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Wine gets into Gorozia’s head2011-11-09 20:56
Zaza Gorozia, former plenipotentiary representative of the president in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, now minister of agriculture, is full of activity having a special 10-item plan he is going to present to winemakers. Saradzhishvili cognac plant was one of the first to learn about priorities of the government. In the meantime, the Ministry of economy and sustainable development of Georgia is selling wine-making companies on the sly.
Pushing Georgian wine back onto the Russian market, Georgia's government is trying to make agriculture look good. Zaza Gorozia who replaced Bakur Kvezereli in ministerial office, is tasked to correct mistakes of the predecessor who, instigated by Mikheil Saakashvili, started dreaming of corncobs to be cultivated on Georgia's fertile fields while this income item is gradually dying off.
Today, main consumers of Georgia's wine products are Ukraine, Azerbaijan and China. Nonetheless, the demand is not high given competition with other wines. Let's not forget about cultural traditions and peculiarities of mentality either. European consumers to whom official Tbilisi has been trying to sell its products for years is skeptical about wines produced by Georgian wine makers. Besides, a brand finds a better feedback in the West than a bottle with hieroglyphs and unknown content, despite its relatively low price if compared with wines from Chile, Spain, Argentina and France. The strength of a brand is enormous abroad that even Georgian tea used to be sold as "Russian Tea" and was in high demand. Having lost this brand, Georgia incurred multi-million losses. This is why official Tbilisi, voluntarily or not, must use Russian market to sell its products if the government really wants to heal the country's economy.
Gorozia's task to revive agriculture is not simple also because subsidies will be considerably cut in 2012. In Georgia's 2012 budget draft the ministry of agriculture is a rare exception whose financing goes down by approximately GEL 10 mln amounting to GEL 69,8 mln in total. In the meantime, the Ministry of economy and sustainable development led by charming Veronica Kobalia is trying to sell Kvareli wine cellar - one of the landmark wine makers in Sakartvelo - to private owners as well as Zvari and Kindzmaraulis Marani plants. Diversity of premium wines they have is unique.