Worry in Georgia

Georgian wine producers have particular reasons to be viewing the Russia-Ukraine war with concern. Like all their compatriots, they remember the conflict their country had with Russia in 2008, and fear where President Putin might turn his attention if he achieves his aims in Ukraine.

Commercially, they also worry about where they are going to sell their wine.

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Georgian wine tasting in London
Georgian wine tasting in London

Georgia’s two biggest wine markets in the first half of 2021 – according to the country’s National Wine Agency – were Russia with 28m bottles, and Ukraine with 5.2m. Both of these dwarf Poland which comes next on the export table, with 2.8m and China with 2.7m. The US, by comparison, bought 502,353 bottles, though this represented a jump of 35% from the previous year.

While no one can predict the outcome of the conflict, its impact on the Georgian industry is sure to be significant, given that sales to Russia and Ukraine represent around 70% of total exports. Other countries that will be especially concerned are Italy, France and Spain, respectively, first second and third largest exporters to Russia.



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