Next year’s 33rd International Organisation of Vine and Wine conference will take place in Georgia – for the first time in nearly 50 years.
The last OIV conference to be hosted in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi was in 1962.
Georgia hopes that attention garnered by hosting the conference – in June 2010 – will help its 100 commercial wineries to sell their annual 500m cases.
In 2006 Russia – the main buyer of Georgian wine – banned Georgian wines, leading to nearly 200 winery closures and a drop in exports of 75%.
Despite ongoing promotional efforts in the UK and Germany, Georgian wineries continue to struggle to shift their export focus.
Since 2006 they have had some success with Poland, Ukraine, and other eastern European countries. Germany and the UK are also target markets, but only absorb a fraction of the amount of wine Georgia would like to export.
The announcement of the OIV conference follows this year’s opening of the Tsinandali Palace Museum and Enothek, whose cellar contains 16,500 Georgian bottles dating to 1811, and a collection once belonging to Stalin.
Written by David Furer