PM promises ‘well organised’ grape harvest season

PM Garibashvili in Kakheti; Photo by PM's Press Office, 09 Sep 2014 - 20:39, Tbilisi,Georgia

As summer draws to an end, the country’s grape harvest season is just beginning and experts are estimating more than 100,000 tonnes of grapes will be picked this year.

The country’s Prime Minister promised this year’s crop would be "well organised and distinguished” and 2014 would be marked by a degree of market self-regulation and establishment of an organisation which would reduce harvesting processing problems.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili’s announcement came during his visit to Kakheti, Georgia’s wine-making region, at the opening ceremony of a new wine factory today.

He said despite the current hot, sunny skies, weather problems earlier in the year negatively affected crops so this year’s yield was expected to be 15 percent less than 2013.

Despite this, the PM said experts believed 100 000 tonnes of grapes would be picked this year.  At the ceremony Garibashvili spoke of the establishment of a new organisation that would help reduce problems related to grape harvesting and processing.

"A coordination centre for grape vintage under the supervision of the Government, Rtveli 2014, will work as a 24/7 service,” he said.

"We must not stand and watch grape harvest and processing problems amid the increasing need to increase wine exports. I want to tell you that the subsidy for white wine grapes was determined as 35 tetri and Saperavi as 15 tetri,” the PM said.

The state subsidy to wine-makers decreased this year from 25 million GEL to 12 million GEL.