Levan Davitashvili

Levan Davitashvili, head of Georgia’s National Wine Agency. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Russia has refused to let seven Georgian wine producers export 28 types of wines to the Russian market ‘due to non-compliance with hygienic standards.’

The official website of the Russian consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor published a list of the seven companies. Among them are Shavlino, Akhalsheni 2005 and Saamo.

Rospotrebnadzor confirmed that 48 wine producing companies are in conformity with hygienic standards.

Currently, 95 companies are approved to deliver alcoholic products to Russia; 1 brewery and 7 mineral water producing companies. In 2013, 6 131 072 liters of alcohol was exported to Russia from 22 Georgian companies.

Rospotrebnadzor also informs that the registration process is underway to approve companies producing mineral water in the Georgian breakaway region South Ossetia. From Abkhazia, 715 batches of alcohol, 6884 batches of wine, 2 batches of cognac and four batches of chacha – 8 544 609.5 liters in total – was exported to Russia from two companies.

“The quality of the Abkhaz alcohol supplied to the Russian Federation remains stable,” the statement reads.

Genady Onishenko, head of Rospotrebnadzor, told Interfax that Sukhumi, a town in Abkhazia, has ‘never disappointed’ Russia in its supply of quality products.

He said that such cases with Georgia makes him feel suspicious about ‘Georgia’s will to build long-term stable and civilized relations between the two states.’

Levan Davitashvili, head of Georgia’s National Wine Agency, says there is nothing new in latest Rospotrebnadzor decision.

He said that there were remarks about the product of seven companies in the eight months registration process, but some of the companies were checked twice and were allowed to export.

“Some of the product can be so original that it may not even fit into Russian standards,” IPN quotes him saying. “One company may produce 30-40 types of wine, and it is a quite natural process that there are remarks, especially when the state registration process is so long and bureaucratic.”