Georgia’s wine-making region prepares for this year’s harvest

Wine-producing process in Kakheti, Georgia's famous wine-making region; Photo by PM's press office, 25 Aug 2015 - 14:05, Tbilisi,Georgia

The grape harvesting season starts in Georgia and the country’s famous wine region Kakheti is completely immersed in the grape picking bustle.

Today the Rtveli 2015 Coordination Centre for grape vintage opened in Telavi in the heart of Kakheti under the supervision of the Government. The Centre will operate 24/7 and offer support to wine growers, producers and others in the industry.

Meanwhile at today’s Government meeting Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili announced grapes would be subsidised this year, as it was in the past.

The subsidy amount is the same as it was last year - 0.35 GEL per kg of Rkatsiteli and Kakhuri Mtsvane [a type of grapes] and 0.15 GEL per kg Saperavi [a red grape variety]. However this year the farmers will get the grape fee directly from banks. Unlike last year they will not be forced to wait for the wine companies to pay for them,” Garibashvili said.

The Prime Minister said the market would regulate the price of grapes "so the sector will be competitive and none of the sides will face any problems”.

The volume of grape harvest to come from the Kakheti region was expected to be slighter lower after crops were badly damaged in a hailstorm on August 20.

From today every affected grape grower who owned plants on five hectares of land or more would receive special plant protection fertiliser, worth about 65 GEL.

While the total cost of the damage has not been counted, officials said preliminary estimates could reach several million GEL.

Looking ahead the Ministry of Agriculture will make several amendments to the agriculture insurance project to help disaster-affected families. The changes foresee increasing insurance premium co-financing to 70 percent instead of 60 percent.