Davit Davitashvili

Davit Davitashvili, Chairman of the National Wine Agency. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Six Russian experts yesterday landed in Georgia to inspect the production process of wine with an eye to returning the beverage back onto Russian dinner tables.

They are sent here by the Russian consumer protection agency CPS to inspect companies looking to export their products to Russia.

Head of the agency, Gennady Onishchenko, said a few days ago that the CPS has finished analyzing documents about Georgian companies which want to sell products to Russia, and that the next step is to send experts and gage the production process.

Today, delegation members are visiting wine companies Tbilghvino, Bagrationi and Sarajashvili to inspect their hygienic standards and other issues.

The delegation will remain in Georgia until March 1 and announce their conclusions after returning.

Davit Davitashvili, Chairman of the National Wine Agency, told journalists that all companies that want to sell products to Russia cannot be checked on this first visit, as there are more than 80 such companies.

45 companies will be inspected on the first visit in Tbilisi and the Kakheti region in eastern Georgia.

After one or two weeks, when the first delegation leaves, another delegation will arrive, he explained, which will visit wine companies in western Georgia.

In 2006, Russia imposed a wine embargo on Georgian and Moldovan wine. The stated reason was that the consumer protection agency CPS (Rospotrebnadzor) had determined that wine from the two countries did not comply with safety standards.

Georgia later also became subject to a ban on mineral water for the same reason.

After the change of government in Georgia, talks started about lifting the embargo on wine and mineral water.

Georgia currently exports wine to about 50 countries.