The strategic campaign aims to expand reach in the US by educating trade, press and consumers and highlight the quality and rich winemaking history of the country of Georgia
New York, NY, April 20, 2022 – Wines of Georgia, the organization that represents and promotes the wines of the country of Georgia and financed by the National Wine Agency of Georgia, which is a legal entity under the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, and the country’s wineries, is excited to announce the launch of its 2022 integrated communications plan in the United States, with Colangelo & Partners, a fine wine, spirits and food-focused integrated communications agency, retained as agency of record, to develop and execute a comprehensive communications strategy targeted to key media, trade and influencers. The partnership will focus on engaging new and current consumers through strategic media relations, events, trade marketing activations and partnerships.
“We are thrilled to be working with Colangelo & Partners,” stated Tamar Metreveli, Head of Marketing and PR for Wines of Georgia. “The team’s expertise in integrated communications and deep knowledge of the wine industry and connections in the wine trade and consumer media will allow us to achieve our goal of introducing Georgian wines to a wider audience.” Levan Mekhuzla, Chairman of Georgia’s National Wine Agency, adds: “Georgia has an incredible winemaking history and culture. We are looking forward to increasing visibility and awareness of and engagement with Georgian wines in the United States, a key export market with great potential for growth. Our country’s wineries are producing high-quality wines, with a link to the past and a look toward the future, that are worthy of increased attention from American wine consumers. Now is the time to bring this awareness to the United States with the help of Colangelo & Partners.”
The country of Georgia, with Tbilisi as its capital, sits on the eastern edge of the Black Sea, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. The country stretches between the Greater Caucasus Mountains to the north and the Lesser Caucasus to the South. This small country (with a square mileage slightly smaller than Maine) is recognized as the birthplace of wine, with winemaking dating back 8,000 years. In 2015, archeologists working in southeast Georgia discovered clay vessels (qvevri) containing the residue of cultivated grape seeds. Using archeological, archaeobotanical, climatic and chemical methods, researchers dated these artifacts to 6,000 BCE. A resulting report published in November 2017 by the National Academy of Sciences in the US notes this discovery as the earliest evidence of viniculture and winemaking.
Georgians have made wine in qvevri continuously for 8,000 years, crafted by hand by master qvevri-making families. These large, egg-shaped tapered clay vessels (often 1,000 or more liters) are buried underground to keep temperatures constant during fermentation and aging. Using the traditional method, winemakers ferment the juice and skins together, with this skin contact turning what would otherwise be white wines into amber wines with tannins. Winemakers use qvevri to ferment red grapes as well as white. With the rising popularity of amber and natural wines, the demand for qvevri is on the rise in Georgia and internationally. In 2013, the United Nations added qvevri winemaking to the UNESCO list as “Humanity’s Intangible Cultural Heritage” and in 2021, qvevri was granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, legally establishing Georgia as the place of origin and codifying its shape, capacity, raw materials and production method.
Home to more than 500 indigenous grape varieties, Georgia has nearly 55,000 hectares (nearly 136,000 acres) of vineyards, with 55% planted to white varieties and 45% to red, with the majority planted in the Kakheti region in eastern Georgia. The two most prominent grape varieties are Rkatsiteli (white) and Saperavi (red). As of 2020, there are 25 defined Protected Designation of Origin (PDOs), with wine produced using both traditional Georgian methods as well as European varieties and winemaking methods.
Colangelo & Partners will work on a range of traditional and new media and trade activities and events designed to promote the wines and educate US press, trade and consumers. Communications pillars will include a focus on heightening awareness of the history, culture and quality of Georgian winemaking; education on the various regions, terroir and winemaking traditions and innovations; the uniqueness and range of wines and styles, including whites, rosés, reds and sparkling wines; and their outstanding value and versatility in food pairings and year-round consumption.
The strategic implementation of the campaign will include media relations and sampling campaigns, as well as press activities and events. On the trade side, activities will include a promotion with SevenFifty in July; an importer forum (July) as well as a buyer forum (September) with SommGo; participation at TEXSOM; a Georgian Wine Ambassador program; GuildSomm Masterclasses; and a Napa Valley Wine Academy Georgian wine certification program (October), among other activities.
“We’re very excited to represent Wines of Georgia,” adds Colangelo & Partners President Gino Colangelo. “The country’s winemaking history and culture are fascinating, and the quality of the wines is excellent. We’re looking forward to implementing our trade and media-focused integrated communications plan and we’re very confident that we’ll help continue the growth of Georgian wine awareness, education and consumption here in the US.”
About Wines of Georgia
Wines of Georgia is a promotional campaign financed by the National Wine Agency of Georgia and wineries to educate the US wine trade and general public about the history, culture, quality and universal appeal of Georgian wines and the country’s qvevri winemaking tradition.
About Colangelo & Partners
Colangelo & Partners is the leading fine wine and spirits integrated communications agency in the United States, sought after by top brands and industry players for the quality of their results, creativity, and return on investment. The professionals at Colangelo & Partners work with integrity and passion to influence how US audiences perceive their clients: Earning consistent, high-quality positive media coverage; organizing signature events; strategizing and executing standout digital campaigns; and implementing trade programs that strengthen relationships within the industry. Colangelo & Partners’ clientele includes global, instantly-recognizable brands and passionate, up-and-coming vignerons and distillers; regional and national institutions; and technology and e-commerce companies innovating in the beverage alcohol sector.