Misha Meskhi, director of ShvidiWine, a Georgian company that offers a wide range of materials, equipment and supplies for wine and spirit production, says his company’s aim is to help customers make great wine.
“Our goal is not to sell the goods. Our goal is for customers to make great wine”, he said.
And how does ShvidiWine do this? Meskhi said that the secret of its success and the advantage of the company is the complexity of its services and its concept: everything for winemaking and nothing but winemaking.
“By complexity of services, I mean that ShvidiWine offers not only materials for winemaking but also professional advice about how to make high-quality wines. One is for the client to purchase the inventory and the other is to purchase this inventory with qualified advice on how to use the inventory and how to make the wine professionally”, said Meskhi.
ShvidiWine was created as a new company from Shvidi, which is a major importer and distributor of food ingredients to Georgia and has been operating on the market for 25 years already.
“The import of ingredients for wine and spirits soon became one of the actual and priority directions of Shvidi, which led the company to open a special department for it and later in 2015 due to the high demand on materials, equipment and supplies for wine and spirit production, a new company ShvidiWine was established. Its turnover has increased nearly fourfold since ShvidiWine became a separate company”, Meskhi said.
He said that in addition to growing ShvidiWine as an independent company, the wine industry has also grown.
“New companies have appeared on the market, new vineyards have been cultivated. Between 2012-2020, the area of viticulture has increased from 35,000 hectares to 55,000 hectares”, Meskhi said.
Q. You said that since ShvidiWine was formed as a separate company its revenues. In your opinion what led the company to this success?
A. At the end of the 90s, Georgian wine was literally reborn. Creating quality wine required a lot of innovation and ShvidiWine was one of the first companies in this period to be able to offer new materials to the industry.
Wine fermenters, purifiers, processing materials were the first products we offered to the industry. Following the demand, ShvidiWine started importing high-quality filters, agents and filtration equipment from Czechia, oak barrels and wood staves from France; all equipment or accessories were imported from European countries.
I remember, the first partner of ShvidiWine was French company Institute Oenologique de Champagne. Thanks to this company ShvidiWine became able to provide Georgian wineries with the necessary ingredients.
Today ShvidiWine offers a full range of materials needed for winemaking for both industrial and amateur wine-making and for all stages of winemaking.
Q. How would you evaluate the Georgian wine industry? What are the challenges the industry faces?
A. Winemaking, like many other fields, is characterized by a phobia of new technologies. Industry players are afraid of using new technologies. They want to do everything with minimal intervention.
As for the challenges, I would say that first of all, the export of Georgian wine with Soviet symbols should not be facilitated. It sells wine well in certain places and can be profitable for a business, but not so favorable for the industry.
Secondly, problems of falsification arise again and again. This is not a case of fluid falsification, but falsification of geographical indications. Or, some manufacturers can lie about the year of production.
Q. How has ShvidiWine contributed to developing the wine industry in Georgia?
A. Our company has made a great contribution to the development of the Georgian wine industry. I do not mean just providing materials, but also raising the professionalism of the players in this field. We have organized a number of seminars and training with the participation of invited experts from abroad.
Q. How has the wine industry been changing over the years and does ShvidiWine meet all the demands?
A. In the 2000s there was a demand for cask wine, with oak flavor in the world, while in the last 10 years a new trend has emerged which involves reviving unique, forgotten, non-industrial varieties.
With the discovery of new markets, approaches are changing and the wine industry is trying to adapt to the needs that these new markets demand.
Our goal is also to adapt to these changes and to provide innovations to our customers accordingly. This is a constant process and ShvidiWine has managed to keep pace with the development of the industry and meet all the demands.
Q. What are the future plans of ShvidiWine?
A. Our immediate plan is to develop viticulture and fruit growing. We want to bring inventory and materials to this field.
Also, as you know ShvidiWine has branches in the capital city of Tbilisi, a newly opened branch in the western city of Kutaisi and now we are in the process of modernizing the Kakheti branch, in the Georgian winemaking region.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic prevented us from finalizing the renovation of the Kakheti region branch but I hope that it will soon open and a distribution network will be set up, which will make our delivery service more mobile throughout Georgia.