Turning an 8 000-year wine tradition into success in Georgia

Baia Abuladze runs a small winemaking business in Imereti, Georgia, which is receiving support from the East Invest 2 programme, designed to help sectors in Eastern Partnership countries export to the EU.

The East Invest 2 programme has financed the setting up of an online trade platform which is helping Georgian wine producers, such as Baia Abuladze, export to EU countries.

26-year-old Baia Abuladze is a wine producer in the Imereti region of western Georgia. Winemaking is traditionally a male-dominated business in Georgia and Baia one of only a few women plying their trade there, under her label “Baias Wine”.

“Georgia has 8 000 years of history in winemaking,” explained Baia. “My family has a long tradition of vinery and my passion for winemaking has its roots in my childhood, when my grandfather told me a story of how, centuries ago, Georgian crusaders carried grapes in their armour so that, if they fell in battle, the vine would grow there. This is the rich Georgian winemaking tradition I decided to contribute to.”

Baias Wine is currently producing 5 000 bottles of wine per year. “Gender barriers are no longer a problem for me,” she smiles. “Now I face another obstacle, a lack of knowledge of how to acquire quality standards and market my wine not only in Georgia, but also European countries.”

One of the objectives of East Invest 2 is to bring such knowledge to Georgian SME producers. Now it has twinned the Georgian Wine Association (GWA) on the EaP side to the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) on the EU side, so they can explore trade tie-ups in this sector.

They have together developed, under East Invest 2, an online platform providing key information on wine producers. 100 Georgian wine companies, including Baia’s, have been selected to feature on the site, complete with information on their production, pricing and availability for export.

The Georgian Wine Association plans to link the site with the popular tourism portal, Georgian Wine Travel. This will help generate more traffic and offer new cooperation and partnership opportunities between the wine and tourism fields.

Find out more about East Invest 2

East Invest 2 is the European Commission’s €6.5 million regional investment and trade facilitation programme launched in the framework of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) initiative for the economic development of the Eastern Neighbourhood region.

The overall objective of East Invest 2 is to support the development of a conducive economic environment and a competitive private sector, while enhancing trade flows and investments between EU countries and the six EaP countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine).



Implementing partners

Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry (EUROCHAMBRES)
Avenue des Arts, 19 A/D, B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 (2) 282 08 50
Fax: +32 (2) 280 01 91
E-mail: eurochambres@eurochambres.eu

European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME)
Rue Jacques de Lalaing, 4, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 (2) 2307599
Fax: +32 (2) 2307861
E-mail: info@ueapme.com


Local Partners

EU-Georgia Business Council
3 Zandukeli Street
Tbilisi 0108 Georgia
Tel: (+995) 32 2 2421 14/15/16
Email: info@eugbc.net

Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
29 Berdznis str.
Tbilisi 0112 Georgia
Hotline: (+995) 32 2 6947 47
Email: info@gcci.ge

Georgia Employers Association
40 Shartava str., Tbilisi, Georgia
4 Bokhua str. Tbilisi, Georgia
Mioni Business Centre
Tel/Fax: (+995) 32 2 14 73 73
Mobile: (+995) 599 39 05 19
Email: employer@employer.ge