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Saperavi World Prize 2017 announces results, awards Grand Prizes (Press Release)

PRESS RELEASE   (Photo gallery here)

16.02.2018. The Gold, Silver, and Bronze “Azarpeshas” – the grand prizes of Saperavi World Prize 2017 (“SapPrize”) international wine contest – were presented to Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of the winner countries at a special award ceremony on February 15.

The Grand Prize winners are: Saperavi winemakers from Australia - Grand Gold, USA - Grand Silver; Kazakhstan - Grand Bronze. Wines of best-known Georgian variety from all over the world were judged in Georgia for the first time at SapPrize contest organized by us - the wine news publisher Hvino News.

Saperavi World Prize Award Ceremony was held at IArt Gallery in Tbilisi. Officials, diplomats, businesspeople, wine experts, and journalists attended the VIP event. The organizer of SapPrize is wine news resource Hvino News, published daily since 2012 in two languages, with a total traffic of nearly two million page views. SapPrize is a joint project of Hvino.com and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The Grand Gold Prize was awarded to Cirami Estate 2015 Saperavi from Australia. "The Gold Azarpesha" was presented to David Kereselidze, Director of Department of Asia, Africa, Australia and Pacific Rim of Georgian Foreign Ministry. The foreign Ministry will deliver the precious prize to Georgian Embassy in Australia, which will present it to the winner in Canberra.

“An interesting fact is that the winning wine Cirami Estate is produced not by a winery but by a non-profit organization called “Riverland Vine Improvement Committee”, and the wine is called after Richard Cirami, a pioneer in vine selection there”, - commented Alexander Kaffka, head or SapPrize organizing committee, who led the ceremony.

The winner of the Grand Silver Prize is McGregor Vineyard’s Black Russian Red 2010 Saperavi from USA. "The Silver Azarpesha" was presented to Elizabeth Rood, Charge d'Affaires at US Embassy. The Embassy will deliver the award to the winner John McGregor in USA. John McGregor’s comment was quoted: “We are so honored to receive such recognition. We planted these grapes in 1980 and were the first commercial Saperavi producers in the United States. It is wonderful to see confirmation of my father’s belief that Saperavi could grow here in New York and make world class wines”.

The Grand Bronze Prize was awarded to Lagyl Arba Saperavi 2013 from Kazakhstan, and presented to Gulmira Sultanali, Charge d'Affaires of Kazakh Embassy.

All the high-level diplomatic representatives thanked the organizers of SapPrize for the important initiative and for the chance to be represented at the Georgia’s first international contest for Saperavi makers.

Among other VIP guests were President of International Chamber of Commerce Mr. Fady Asly, head of Georgian Federation of Artisan Wine Andro Barnovi, Ambassador of Switzerland H.E. Lukas Beglinger and Ms. Barbara Beglinger, Ambassador of Romania H.E. Radu Horumba; ICC Secretary General H.E. Ambassador Zurab Katchkatchishvili, head of Georgian Wine and Spirits and Ch√Ęteau Mukhrani Petter Svaetichin.

Alexander Kaffka, publisher of primary Georgian wine news resource Hvino.com, said: “The concept of SapPrize is to reach out to winemakers worldwide, who produce wines from the iconic Georgian Saperavi. After lots of research and networking, we got samples from 4 continents - Australia, North America, Asia and Europe, including very remote countries such as New Zealand, as well as former Soviet neighbors such as Armenia or Kazakhstan. At the first contest we decided that only foreign Saperavis take part, but in future we will welcome Georgian producers as well”.

Both Foreign and Georgian Saperavi wines were served at the ceremony. The guests had a chance to taste hard-to-find Saperavi samples from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Kazakhstan, as well premium-quality Georgian-made Saperavi wines from Vaziani Winery, Tchotiashvili Family Winery, and JSC Cradle of Wine.

An exhibition of rare ancient "azarpeshas" (Georgian traditional wine drinking cups) from private collections, which were the inspiration behind creation of SapPrize awards, was also exhibited during the event at iArt gallery. “Instead of traditional medals, to stress the Georgian dimension of this wine contest, our prizes are inspired by ancient Georgian drinking cup usually made of silver and gold – so called azarpesha. We are awarding miniature azarpeshas, made of the same precious metals. These prizes are absolutely unique; they are hand-made by Georgia’s leading jeweler Jimi Lominadze from our partner Zenaari company”, - commented the organizer of SapPrize.

Alexander Kaffka expressed appreciation to Georgian Embassies in Washington and Canberra, and personally to Ambassadors George Dolidze and David Bakradze, for being patrons of SapPrize, and for their support. “I want to thank International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) for absolutely invaluable help in everything, including the hosting of our tasting ceremony on ICC premises”, - said Alexander Kaffka, - “Our sincere thanks also go to Ms. Samson Uridia, Deputy Director of Revenue Service. I also would like to thank the representative of Lasare Cargo Terminal at Tbilisi airport Givi Karchava, who actually became sponsors of our event.” The organizers also expressed thanks to Vaziani Winery, National Intellectual Property Center “Sakpatenti”, Wine Tourism Association, and Ia Bokuchava of iArt Gallery for support.

The full list of SapPrize Awards follows below.

Producer
Country
Name
Award
Alex Russell Wines
Australia
Saperavi 2015 alejandro Saperavi
GOLD
Alex Russell Wines
Australia
Saperavi 2016 alejandro Saperavi
SILVER
Anderson Winery
Australia
2015 Anderson Saperavi
GOLD
Arba Wine
Kazakhstan
Lagyl Arba Saperavi  2013              
GRAND BRONZE
Arba Wine
Kazakhstan
Lagyl Arba Saperavi Reserva 2013
BRONZE
Ballandean Estate Wines
Australia
Messing About Saperavi Granite Belt GI 2015
GOLD
Bassham Wines
Australia
Saperavi Dry Red 2015
GOLD
Billy Button Wines
Australia
Billy Button The Squid Saperavi 2015
SILVER
Chateau Niagara Winery
USA
Chateau Niagara Kagor 2016
BRONZE
Cirami Estate (Riverland)
Australia
Cirami Estate Saperavi 2015
GRAND GOLD
Fanagoria Estate Winery
Russia
Protected Geographical Indication "Kuban" F Style. Saperavi 2016
BRONZE
G Patritti & Co Pty Ltd
Australia
Patritti, Barossa Valley Saperavi  2015
GOLD
G Patritti & Co Pty Ltd
Australia
Patritti, Barossa Valley Saperavi  2014
SILVER
Gapsted Wines
Australia
Limited Release Sparkling Saperavi NV
GOLD
Gapsted Wines
Australia
Limited Release Saperavi 2015
GOLD
Hugh Hamilton Wines
Australia
'Oddball the Great' Saperavi 2014
GOLD
McGregor Vineyard
USA
Black Russian Red 2010
GRAND SILVER
McGregor Vineyard
USA
Black Russian Red 2011
SILVER
McGregor Vineyard
USA
Black Russian Red 2013 Barrel Reserve
BRONZE
Ridgemill Estate
Australia
2015 Ridgemill estate Saperavi
GOLD
Ridgemill Estate
Australia
2014 Ridgemill estate Saperavi
BRONZE
Symphony Hill Wines
Australia
Symphony Hill Wines Reserve Saperavi 2016
GOLD


Special Nominations

Hans Herzog Estate                      
New Zealand
Hans Herzog Estate Saperavi 2011
"For Saperavi Pioneering"

Hugh Hamilton Wines
Australia
'Oddball the Great' Saperavi 2014
"For Innovative Design"


About:

Saperavi World Prize is a new international wine contest in Georgia, which brings together the wines from winemakers from around the world who use the Saperavi variety. Saperavi is a grape variety native to Georgia, which is becoming increasingly popular with winemakers around the world.
Saperavi World Prize (“SapPrize”) is conceived to become not only a wine contest of Saperavi wines produced in all continents, but a meeting point of international winemakers and Georgian tradition-keepers, backed by eight millennia-old winemaking history of Georgia – the cradle of wine. Official website of SapPrize is sapprize.hvino.com.

Participants:

Small and large wineries from several continents have submitted wine samples to SapPrize in 2017. Wines came from Australia (14 wines), United States (4 wines), Azerbaijan (3 samples), Kazakhstan (2 samples), Russia (2 samples) and one wine each from Armenia and New Zealand.

Quotes by International Wine Experts:
  • “It is really wonderful that there is now a special event for Saperavi a grape so strongly associated with Georgia and its wines. I would like to wish great success to this very exciting event”, said Gerard Basset - one of the world’s most distinguished wine experts. Mr. Basset is World Champion Sommelier, Master of Wine, Wine MBA, and Officer of the Order of the British Empire. 
  • “A Saperavi World Prize sounds a very exciting initiative and should certainly help raise awareness for Georgia’s iconic red grape variety… I had no idea that there were plantings of Saperavi in Australia and the US”, - commented Rosemary George, Master of Wine (UK), author of 11 books on wine, including «The Wines of the South of France», «The Wines of New Zealand», «Walking Through the Vineyards of Tuscany», «The Wines of Chablis». 
About the Organizers:

Saperavi World Prize 2017 is organized by Hvino News with support of ICC Georgia.

Hvino News is the world’s primary news and information resource on Georgian wine, published daily since 2012, in English and Russian languages. Its traffic has exceeded one million views, reaching readers in over 160 countries.

ICC Georgia is the largest and most vocal global Business Association in the country; it includes over 350 corporate and youth members and 28 business associations. The International Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in the world that includes over 6.5 million businesses and chambers of commerce.

Patrons and Sponsors:

Saperavi World Prize 2017 is organized under patronage of:

Embassies of Georgia in USA and Australia (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia); Revenue Service (Ministry of Finance of Georgia); National Intellectual Property Center “Sakpatenti”; Wine Tourism Association; Georgian Wine Club.

Sponsors:
ICC Georgia; Vaziani Winery; Channel Georgia FZC; Lasare Ltd; Zenaari (official prize producer)

Press contacts:
Inge Olsson, Press@Hvino.com
Photo gallery here
For high-resolution images, please contact Press@Hvino.com
For video footage, see: https://youtu.be/xpuift_4Sf0 (SaperaviTV)