[Herald Interview] Wine popularity among Koreans, opportunity for Georgia: deputy ministerBy Sanjay Kumar
Published : June 26, 2023 - 14:26
The growing popularity of wine among young Koreans is a promising opportunity for Georgia, Yuri Nozadze, Georgian deputy minister of environmental protection and agriculture, told The Korea Herald on Friday.
Nozadze was in Seoul last week to attend the Seoul International Wines & Spirits Expo 2023, where 14 Georgian wine producers showcased their extensive range of wines.
The expo engaged Korean consumers through wine tastings and establishing potential partnerships, Nozadze said expressing optimism about the potential that Korean consumers present for Georgian wine.
The expo has been organized in Korea since 1992, and has attracted more than 10,000 buyers and 35,000 visitors annually, according to organizers.
"I hope Georgian wine will soon find a deserving place in the Korean wine market," Nozadze said.
According to Nozadze, Georgia boasts a winemaking heritage dating back 8,000 years.
With over 20 climate zones and approximately 50 types of soil, Georgia's biodiversity contributes to rich winemaking potential. Georgia is home to 525 indigenous grape varieties, offering Korean consumers a diverse range of wines that align with their preferred taste profiles, he said.
"Georgian wines have considerable appeal in the Korean market," said Nozadze seeing the significant demand Georgian wine can generate.
When discussing the suitability of other Georgian products for Korean consumers, Nozadze recommended Georgia's high-alcohol beverages such as Chacha and Brandy, which have been gaining attention globally.
Meanwhile, during the deputy minister’s visit, National Wine Agency, in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Embassy of Georgia in the Republic of Korea, co-organized a "Georgian Wine Presentation" in Seoul.
The delegation led by the deputy minister introduced the historical legacy of Georgia’s unique winemaking process using Qvevri, and the country's potential for wine tourism with its cuisine, hospitality, and unique, diverse landscape.
Qveri are large clay pots used to ferment and age the wine in Georgia
Qvevri winemaking has been recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2013.
The event with Georgian Ambassador Tarash Papaskua and CEOs and executives of representative businesses interested in wine businesses in attendance allowed Georgian producers to meet Korean importers for potential collaborations.
The deputy minister said that his ministry supports the promotion of Georgian wine, and actively implements many supportive projects for foreign importers.
The ministry's initiatives include media tours to Georgia to importers, wine writers and sommeliers from different countries to visit wine factories and vineyards, where they can experience the rich winemaking history of Georgia firsthand, explained Nozadze.
He also underlined the importance of free trade agreement talks and negotiations hoping to reach another milestone in this direction.
As Georgia's winemaking heritage combines with the diverse tastes and preferences of Korean consumers, a fruitful partnership is poised to blossom, further strengthening Georgian-Korean, he said.
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