Export data reveals that Georgian wine exports to the US have risen from 881,470 bottles in 2021 to 944,766 bottles in 2022 (as recorded over a 10-month period).
The figures come from Wines of Georgia, the organization that represents and promotes the wines and wineries of the country of Georgia, and the National Wine Agency of Georgia, the legal entity of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia that finances the US export program.
The Georgian National Wine Agency has prioritizing the US as a key export market: hoping to raise wider awareness of Georgian wine among American wine drinkers, explains Tamar Metreveli, Head of Marketing & PR at the Georgian National Wine Agency.
“We are excited to witness the continued rise in Georgian wine exports to the US. With an audience of consumers who seek a diverse range of wine from diverse regions that offer different grape varieties and styles, the US is a lucrative market for Georgian wine, and we are pleased to see our relationship with this audience strengthen further this year.”
“The focus of the Wines of Georgia campaign is to engage key media, trade, and influencers in the US with Georgian wine and our country’s rich winemaking history and culture,” added Levan Mekhuzla, Chairman of the Georgian National Wine Agency.
“With 8,000 vintages of winemaking tradition marked by unique qvevri winemaking technique and use of distinctive native varietals, Georgian wine continues to demonstrate excellent growth potential in the US.”
The organizations champion Georgia - a country located on the eastern shores of the Black Sea – as the ‘birthplace of wine’ (in 2015, archaeologists uncovered ancient qvevri vessels in the region that contained cultivated grape residue dating back to 6000 BCE, helping back beliefs that Georgians have been making wine for over 8,000 years).
Though the country spans only 27,000 square miles, Georgia has an ideal climate and topography for winegrowing, with over one-third of its land covered by mountains, three major rivers (the Alazani, Iori, and Rioni) and hundreds of tributaries, and a variety of biomes.
As of 2020, there are 25 defined Protected Designation of Origin (PDOs), with wine produced using both traditional Georgian methods as well as European varieties and winemaking methods.
There are more than 500 grape varieties indigenous to the country of Georgia. In 2022, the red grape, Saperavi, remained the leading variety with harvest yields increasing 10% to 89,655 tonnes from 81,552 tonnes yielded in 2021.
The white grape variety, Rkatsiteli, persisted as the second most prominent variety harvested in 2022, as it was in 2021, with little changes from 139,707 tonnes picked in 2021 to 139,906 tonnes in 2022.
Kakhuri Mtsvane and Kisi, two other white grape varieties, were the third and fourth highest yields of the 2022 harvest season, yielding 5,817 tonnes (up 16% from 2021’s 5,031 tonnes) and 2,463 tonnes (an increase of 43% from the 1,718 tonnes harvested in 2021), respectively.