Georgia's wine exports in 2017 reached their highest level for 30 years, with 76.7 million bottles of wine worth about US$170 million shipped to 53 countries, the Georgian National Wine Agency has announced.
Export values increased by 49%, while the volume of exports increased by 54%, China’s state news agency Xinhua reported, citing the agency’s figures.
The top three drivers of growth were Russia, the Ukraine and China, responsible for 47.8 million bottles, 8.5 million bottles and 7.6 million bottles, respectively.
Georgia's Free Trade Agreement with China came into effect on 1 January this year, and unlike other FTA agreements, such as the one China signed with Australia for instance, tariffs on Georgian wines have been scrapped immediately as opposed to a gradual reduction over several years.
Georgia’s wine production mainly comes from the Kakheti region in eastern Gerogia, with vineyards grown along the Alazani River and northern slopes of the Tsiv-Gombori Mountain Range and foothills of the Caucasus. The winemaking region contributes to about 70% of the country’s total production with the rest coming from Kartli, Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi, and the Black Sea Coastal Zone.
With more than 500 indigenous grape varieties, white varieties such as Mtsvane, Rkatsiteli and red variety Separavi are among the most recognised ones.
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