Grape harvest “very successful”, 170,000 tonnes processed - PM

The PM described winemaking as a “strategic sector” for the country and its economy, and pledged “maximum support” to farmers. Photo: Government press office, 28 Sep 2023 - 18:37, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday described the ongoing grape harvest season in the country as “very successful”, saying about 170,000 tonnes of the product had already been processed and up to 13,000 farmers received ₾200 million ($74 mln) in income. 

Following a meeting in the harvest coordination centre in the eastern Kakheti region, the PM said 300 vineries had been involved in the processing of grapes collected from farmers. 

Describing winemaking as a “strategic sector” for the country and its economy, Garibashvili pledged “maximum support” to farmers, and noted in contrast to the 25,000 hectare area for vineyards under the previous authorities, the figure had doubled and reached 50,000 hectares under the current Government. 

This is the result of state programmes and assistance”, Garibashvili said and also contrasted 20 million litres of wine exported in 2012 with the “record high” 100 million litres last year, which he said had led to $400 million in income. 

Led by Levan Mekhuzla, the head of the National Wine Agency, the grape harvest coordination centre was opened on August 24 and has been working round the clock to ensure collection of the product from growers.

Harvest Management Company, a state winery, has also processed 19,000 tons of grapes damaged in adverse weather, with farmers receiving more than ₾17 million ($6 mln) in income, the Government press office added. 

The processed grapes included about 68,000 tonnes of Rkatsiteli, 92,000 tonnes of Saperavi and 3,000 tonnes of Kakhuri Mtsvane varieties.