possible that strict control over wine quality narrow the sales of low-quality wines, and grow the demand for grapes, namely for Rkatsiteli, which at this stage costs 70 Tetri? What does this mean for winegrowers and consumers?” Koberidze asked.
The country records huge volumes of adulterated wines, with prices between 4-5 GEL, and the government does not control this situation, despite its obligations, he said.
“I say, openly, that restaurants trade in falsified wines. The government must start examining them as soon as possible, because if the issue is not resolved, peasants will lose vineyards. The authorities should regulate this issue. They is the key issue, not the subsidization of the vintage with 60 million GEL”Koberidze said.
Today, Georgia’s current wine consumption makes up about 60-80 million liters of bulk wine, including the majority of Rkatsiteli wines at restaurants are altered, he said.
“I urge the government to examine these restaurants, because our peasants and farmers may lose vineyards. Regulations will make Rkatsiteli a respected product and peasants and farmers will not have to beg someone to sell grapes! The authorities should care for these issues, not subsidize the Rkatsiteli vintage by 60 million GEL from the state budget”, Koberidze explained.
Based on Article 336 of the Georgian Law on Vine and Wine, on December 24, 2018 the National Wine Agency of Georgia passed a resolution on regulations of sales of bulk wine on the domestic consumer market, under which:
Winemaking company and wholesalers, when selling wines, are obliged to:
- Ensure compliance with sanitation-hygienic conditions of wines with Georgian legislation norms;
- Supply safe products to consumers, that fully comply with legislation requirements;
- Maintain wine quality and its characteristics, in compliance with indications in laboratory test protocol and compliant with declarations or compliance certificate, through the whole process of wine sales;
- Keep wine documents;
- Submit laboratory test protocol, if necessary, and certificates of correspondence;
- Violation of requirements under these regulations is punished under the rubric of Georgian legislation.