News . 20-12-2023
Gurjaani Natural Winemaking
In Georgia, the largest number of wines with designation of origin are made from grapes grown in different villages orterroir of Gurjaani municipality. Mukuzani, Kardenakhi, Vazisubani, Akhasheni wines have a long history and popularity. Back then, the local wine "Gurjaani" was a popular one, which is actually no longer produced. Instead, the focus is increasingly on wines made from different grape varieties grown in other, somewhat lesser-known villages or terroir, which wine gourmets are introduced to by small wineries that produce natural wines. Over the last few years, for example, a small terroir Kardenakhi "Tsarapi" has become popular for exactly natural wine.
Therefore, it is not surprising and natural that most members of the Natural Wine Association have wineries and vineyards in Gurjaani villages known for viticulture and winemaking. This time, NWA.GE presents a brief overview of the activities of these wineries.
The winery Our Wine is located in the village of Bakurtsikhe; its vineyards are planted in the best terroir of Bakurtsikhe and Kardenakhi (Tsarapi, Akhoebe, Uroebe, Chortauli). This wine cellar was created by the late Solomon Tsaishvili, who was the first to export natural Qvevri wines from Georgia. Actually, this wine cellar was the first to bottle the natural wine "Tsarapi" made from grapes grown in organically cultivated vineyards. "Our Wine" continues to produce the best Qvevri wines.
Besides, there is a family wine cellar of the Goderdzishvili Family Cellar in the village of Bakurtsikhe, where they have been making Qvevri wine according to the traditional Kakhetian method for 150 years. The Rkatsiteli, Kakhuri Mtsvane and Saperavi wines, grown in the Tsarafi or Uroebi terroir, are produced in old family-owned Qvevris.The winery is also partially involved in wine tourism.
Chortauli Vineyards - a journalist Aleko Tskitishvili produces wines under this name; it's been more than 10 years that he, together with his friends planted vineyards of rare Kakheti grape varieties in the village of Bakurtsikhe (terroir Chortauli); he gained experience and then founded his own small family wine cellar. The main direction of the wine cellar is the promotion of Georgian grape varieties and terroir "Chortauli".
Nikalas Marani also continues old family traditions. Nikala Mgvdliashvili's great-grandson, Zurab Mgvdliashvili, restored and developed winemaking in the wine cellar of his century-old house in Kardenakhi. His vineyards are planted in the best terroir of Kardenakhi - Tsarapi and Akhoebi. In addition to Rkatsiteli and Saperavi grape varieties, "Nikalas Marani" produces Kakhuri Mtsvane, Khikhvi, Kisi, and Budeshuri Saperavi wines.
The wine cellar Khvtisia is located in the village of Kardenakhi. Zurab Khvtisiashvili, together with his family members, created the wine cellar in the house of his grandparents. Since 2015, the wine cellar has been producing Rkatsiteli and Saperavi wines from grapes grown on one hectare.
Nakalovari - Georgian Wine Heritage owns vineyards in Tchandari village of Gurjaani municipality. The founders of this wine cellar continue the traditions of their ancestors and produce two types of wine - "Nakalovari" and "Saperavi". It should be noted that the wine "Nakalovari" is a mix of 6 Kakhuri grapes: Kakhuri Mtsvane, Kisi, Khikhvi, Rkatsiteli, Mtsvivani Kakhuri and pink Rkatsiteli.
The Lomtadze Wine Cellar is located in the village of Velistkikhe. In 2022, the family wine cellar welcomed and produced its 122nd harvest in Qvevris placed in 1900. The family has the vineyards of Saperavi, Rkatsiteli, and rare grape variety of Kakheti - Wine Tetri. The Lomtadze winery is involved in wine tourism.
525 - has joined the Natural Wine Association in 2021. The vine cellar and vineyards of Saperavi, Kakhuri Mtsvane, Rkatsiteli are located in Busheti village. The wines are made in Qvevris.
The history of Tilisma winemaking began in 2012 when Ketevan and Christian Huberts decided to purchase land for vineyards in the village of Mukuzani. In 2019, they started building a traditional wine cellar, close to their vineyards. The aim of the winery is to create natural wines with minimal intervention and to encourage environmentally friendly viticulture practices.
Giorgi Managadze, a grapegrower and winemaker also has a wine cellar in the village of Mukuzani; Giorgi bought a house and a vineyard in a village with a long history of winemaking a few years ago. Mukuzanis Marani makes Saperavi and Rkatsiteli wines.
The Saro Wine cellar is located in Gurjaani and is owned by two young brothers. The family farm continues the best traditions of winemaking. At this stage, they produce wine from three grape varieties - "Saperavi", "Rkatsiteli" and "Mtsvane".
Vazha Getiashvili Wine Cellar owns vineyards in the village of Kachreti. The founder of the winery is Vazha Getiashvili - a professional winegrower who died in 2022 and now his children are continuing his work. In addition to the Rkatsiteli and Saperavi vineyards, the winery has recently planted vineyards of rare grape varieties (Ghrubela Kakheti, Grdzeltevana, Black Rkatsiteli, Pink Rkatsiteli, etc.).
Robis Marani is located in the village of Naniani. The cellar was founded in 1933 by Niko Zirakashvili. At this stage, Robi's Wine Cellar produces wine made from Rkatsiteli grapes.
Also members of the Association are wineries that have vineyards in the villages of Gurjaani, but the wine cellars are situated either in or near Tbilisi.
Tanini owns vineyards in Vachnadziani village of Gurjaani. And the cellar is in Kiketi, near Tbilisi, where Qvevris are used to make wine. One of the characteristics of wine - tannin - was selected as the brand name of the wine.
Alapiani owns organic vineyards certified by Caucascert in the village of Vazisubani - a vineyard known as Alapiani. The cellar is located in Orkhevi. The owners of the wine cellar, friends Merab Mirtskhulava and Soso Sulava, also use grapes from the vineyards of Kvemo and Shida Kartli for wine.
The wine cellar Makharebeli also has a non-irrigated vineyard in the microzone of Vazisubani, and the wine cellar is in Tbilisi, where they have been making Qvevri wines - "Saperavi" and "Rkatsiteli" for years.
Since 2022, two more wineries from Gurjaani have joined the Natural Wine Association - Wine House Gurjaani, having vineyards in the village of Pkhoveli, and Kolagis, which, as the name tells us, is located in the village of Kolagi.