The EBRD helped Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking demonstrate its commitment to quality
Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking is in the best line of business in Georgia: our company makes quality wine.
We employ about 220 workers, buy 4 million kilos of grapes a year from about 1000 small farmers in the Kakheti region and had sales of over US$ 28 million in 2014 – which is a 9.5% increase in a year despite a sharp drop in exports to our main market, Ukraine.
Our wine is loved and popular in countries which already have a taste for Georgian wine. But our geographic spread is very broad and we sell our product in markets as varied as Norway and China and Thailand, where customers love our house wines in glass bottles as well as in clay jars.
But we also want to diversify our products. Apart from wines and spirits, we are opening two new factories which will make jam, sauces and other canned goods. We hope to export those products, so they will need to be top quality.
The EBRD helped us obtain an international quality certificate, ISO 22000, by providing consulting and meeting part of the cost. Having this certification is crucial for us as we seek to enter new markets, especially with our canned jams and sauces. But it also shows our existing clients that we take quality seriously.
Our next step is tourism. Others may also claim this crown but we believe that wine was invented right here in Georgia thousands of years ago. This history of winemaking in our country is a perfect base for our expansion into the tourism industry.
We have already opened a Museum Salon of Wine in the historical town of Mtskheta, one of the oldest cities in the world. Now we have decided to build a hotel and a wine tasting salon near our vineyards in Kakheti and a tourism complex in Mckheta-Mtianeti regions.
For these projects we will look to the EBRD for investment!
Koba Kharkheli is the financial director of Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking