Since early 2009, CBDN has been engaging in promoting cooperation with wine producers across the South Caucasus. CBDN has held consultations with Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Turkish, Karabakhi and Abkhaz wine-producers with a view of promoting professional dialogue and sectoral regional cooperation.
The project was initialised with a meeting of regional coordinators and experts in Batumi in May-June 2009. Ten participants of the meeting also took part in the Batumi wine festival. The project implementation, activities, plan and strategy were developed over the course of the meeting.
The first workshop for Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian winemakers was held in Tbilisi in May 2009. As well as identifying participating factories and producers for the project, the event also decided that the process would aim towards creating a common Caucasian marketing label. The second workshop involved the selection of Armenian, Karabakhi and Azerbaijani wines, as well as the decision on commercial labelling.
The selection of the wine factories were based on various criteria: two small factories working with old equipment and traditional technologies were selected, two large factories working with modern equipment and traditional technologies, and one fully modern factory. Fourteen new wine blends were created using more than twelve types of grape and materials from different years. The “Caucasus Bouquet” wine label was born.
In 2010, the newly executed product was presented to representatives of various embassies, including the Head of the European Commission Delegation to Armenia Ambassador Raul de Luzenberger, as well as colleagues from British, American, Italian and Russian Embassies and other local dignitaries, in Gyumri, Armenia. Those present enjoyed the wine, and showed support and interest in CBDN’s goal of regional cooperation and promotion of economic actors in peacebuilding. The wine has subsequently remained an important part of the showcasing of CBDN’s work in the region.