We love hearing about our students' cultures! One great example of this is a Professional English presentation written by our clever, hard-working student Zviad:
Good morning and thank you for inviting me to your headquarters . I would like to introduce myself - I am Zviad Kvaratskhelia from Georgia and I have taken the initiative to tell you about Kakheti as a possible location for making wine and to describe Georgian traditional Qvevri wine-making method.
As you probably know, Kakheti is situated in East Georgia. So, let's look at some general facts about the area. Cultivated grape pips were discovered here that indicate that Georgia has been making wine for 8000 years, leading experts to believe that Georgia is the birthplace of wine. In fact, Kakheti’s territorial and climate conditions are optimal for wine–making: moderate climate, Caucasian Mountain streams drain mineral-rich water into the valleys and moist air influenced by the Black sea provide the best conditions for wine cultivating.
We’ve briefly looked at the background, so let’s move on to some business facts. Kakheti has a strong tradition of making and selling Qvevri wine. Andrew Jefford, a well known wine writer from the UK, said: ‘I was introduced to Georgian wine and its 8000-year history six years ago and that was a discovery for me. Excellent wines made in both traditional and classic Georgian vineyards. Qvevri wine is always a novelty, different, diverse, unique, something you can’t taste anywhere else'. With this in mind, we can see that Qvevri wine-making will continue to grow.
Vineyards in Georgia occupy 125 000 acres and 65 % of this belongs to the Kakheti region. Currently, the wine is produced by thousands of small farmers (using primarily traditional techniques of wine making) and modern wineries. And have a look at these figures: wine production in Georgia has increased from 15,8 million bottles in 2010 to 86,2 million bottles in 2019, generating a revenue of $200 million from export to 53 countries. Exports to some countries have increased massively. Switzerland imported 378% more Georgian wine compared with 2017, while South Korea's imports increased by 275 %. Wine exports in total amounted to $190 million.
Let’s turn our attention to some interesting cultural facts. In Qvevri wine-making one of the most important processes is the fermentation and ageing, and achieving a natural temperature balance. In 2013, UNESCO ( United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisation) added the ancient traditional Georgian wine-making method using Qvevri clay jars, the oldest Georgian original egg-shaped ceramic wine vessels, to the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage lists.
Before I go today, I would like to leave you with some food for thought. One of the most widespread varieties of white grape in Kakheti costs 25p a kilo. 1 bottle of Kakhuri Mtsvane made from this grape costs £30 in the UK.