“Due to the climatic conditions this year, the grape harvest will be less than last year and will make about 200,000 tons,” Levan Mekhuzla, head of the National Wine Agency, says.
According to Mekhuzla, the pandemic turned out to be the main problem for the sector, then the war in Ukraine, as soon as the problems are solved, the Georgian wine quality will increase and the sales markets will be diversified.
The harvesting process was hindered by hail that damaged vineyards in 5 municipalities of Eastern Georgia.
Subsidies have decreased this year, although a decision to completely remove subsidies has not yet been made. The head of the National Wine Agency believes that in the long term, if export keeps on growing, the subsidy program will be stopped.
In Levan Mekhuzla’s words, winemakers should currently focus on diversifying their sales markets.
“The war negatively affected the market diversification. Transportation has become expensive, problems with transportation to EU countries, for example to Poland. Overall, export costs are rising. Until recently, we have achieved great success in terms of diversification, Russia's share in wine exports fell to 50%. We hope that over time this trend will be restored,” Levan Mekhuzla says.