Amerimeri - a great comeback!
Amerimeri - a great comeback!


Due to the global pandemic, during the past two years, the only natural wine festival in West Georgia - Amerimeri was not held. However, all bad things must end at some point, and after the pandemic ended, Amerimeri returned. This time, the Festival founded by the Natural Wine Association was hosted by the hotel Legends Spa Resort in the city of Tskaltubo on December 10. The festival is traditionally supported by the National Wine Agency.

After a two-year break, Amerimeri was held for the third time. About 80 wineries - members of the Natural Wine Association, participated in it. They offered the guests of the festival wines from different corners of Georgia. Wine cellars that are members of the Association produce wine only from harvests obtained from vineyards cultivated in accordance with organic regulations, without the use of industrial additives such as tartaric acid, selective yeasts, flavorings, etc.

The members of the Natural Wine Association meet Amerimeri with great expectations because just before the wine fair there is a Association membership meeting where winemakers sum up the results of the past year, discuss common issues and problems and discuss plans for the future. This year, also on the eve of the wine fair - on December 9, a master class of wine expert David Chichua was held on the topic - Wine Defects, which aroused great interest among the Association member winemakers. The training aimed to review wine defects and diseases; discussions on measures permitted for natural wine for prevention and correction of defects; tasting and judging samples. The training session was carried out with the support of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. 

On December 10, visitors who came to the wine fair had the opportunity to meet the winemakers personally, and taste and buy their wines of rare quality. A large number of visitors to the festival tasted for the first time the original wines produced by small wine cellars at the time of the pandemic and since then. These wines represent the modern face of an already famous and popular Georgian wine and the current trends in winemaking.

If the diversity of Kakheti, Kartli, and Imereti wines is a common story, the recent rise of Racha-Lechkhumi, Samegrelo and Guria was a pleasant surprise for event guests. In these corners of Georgia, wine has always been served traditionally, and these traditions have not disappeared anywhere. The growth in the number of wine cellars in these regions and the desire of grape growers to make wine and sell it in bottles, rather than sell the grapes harvested from their own vineyards, is therefore encouraging. 

There was a clear boom in natural sparkling wine - Pet Nats- at this year's Amerimeri. In past years, many small wine cellars have tackled the challenging task of creating sparkling wine, and their efforts have been duly appreciated and admired by the Festival guests.

Despite the pandemic and its associated problems, it turned out that many wine cellars used this tough period to age their wines. Most of the guests noted that the quality and quantity of Georgian natural wine have increased even more in recent years. New wine cellars emerged, which developed precisely during the pandemic era. It inspires hope for a better future and the belief that progress will be even more visible in the future.

One of the focuses of the wine cellars taking part in the festivals was to network and reach agreements with foreign exporters selling Georgian wine. This year's festivals there were many wine merchants and restaurateurs, and it will soon become clear how many small wineries have been able to secure attractive deals.

A large number of wine exporters are already working on the Georgian market, and Georgian wine, which differs according to regions and varieties, this is no longer a special novelty for them. It is fact that many people already know about Georgian wine in Europe and America, and Georgian wine is no longer the subject of interest only for lovers of exotic drinks.

The restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic proved to be particularly painful for wine tourism, which created great problems for small wine cellars that actively hosted tourists before the pandemic. Restrictions imposed on the catering or restaurant businesses had a negative impact on wine sales. However, the pandemic created a window of opportunity for many winemakers as well, encouraging them to look for alternative ways and means of sales. 

Again at the Natural Wine Festival, it was clear that natural wines from Qvevri have become even more popular in recent years. More and more foreign wine lovers and importers are interested in Qvevri wines.

Amerimeri once again showed that Georgian natural winemaking is developing and improving. Today, there is increasing competition in the Georgian wine market, which is very good for many new small wine cellars to establish themselves in the market with quality wine. Meanwhile, the popularity of bio, organic, biodynamic and natural wines in the world is still high, meaning that demand for Georgian natural wines is still high even in the face of competition.