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"Wine Spectator" quotes AGC's director

Wine Spectator, one of world's most influential wine magazines, has quoted Artenom Georgia Consulting's Alexander Kaffka in a recent article about Georgia.

Article "Russia Gets Georgia's Wines on My Mind" posted September 4 is by Robert Taylor, who is Associate Editor of Wine Spectator.  Article's excerpts follow:
"Georgian wine during Soviet time was very popular in the Soviet bloc, but largely due to lack of competition from global producers," said Dr. Alexander Kaffka, head of Artenom Georgia Consulting and founding editor of Hvino News, an English-language website covering the Georgian wine industry. ("Hvino" means wine.) "It was a mass-produced product, which in most cases meant that quantity prevailed over quality."
After independence, despite privatization, Georgian wine did not become better since, like many other industries, it suffered from disorientation, insufficient financing and a lack of regulation, Kaffka said. Russia's declaration of a sanitary embargo "was not completely groundless," he noted. "In the huge flow of what was marketed as 'Georgian wine' in the 1990s, surely there was a large amount of low quality and plain fake product." <...>
Kaffka, however, has a different take: "Some people suppose Georgian wine is still in high demand in Russia ... but it will be challenging, if not impossible, to regain the market share Georgians used to have in retail." He offered three reasons for that: Georgian wines are perceived as "the taste of the elderly," thus unappealing to Russia's younger generation; Georgian wines won't be cheap; and it will require an expensive re-education ad campaign to convince Russians that quality has improved. Kaffka concluded, "Things will not be changing quickly, that's for sure."
This full article can be found here.

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