Georgia sees rapid growth in wine exports in first half of year

Around 31.5 million bottles of wine were exported in the first six months this year from Georgia to 44 countries worldwide, up 59 percent year on year, said Georgia’s National Wine Agency (NWA) in a report on Thursday.

The first-half-year wine exports amounted to 70.5 million U.S. dollars, 51 percent more than that of the same period last year, said the NWA report.

From January to July, exports to the European Union, China, the United States and other traditional markets increased as a result of the collaboration and marketing activities of the NWA and the country’s wine industry, according to Giorgi Samanishvili, head of the NWA.

He also stressed that wine exports to China contributed the most to this year’s wine export boom.

According to the report, Russia, China and Ukraine were the top three importers of Georgian wine during the period, with 19.3 million bottles, 3.8 million bottles and 2.9 million bottles, respectively.

Local analysts said that China has become one of Georgia’s most important wine importers in recent years. Last year, Georgia exported 5.3 million bottles of wine to China, while 5.8 million bottles to Ukraine.

Yet after just half a year, China has surpassed Ukraine to become the second largest wine importer of Georgia.