Azerbaijan is working on development of wine tourism, Sharifa Hasanova, head of sector at the State Tourism Agency, director of the tourism products development department at Azerbaijan’s Tourism Bureau, told Trend on Aug.11.
According to Hasanova, work is underway to create the Iter Vitis Caucasus route (connected with winemaking begins in the Krasnodar region of Russia, passes through Azerbaijan and ends in Georgia).
"Currently, there are more than 15 wineries in the country, where products are manufactured using the latest technologies. In Azerbaijan, this route starts in Baku and covers Shamakhi, Ismayilli, Gabala, Shaki, Ganja and Tovuz [cities],” she said. “We’ll slightly expand this route and include Balakan [city] in it. In connection with the implementation of the Iter Vitis Caucasus route, negotiations are underway with Georgia. We have prepared our proposals, and after Georgia prepares its proposals, a single version will be presented.”
“This is an innovation for the Caucasus, since there are no unified routes in the region yet. Common cultural routes are proposed covering Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, but such a thematic route hasn’t been developed before. This is a new and innovative route," Hasanova noted.
Besides, according to her, work in connection with the development of wine tourism will also be done in the Karabakh region, and in the future it will also be included in the route.
"As you know, Karabakh is also famous for its wine. Various local grape varieties used to be grown here. For example, the ‘Hindogni’ variety was cultivated only in Karabakh,” she also noted.
“For many years, Armenians using the variety have been producing wine under various trademarks [during Armenian occupation of the region] that are recognized in the world as exotic wines. We’ll include the products of our Karabakh region in Iter Vitis," added Hasanova.
Iter Vitis is a network of cultural routes of the Council of Europe, whose mission is to support the recognition and preservation of the tangible and intangible heritage of winemaking.
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