It’s a way of life that’s about to become more profitable thanks to a free trade agreement that exempts Georgian wine from EU import tariffs.
Eight millennia of tradition go into a bottle of Georgian wine. Masters of the ancient Georgian method of producing wine in large underground clay vessels called qvevris, some producers have already carved out a niche in European markets. The free trade treaty, which came into effect on September 1, has given them a welcome boost.
The country’s small-scale vintners say that easier access to European Union markets will help them compete against inexpensive and established brands, at the same time as helping them improve the quality of their own produce.
Wine tourism is also on the rise as Georgia shakes off its post-Soviet image.