Viticulture and Oenology in Georgia



Dr. David Chichua

Presentation Title : Research and Education on Viticultre and Oenology in Georgia

In Georgia education and research in the direction of wine-making have been carried out for many centuries. The political and economic instability in Georgia caused a lot problems in this field. But now things are changing for the better. In 2011, Institute of Viticulture and Oenology joined Agrarian University and as a result of this activity, the research and education on viticulture and oenology were connected to each other. Besides this Institute, there are 2 VET schools and 2 other Universities in Georgia where one learns Wine Technology. Research at the Institute of Viticulture and Oenology at Agricultural University of Georgia is mainly focused on analyzing heritage and adapting it to modern challenges. From 525 autochthonic grape varieties described in literature, there are only 380 varieties in the ampelographic collection of the institute. Currently other grape varieties are being searched and selective potential of wild-grapes are being investigated. Nowadays, interest in Kvevri technology of wine making increases all over the world. Spontaneous microflora and phenolic compounds of the wines obtained by this technology are investigated intensively. Recently, on Georgian Government initiative, a huge project for reconstruction of wine-culture history has been started in Georgia. Main directions of research are: genetic analysis of different grape varieties, ethnographic, linguistic, archeological researches and finding connections between ancient vine-domestication centers in the Near Eastern and Mediterranean.

Soraya Bernard

Presentation Title : The project BIOPARTNERS and EU collaborations opportunities

The BIOPARTNERS project has been set up in 2012 with the objective to reinforce Georgian international cooperation capacities in the field of Food and Biotechnologies. The new EU Framework Programme “Horizon 2020” is providing a number of cooperation opportunities, in particular in the field of Biotechnology for EU but also for Georgia and other Caucasian countries.

Dr. Alexandre Didebulidze

Presentation Title : General aspects of the agriculture in Georgia

Throughout the difficult periods that Georgia has endured in its history, the agriculture and rural areas have proven their viability and improvement in this sector has a direct effect on the lives of the majority of Georgian people, because more than half of the employed is engaged in agriculture and 46% of the population lives in rural areas. Contemporary Georgia is a exporter of wine, mineral waters, fruit, vegetables, live animals etc, but the export of agricultural products and food amounted only 40% of the import in 2012, also the country of agricultural net-export before the restoration of independence in 1991 changed into country of net-import today, besides the lion’s share of imported food is of poor quality. Georgia’s agriculture is practically not subsidized, but the main reason for the reduction in productivity was that agriculture was not a priority of the former governments, other reasons were parcellation of land, high costs of agriculture inputs and no access to start-up capital, lack of extension and modern machinery services and processing facilities, Russian wine and mineral water trade embargo from 2006 to 2013, and a weak rural infrastructure: as result, the share of agriculture in the structure of GDP declined from 19.2% in 2002 to 8.6% in 2012. In existing conditions Georgia should define the priorities and essential vector of its agriculture. Namely, it is undoubted that the development will be caused by the general condition of the economy, the geopolitical situation and the policy of governmental structures. Agriculture is one of the main priorities of the new government, and the goal is to ensure the food security and based on sustainable development principles to create an environment that will increase competiveness, promote stable growth of production, ensure food safety and eliminate rural poverty.

Dr. Giorgi Kvesitadze

Presentation Title : Specific aspects of oenology in Georgia and Georgian wine biotechnology

Fermentation of grape juice is one of the oldest technologies created by human beings. History of Kakheti winegrowing takes a start from VI millennium BC. Grape leftovers, discovered by the archeologists, date back to the mentioned period and they are the oldest around the globe, which proves once again that Georgia is a homeland of wine. 500 out of world-known 2.000 grape species are Georgian endemic. Everyone can enjoy the world’s oldest wine culture and discover the unique Qvevri tradition of clay pots used to create delicious, unfiltered, organic wines.
Traditional Kakhety wines are made by simple old technology from genuine vines - Rkatsiteli, Mtsvane, Saperavi, which is collected in September. They crush the grape and put it in kvevri (large ceramic jugs, called amphora), buried in the ground. During fermentation they stir it two-three times per day. As fermentation stops - they tightly close the jug till the spring. At spring they decant wine to barrels, and age it for about a year, but usually drink it while the wine is young. The white wine has deep amber color, very extractive, and genuinely simple. The wine is perfect with fat meat, especially lamb. The content of phenolics prevails the same wine fermented by European technology almost ten times and reaches for white wine 2,0-2.8 gr/l in white wines and up to 4,5 gr/l for red wines. The amount of flavonoids is correspondingly increased.

Dr. Levan Mekhuzla

Presentation Title : Georgian Traditional Technologies of Wine Production

Georgians – one of the oldest nations of the world – have been living on the southern slope of the middle part of the Caucasus Range, near the Black Sea. Many believe that it is the place where man “domesticated” the first vine and made the first wine, as long ago as approximately 6000-8000 BC. In the course of its centuries-old history, the country has developed a unique winemaking technique - pouring grape juice into qvevris, the large clay vessels buried in the earth up to their tops, then sealed. Since antiquity, this knowledge has gradually developed and improved nourished by experience. The Qvevri Wine Making tradition is practiced throughout Georgia. It could therefore be argued that the entire Georgian nation is concerned with this tradition and considers it the most important attribute of its cultural identity. The living tradition of unique wine-making defines the lifestyle of Georgian communities. We will review the main tendencies in the field of viticulture-wine making in XIX-XX centuries, describes the viticulture-wine making technologies used in different regions of Georgia, especially technological specificities of making the traditional type of wine. It is shown that “qvevri” is a universal, steady vessel for fermentation, formation and storing of high quality traditional Georgian wine.

The Latest Developments in Food Science and Technology in European and South Caucasus Countries



Dr. Esmira Alirzayeva

Presentation Title : Biological Approaches to Improvement of Degraded Lands in Azerbaijan

Dr. Esmira AlirzayevaEsmira Alirzayeva is an Associate Professor of Department of Plant Physiology, Institute of Botany, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) and Head of Department of Scientific Information and Innovation, Institute of Botany, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS). Her research interests include biodiversity, medicinal plants, plant biochemistry, plant nutrition, environmental pollution and phytoremediation. She is a participant of a number of International projects. For years she was a visiting researcher of Turku University, Finland, Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum, Institute of Plant Nutrition (University of Hohenheim, Germany). She was invited as a speaker to International Conference on Plants and Environmental Pollution (ICPEP), Kayseri, Turkey; to the 6th International Symposium on Ecosystem Behaviour Biogeomon, Helsinki, Finland; to the 3rd International Conference on Plants and Environmental Pollution, Lucknow, India and satellite session of ICPEP-3, New-Delhi, India; to Workshop on Metal Fluxes and Stresses in Terrestrial Ecosystems, Ascona, Switzerland.


Dr. Miguel A. Aranda

Presentation Title : Plant Viruses And Food Security. The Case Of Pepino Mosaic Virus

Dr. Miguel A. ArandaMiguel A. Aranda graduated from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid in 1989. He is PhD in Plant Pathology, Research Professor as well as Head of Department of Stress Biology and Plant Pathology, CEBAS- CSIC,  Murcia, Spain. In 2000-2002 he was Deputy Director of EELM-CSIC, Malaga, Spain. Dr. Aranda is also the founder and shareholder of the company Bioprodin, a spin-off of CSIC, UM and IMIDA (Spain). He is a member of editorial boards of the following journals: Open Virology Journal, Annals of Applied Biology and Journal of General Virology. Since 2009 professor Miguel A. Aranda has been teaching in Applied Virology, Master in Plant Biology and Biotechnology (Univ. Murcia, Spain). Main Research interests of Dr. Aranda  are Plant Virology, Molecular Genetics and  Genomics. 57 papers of Dr. Aranda included in the Science Citation Index. He has participated in 7 International grants since 2005 and has had 4 patents since 2001.


Soraya Bernard

Presentation Title : HORIZON2020 Opportunities

Soraya BernardSoraya BERNARD graduated from the University of Caen with a Master degree in European project management. After working in Spain and in the UK, she joined Inno TSD as a consultant in economic development and European project management. She has a good knowledge of innovation and technology transfer system, at regional, national and European level. Furthermore, she has an experience in international cluster cooperation, SMEs internationalization. Soraya has confirmed competences on identification strategic cooperation priorities and innovation networking, she has been responsible for the dissemination and knowledge diffusion in various FP7 projects, including the organisation of training courses, workshops, brokerage events, etc. In addition to her native French, she is fluent in Spanish and English.


Dr. Marin Berovič

Presentation Title : Nano Particle Magnetized Wine Yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae in Sparkling Wine Production

Dr. Marin BerovičMarin Berovič is a full time Professor of Biotechnology and Bioengineering of University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Dept. Chemical, Biochemical Engineering. He is a co-editor of World Encyclopediae on Living Support Systems EOLLS, Volume Biotechnology, an editor and co-editor of 8 text books EFB Bioprocess Engineering, an  editor on : Biochemical Engineering :  Biotechnology Journal Biotechnology Annual Review, referee of  Biotechnology Bioengineering, Journal of Biotechnology, Biochemical Engineering Journal, International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, Member of Editorial Boards : Food Technology Biotechnology, Chemical Biochemical Engineering Quaterly, Phytomedicine. He is also a member of New York Academy of Sciences, American Chemical Society International Organisation on Biotechnology, European Association for Promotion of Science and Technology. He obtained four awards for his scientific and research work, two National B. Kidric Awards for research and innovations and Krka Award. His scientific bibliography include 456 various contributions from the field of Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering. He was a  chairman of European Section on Biochemical Engineering Sciences, a Vice-Chairman of International Organization on Biotechnology and Bioengineering (World Association), a Member of The Executive Board of European Federation on Biotechnology, Co-Editor of Volume Biotechnology – Encyclopediae of Life Support Systems (World Encyclopediae of Science and Technology).


Dr. Alexandre Didebulidze

Presentation Title : Agriculture of Georgia: Reforms, Global Impact and Outlook

Dr. Alexandre DidebulidzeAlexandre Didebulidze is a Corresponding member of Georgian Academy of Sciences, Academician of the Georgian Academy of Agrarian Sciences, Professor (Electric Engineering and Electric Drive, Doctor of Technical Sciences (Farm Electrification), Professor of Iv. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia. He graduated from the Georgian Technical University in 1966. Up to 1968 he worked at the Technical University as an assistant at the Chair of Electric Machines. In 1968-1974 – worked at the Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture. His scientific activity deals mainly with the problems of electrification of agriculture and electromechanics – with special electrified transportation-technological machines, exploitation of electric plants. He is deputy chairman of the Board of Academic Experts), secretary of sub-committee for Education of the National Committee of UNESCO, member of the Board of Library Development Foundation (1995), member of the National Academy of Energetics.


Dr. Giorgi Kvesitadze

Presentation Title : Hydrolytic Enzymes from Extremophiles in Food Processing

Dr. Giorgi KvesitadzeGiorgi Kvesitadze is PhD, DSci, Full Professor, Presedent of Georgian National Acadey of Sciences, Director of Durmishidze Institute of Agricultural Univesrsity of Georgia (DIBBAUG), Member of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Kvesitadze, is also Academician-Secretary of the of Biological Department of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences and coordinates many prominent S&T activities and initiatives in Georgia in the field of biological sciences / biotechnology. He is a Member of Editorial Boards of three international Journals, two Journals of Russian Academy of Sciences and Journal of the Academy of Sciences of Georgia. In 1992-1994 he was Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing of Georgia. Dr. Kvesitadze held over 80 seminars in the USA, Germany, Belgium, Austria, France, England, Spain, Italy, etc.
Main fields of activity: Collection of mesophilic and extremophilic microorganisms (more than 3000 strains), Characterization of stable enzymes (cellulases, xylanases, amylases, etc) isolated from microorganisms growing at extreme conditions, Elaboration of new technologies based on the action of microorganisms and their enzymes, Investigation of microorganisms and plants abilities to assimilate and metabolize organic ecotoxicants and heavy metals, Biological control of plant bacterioses. Dr. Kvesitadze participated (mainly as project director in 20 International and National grants. He has more than 200 Scientific publications in National and International Scientific Journals and 6 Monographs.


Dr. Jose Neptuno Rodriguez-Lopez

Presentation Title : Application of Inulin and Tea Polyphenols in Cancer Treatment

Dr. Jose Neptuno Rodriguez-LopezJose Neptuno Rodriguez-Lopez is Professor, Head of laboratory, University of Murcia, Spain. He is a member of the Group of Enzymology of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology A and Project Leader in the field of Biotechnology and Design of Drugs. During his career he has published more than 120 publications in relevant scientific journals, has participated in more than 25 research projects (in 14 of them as a Project Leader) and has directed 12 PhD Thesis. Ongoing research is concentrated in production of recombinant proteins for their use in biomedicine and the industry and in the search for new inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) as anticancer and antimicrobial agents.


Dr. Tinatin Sadunishvili

Presentation Title : Biopartners Project

Dr. Tinatin SadunishviliTinatin Sadunishvili graduated from State University, Faculty of Biology, Biochemistry in 1975. She is PhD, D. Sci, and Corresponding Member of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences. Since 1975 she has been  working at Durmishidze Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology (DIBB). At present she  is Head of Laboratory and Full Professor of DIBBAUG. Main fields of activity of Dr. Sadunishvili are: Plant adaptation mechanisms. Ammonia primary assimilation. Energy and nitrogen metabolism enzymes: physical-chemical properties, kinetics and regulations. Phytoremediation. Elaboration of biological control methods against plant bacterioses; Xanthomonas and Pseudomonas phytopathogenic bacteria and their specific bacteriophages; Plant-pathogen-bacteriophage interactions. Dr. Sadunishvili participated (mainly as project manager) in 17 International and National grants. She has more than 100 Scientific publications in National and International Scientific Journals. 3 Monographs.


Dr. Walter Steiner

Presentation Title : Experimental Design for Media Optimization

Dr. Walter SteinerUniversity Prof. Walter Steiner was also head of the “Enzyme - Technology” group in the department of Biotechnology at the Graz University of Technology. In addition to teaching Biotechnology, Biochemical Engineering, Enzyme Technology, Wood Protection, Process Control and Optimisation in Biotechnology at the Graz University of Technology, he is appointed as external examiner and teacher at several Universities abroad and member of the Editorial Board of several scientifically recognized journals. Evaluator in different national and international activities including EC projects. His research is focused on “Enzymes involved in the degradation of natural biopolymers”, “Enzymes for enhanced biogas(methane) production” on “Enzymes in Pulp and Paper Industries” on “Isolation and Characterization of Starch-phosphorylases”, in “Biofunctionalization of Polymers” and on Enzymes involved in the Biodegradation of Environmentally Difficult-degradable Compounds as well as on “Enzymes from Extremophiles” and on “Biocatalysis and Biotransformations”. He organized several scientific Meetings, Symposia and Summer Schools. More than 150 publications in refereed journals, 5 patents, over 200 lectures and posters, several other contributions in books, etc. show his scientific record and activities.

New Biotechnology Opportunities in the South Caucasus and in Europe


Keynote Speakers

Dr. Sadunishvili Tinatin

Tinatin Sadunishvili

Professor, Head of laboratory, Durmishidze Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology of Agricultural University of Georgia(DIBBAUG), Tbilisi, Georgia

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The 36-month BIOPARTNERS project gives Georgia the possibility to improve the research activities of their highest quality in the FP7 thematic priority “Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology”, through twinning activities between one of the leading Georgian scientific and educational organisations, the Durmishidze Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology of Agricultural University of Georgia (DIBBAUG) with their long term partner University of Murcia (Faculty of Biology). A coherent development strategy for DIBBAUG is prepared, based on SWOT analysis and on the socio-economic analysis on Georgian, regional (Caucasus) and European level A twinning and joint research plan is prepared and agreed by the twinned partners. Project includes several main types of activities, e.g. twinning activities between DIBBAUG and UMU, larger-scale networking & brokerage activities, exchange of researchers and young specialists and organisation of joint events as well as training and coaching activities.

Dr. Giorgi Kvesitadze

Giorgi Kvesitadze

Professor, Director of Durmishidze Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology of Agricultural University of Georgia (DIBBAUG), Tbilisi, Georgia

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The presentation will be focused on the discussion of developments in biotechnology in Georgia. A new ecological concept based on joint plants and microorganisms symbiotic action will be introduced. The collections of different taxonomic groups of microorganisms will be characterized and the data of bioactive preparations from plants and microorganisms will be presented. Based on extreme plants taxonomic diversity of the Caucasus production of some physiologically active preparations will be discussed. Elaboration of biological control methods against plant bacterioses, Xanthomonas and Pseudomonas phytopathogenic bacteria and their specific bacteriophages and plant-pathogen-bacteriophage interactions as well as the data of biodegradable polymers use in medicine will be demonstrated.

Dr. Ramaz Shengelia

Ramaz Shengelia

Professor, Tbilisi State Medical University, Tbilisi, Georgia

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While studying Georgian traditional medicine (GTM) as it is presented in the middle age manuscripts and folk medicine practically comprehensive lists of medicinal and nutritional means of vegetable and mineral origin have been compiled in three languages. Each type of natural raw material (NRM) is complemented with information on: a) source of origin, manuscript, field material, printed book etc.; b) the ways of its usage as given in the primary source; c) contemporary data; d) nature and quality as related to the humoral theory. Total of 800 denominations. Recipes and dietary schemes used to treat and prevent the various diseases with indications of age, sex, type of constitution, chronic diseases, season and general state of the person. Entire data base was computerized and systematized.
In this presentation the application of a modern computer method of information storage, systematization and assessment for full understanding of purposeful use of natural raw material (NRM) in Georgian traditional medicine (GTM) as well as for developing the basis for their usage in the present day practice will be shown to elaborate principles of food product assessment paradigm.

Dr. Valida Ali-Zade

Valida Alizade

Professor, Director of ANAS Institute of Botany, Institute of Botany ANAS, Azerbaijan

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The territory and landscape of Azerbaijan are distinguished by a high level of biodiversity. The flora consists of 4500 species of vascular plants that compiles of 64% of the general list of the Caucasian plants. Not less than 10 % of the species are regarded as rare or endangered and are subject to protection. Representatives of 125 families (total number of families in the Caucasus is 156) and 930 genera (total in the Caucasus – 1286) grow in Azerbaijan. Presently, the main research area is focused on the selection of plant species tolerant to the environmental factors; cellular and molecular mechanisms of plant resistance to stress factors (salinity, drought, nutrient deficiency, pollution by heavy metals and oil products etc.); fundamental principles of high productivity of whole plants; molecular-genetic basis of production processes, plant biodiversity; introduction and creation of gene bank of useful, rare and endangered plants. More than 1500 medicinal plants and 100 new sources of valuable medicinal substances have been ascertained. The areal of the economical plants, their resources, new technologies for the obtaining of food dye, fatty oils and medicinal preparations from them are elaborated, they were industrially tested and introduced into the industry. Besides, the adverse effect of plant diseases and pathogens on crop development was studied. In the whole, the potential strategies to enhance plant productivity under stressful environments based on physiological, biochemical, molecular and genetic tools are elaborated.

Dr. Jose Neptuno Rodriguez-Lopez

Jose Neptuno Rodriguez-Lopez

Professor, Head of laboratory, University of Murcia, Spain

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This talk describes my personal experiences with Georgian?s scientific groups in the framework of European Programmes. My collaboration with Georgian groups started under the financing of the project “Prevention of food spoilage by suppression of phenoloxidase, peroxidase and growth of pathogenic microflora by use of natural inhibitors of plant origin”, an European INTAS Network from 2001 to 2004, in which I worked as a project coordinator. The success of this project was recognized by the European Commission and it gave important results which contributed to the further development of novel research lines. Therefore, I am completely grateful to Georgian scientists and happy to collaborate in this new European project to Integrate Georgian International Cooperation Capacities in the Field of Food And Biotechnology.

Dr. Walter Steiner

Walter Steiner

Professor, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria

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Procedure of successful bio-process development from the idea to the market will be described. Principal stages from the start the realization of the project can be divided into a number of steps beginning from the brainstorming, creative thinking and making difficult choices to the research and development as well as proper management. In connection to this, a few comments will be given to the SWOT-analysis of DIBBAUG.

Dr. Miguel A. Aranda

Miguel A. Aranda

Professor, Department of Biology of Stress and Pathology, Center for Soil Science and Applied Biology of the Segura (CEBAS)-CSIC, Spain

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Research on plant viruses is motivated by four main reasons: Plant viruses are pathogens that cause important economic losses in crops; therefore, strategies for virus control need to be developed. Plant viruses can constitute excellent probes to understand basic biological processes in plants, as well as exceptional models in evolutionary biology. And, finally, plant viruses can be important biotechnological tools, for example in bio-nano-technology. A network on research on plant viruses exist in Europe, and a coordination action, still alive, was financed in the 6th EU Framework Program. Strengthening this network is an open opportunity for third countries.

Dr. Martin Stocks

Martin Stocks

Ph.D., Business Development Manager, Plant Bioscience Limited (PBL)


The process by which scientific developments made in the academic laboratory engender real products and processes that benefit the public and bring a commercial return, is a complex one, with many potential barriers and pitfalls along the way. Effective technology transfer is far more than filing a patent, putting a summary on a website and waiting for the phone to ring! Plant Bioscience Limited is an independent, professional technology transfer company that utilises highly experienced, scientifically-literate business professionals to develop, patent, market and commercialise new discoveries and inventions originating in academic laboratories. Using examples from the PBL portfolio, I will outline the significant advantages that a professional technology transfer organisation can bring to a public institution wishing to capitalise on the outputs of its research base.

Soraya Bernard

Soraya Bernard

European project manager, INNO TSD, France

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April 2019


EU Commission   FP7
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