Daria Kholodilina announced as IWSC’s 2024 Emerging Talent in Wine winner

Wine news

Tue 20 Feb 2024

By Mila Gorchakova

Last week we announced a shortlist of exceptionally talented contenders for our 2024 Emerging Talent in Wine Award, sponsored by London Wine Fair. Having once again reviewed this shortlist, the judges have voted for Daria Kholodilina from Georgia as our 2024 winner. 

“Daria is making massive changes and moving the entirety of the Georgian wine industry forward,” said our judges. “She’s achieved so much – just her impact, her resourcefulness, the kind of work she’s doing – it creates markets and changes things.”

Daria moved from Ukraine to Georgia in 2013. The judges were hugely impressed by how in just a few years she acquired a deep knowledge of Georgian wine and became a highly respected figure in the industry. Daria co-wrote a book on Georgian wine - Vinologue Georgia: A Guide to the Cradle of Wine; hosted a podcast and a radio show on the same subject, as well as starting her own enotourism company – Trails and Wines.

In 2020, Daria spent 3 months driving around Georgia, visiting wineries and shooting interviews with winemakers. Her notes and interviews had been passed on for the importers of Georgian wine in Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands, helping them promote the wines. In addition, Daria organises trainings on wine tourism development and runs multiple tasting events, presenting Georgian wine in its homeland and abroad.

Our experts spoke highly of Daria’s work empowering Georgian winemakers, and educating the world about Georgian wines. 

The judges admired Daria’s intention to spend her £2.5k travel bursary to give back to her community and furthering her impact. In her application form, Daria shared that she had two ideas for spending her bursary – an apprenticeship at a European winery to deliver more insightful training sessions for Georgian winemakers; or representing small Georgian producers at one of the big trade fairs.

We are delighted to present Daria as our winner for our 2024 Emerging Talent in Wine award.