Georgian Winemaking Poised for Global Acclaim, "Chelti" Eyes Top Prize at IWSC
Georgian winemaking is on the brink of becoming a world leader in the international market, a potential that seems boundless. Winery "Chelti" is set to showcase its "Heritage Line" bottled wines at the prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC).
The IWSC 2024 Wine Judging event will grace Georgia from November 25 to December 1, marking the second occasion this year that the country plays host to this esteemed competition. An assembly of international and local judges, including some of Europe's finest sommeliers, wine buyers, and connoisseurs, will meticulously evaluate the entries. Their shared expertise with Georgian winemakers, along with valuable insights, will undoubtedly enrich the local wine-making tradition.
Last year, British experts imparted their knowledge to Georgian vintners during the competition, underscoring the importance of a discerning and unhurried tasting process to truly appreciate the wines' worth. Securing an IWSC award is known for its challenging criteria, adding to the accolade's prestige.
A panel of adept judges last year awarded medals to an impressive 288 out of 487 Georgian wines—a record number for the competition. In a historic first, 16 gold, 63 silver, and 209 bronze medals were conferred within Georgia's borders, recognizing the international caliber of its wines.
"Chelti" winery's "Kisi Kvevrits" was among the gold medal laureates. With 80% of "Chelti's" production exported across 27 European countries, the significance of such international recognition is not lost on them. Ana Mirianashvili, the commercial director of "Chelti," emphasizes the impact of these victories, confirming Georgian winemaking's potential to conquer the global market. "Chelti" once again enters the IWSC fray, presenting its "Heritage Line" premium wines.
Delving into "Chelti's" roots, the winemaking tradition dates back a century to the village of Shilda, where the Mirianashvili family ancestors established their first large-scale wine cellar. This legacy has thrived through the generations. In 2001, Giorgi Mirianashvili erected a modern facility and vineyards in the same locale. Spanning 80 hectares, the estate boasts a vineyard, traditional and contemporary cellars, and a subterranean wine complex that doubles as a tourist attraction, ensuring complete oversight of the viticulture process.
Ana Mirianashvili reflects on the growing global repute of Georgian wine, crediting active participation in international competitions like the IWSC as a significant factor. "Our successes at these events don't just elevate our profile; they're a step forward in penetrating international markets," she explains. These events offer invaluable feedback and insights from the jury, which are instrumental for growth.
"Chelti" has ambitious plans to expand, aiming to cultivate an additional 20 hectares with diverse grape varieties, a move that promises to augment their production volume.
In the sphere of wine, where tradition meets innovation, "Chelti" is not only preserving Georgian heritage but also propelling it onto the world stage, one glass at a time.