The 8,000-year-old winemaking history of Georgia will grace Daejeon as the Eastern European country will be the guest of honor at the Daejeon International Wine Expo 2023, slated for Sept. 3-10.
As the guest country of honor, Georgia will bring its UNESCO-inscribed “Qvevri” winemaking method to Korea in a celebration that transcends taste, offering a blend of culture, history and economic collaboration.
Ambassador of Georgia to Korea Tarash Papaskua said it is a “tremendous honor and privilege” to be selected as a guest country of honor at this year’s Daejeon Wine Expo.
“Meaningful events such as the Daejeon Wine Expo and the Seoul International Wine Expo, in which a growing number of Georgian companies participate every year, greatly contributes to our mutual goal of enhancing economic exchanges, including bilateral trade between Georgia and Korea,” ambassador Papaskua told The Korea Times via email.
The relationship between Georgia and the Daejeon International Wine Expo dates back to 2021 when Georgia was first associated with the expo amidst the pandemic. This year, the country is participating on the largest scale ever to showcase its distinctive wines.
Ambassador Papaskua emphasized the significance of Georgia’s Qvevri winemaking method, a symbol of cultural pride that was recognized on the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2013.
“For Georgia, which is widely considered a Homeland of Wine, naturally, it is a special occasion to be chosen a guest country of honor, as it helps our efforts to continue to inform and engage with the broader Korean public about Georgia’s unique, 8,000 years of uninterrupted winemaking tradition using large clay vessels called Qvevri,” he said.
Practiced across Georgia’s villages, where distinctive grape varieties grow, the Qvevri method uses an egg-shaped earthenware vessel as the heart of the process for making, aging and storing wine. This tradition has recently resonated with the organic winemaking trend, underscoring its continued relevance and appeal in modern wine culture.
“It is a recognition of Georgia’s consistent efforts and steps to introduce and promote authentic Georgian wines, including the Qvevri wines on the Korean market, where we see immense growth potential for the future.”
The Daejeon Tourism Organization, the mastermind behind the Expo, extended an invitation to the National Wine Agency of Georgia for the country to be the guest of honor at the expo during ProWein, the world’s largest wine trade fair, in Germany last March.
The Georgian agency has confirmed that over 15 winemakers from Georgia will participate in the event, marking it as the largest delegation in the history of the Daejeon International Wine Expo.
Ambassador Papaskua emphasized the importance of enhancing economic exchanges between Georgia and Korea.
“In general, Georgia attaches utmost importance to enhancing the economic and investment cooperation with the Republic of Korea ― one of the most advanced economies in the world ― and utilizing the untapped potential that exists between our countries in the years to come,” he said.
The Daejeon International Wine Expo will take place in various venues throughout Daejeon, including the Daejeon Convention Center and Expo Science Park. Visitors to the expo will have the opportunity to savor wines from an array of over 200 wineries, representing 14 countries from around the globe.