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Vinexpo Daily - Day 4 Edition

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REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT: EASTERN EUROPE GEORGIA Sarah Abbott MW Wine consultant KEY FACTS & FIGURES GEORGIA IN A NUTSHELL Why Georgia’s future is so exciting Georgia is often cited as one of the countries that can have a real claim for being the first to produce wine. Here are its current vital statistics: 30% of the wine Georgia produces a year is exported. In the first five months of 2017 Georgia exported 25 million bottles to 41 countries, a 64% increase over the same period in 2016. These exports were worth .5 million, a 58% increase on the same period in 2016. Russia is by far Georgia’s most important market, accounting for nearly 15 million of its 25 million bottle exports. China is now its second biggest market, with exports up 160% this year, with 3.3 million bottles; followed by Ukraine with 2.3 million bottles. Smaller but fast-growing markets for Georgian wine are the US, Germany, Belarus, France, Azerbaijan, Israel, Latvia and the UK. The UK imported 98,000 bottles in 2016, up 28% on 2015 with 14,000 bottles exported so far this year, an increase of 113% on the same month last year. 5,000 hectares of vineyards were planted in Georgia in 2013 and 2014. There are now 200 wineries in Georgia. Wine consultant, Sarah Abbott MW, explains why she is so excited to be part of the dynamic and breakthrough work being done by Wines of Georgia (Hall 1, Stand BC323) and its producers to re-invent its wines for the world’s leading international markets. In the past three decades Georgia has come from civil war and great hardship to astonishing recovery. But until recently, the Georgian wine sector did not have the structures we take for granted in say France, Italy and Australia. When President Putin banned imports of Georgian wine in 2006, it was a disaster for Georgian wine. But Georgians are incredibly creative and determined, and the story of the last 10 years has been how Georgia can now compete on the world stage of wine. What is driving those changes? Georgia now has a national wine agency, which is part of the Ministry of Agriculture. Wine is a priority product for the ministry and it is booming. The World Bank rates Georgia as the top CIS country in ‘ease of doing business’. As a result the number of wineries has exploded over the last five years. How do you see the future for Georgian wine? Georgia is in a fantastic position. The wine potential is huge and is increasingly being met. They have thousands of years of unbroken wine tradition, hundreds of native varieties and diverse wine styles. Georgia’s positioning is more like New Zealand in terms of price and quantity. The Georgian agencies have been visionary in integrating wine tourism, food tourism and cultural tourism. What styles of Georgian wine do you think best work best? The dry whites are lively and gently aromatic and remind me of Gruner Veltliner and Alvarinho. The aromatic dry whites are generally unoaked, have naturally fresh acidity, creamy textures, and foodfriendly length. The hero of the dry reds is Saperavi which range from bright, red-cherry and lively to sumptuous, spicy, and oakaged. Saperavi has huge potential, and is probably the noblest grape that most people have never heard of. There is also a lot of interest in the off-dry reds. These are an historic wine style of Georgia. It is also making good sparkling and rosé styles • Make Time for Georgian Wine Georgian producers and wineries are here in force at this year’s Vinexpo with some 25 different wineries represented. There is therefore the chance to explore all different styles of Georgian wine and get to know its indigenous grape varieties and taste its distinctive Saperavi wines. One of the key features on the Georgian stand will be those producers that make Qveri wine in large earthenware vessels where the wine is stored and matured in large underground cellars. These ‘orange’ wines are gaining enormous interest from sommeliers and leading restaurants as they not only have a unique taste but are ideally matched with food • Hall 1, Stand BC323 10 VINEXPO DAILY / DAY 4 EDITION / WEDNESDAY 21 st JUNE 2017

© Les Williams HOSPITALITY / RESTAURANTS / BARS WHERE TO GO IN Bordeaux CLUBS / EVENTS / SHOPPING / CULTURE Julien Cruège on Bordeaux Typical Bordeaux-style, the Julian Cruège restaurant is set in an attractive contemporary setting, with a terrace that is a haven of greenery in the city. Enough to whet one’s appetite for the tasty cuisine of Julien Cruège, with his contemporary recipes, and good value for money. Several independent rooms mean the establishment is able to host groups as well. With an excellent wine list, it’s quite a discovery for those attending the Vinexpo show. While Julien is the chef, his lovely wife, Myriam, is the “maître d’hôtel”. Given that Julien Cruège is doubtless a man of taste, we asked him to give us his tips for where to go in Bordeaux. But firstly, we asked him to tell us a little more about his establishment and its shaded terrace. Julian Cruège Chef The terrace of the restaurant could also be called a garden because of how peaceful and green it is. Indoors, the restaurant retains its calmness but has a “design” element to it, with “popping” colours and dim lightning. The meals proposed are all fresh, inventive recipes that also show off and reflect what French cuisine is. In addition to this, the visitor can be sure to be received and served with pleasure by the entire staff of the restaurant. Do you have a favourite restaurant and/or wine bar? After the service at the restaurant, we enjoy going to “Le Flacon”, a nice wine bar in Rue de Cheverus. There’s an amazing wine list. Can you suggest a “must” for those on a first visit to the city? We love to have a walk by the river early in the morning in spring, when the sun is not high in the sky, so that gives you a reason to come back here at that time! There’s a special light; it’s amazing. And then, have a breakfast at a café terrace. Can you recommend an unusual place for the visitor to discover? Le Marché des Capucins is an interesting place. It’s a very old market, with lots of interesting scents and aromas, and local products. You can taste many good products there. LE MARCHÉ DES CAPUCINS IS AN INTERESTING PLACE. IT’S A VERY OLD MARKET, WITH LOTS OF INTERESTING SCENTS AND AROMAS VINEXPO DAILY / DAY 4 EDITION / WEDNESDAY 21 st JUNE 2017 11