The cradle of wine
Khachapuri is a kind of national dish in Georgia. George Avaliani from the Rural Development Agency shows how the boat-shaped bread is eaten with butter, cheese and egg. "Stir the filling with a fork, gradually cut off the tips and edges and dip it in," he reveals the secret of the local speciality, which is also known as "Georgian pizza".
During Grüne Woche, a chef will be preparing typical Georgian dishes at the Georgian stand in Hall 11.2. 16 companies will be presenting their products, including many winegrowers. "Georgia is the cradle of wine," says George Avaliani. In fact, cultivation and production have a tradition dating back more than 8,000 years. The world's first winegrowers are said to have taken advantage of the favourable climate on the slopes of the Caucasus. They matured their wines in clay barrels that were embedded in the ground.
Not only grapes, but also other types of fruit ripen in the fertile region. Some farmers have brought dried fruit or churtchela with them. The Georgian confectionery with walnuts and hazelnuts is also known as "Georgian Snickers" and tastes wonderfully sweet.
"At Grüne Woche, our exhibitors can get to know European consumers. This is important because our country is striving to join the EU," says George Avaliani, explaining the importance of Grüne Woche. At the same time, a representative of the Tourism Board whets the appetite for Georgia as a travel destination. The number of travellers from Germany recently grew by twelve percent, which, according to George Avaliani, also has to do with the fact that his country was the partner country of ITB 2023. And, of course, the Georgian hospitality. "We treat guests like royalty," he emphasises.
Fine wines in organic quality
As Georgia's neighbour, Azerbaijan also grows wine. Meysari is home to one of the country's first organic wineries. It works with modern technology from France, offers wine tastings and runs its own guest house. However, Ibrahim Sahmazer also has a non-alcoholic alternative in his programme. His family runs a large organic pomegranate plantation. The juice tastes wonderfully fresh. "It's an honour to represent my country at Grüne Woche and to make our products better known," says the young man, who went to school in Germany, at his stand in Hall 18.
Armenia is also a wine nation and boasts the oldest winery in the world. Hall 6.2 is mainly home to wineries, but the exhibitors also have dried fruit, chocolates, honey and herbal teas in their luggage. Winemaker Hagop Kazanjian from the Alexandrea winery says: "Winegrowing has been experiencing a renaissance here since 2008. There are now 180 wineries in our small country." He has already been able to inspire many guests at Grüne Woche with his wines.