Why Georgia is a hotspot for natural wines – The Guardian
28 February, 2018
Why Georgia is a hotspot for natural wines – The Guardian
Georgian wine is a favorite drink not only for locals but for foreigners and tourists due to its unique taste and flavor. Well-known British publication the Guardian devotes yet another article to famous Georgian wine. Journalist David Williams expresses his interest towards Georgian wine making traditions and rules.

According to the author of the article, Georgians have been producing wine for thousands of years and today Georgian
wine occupies the leading positions at on global market.

“They have been making wine for thousands of years in this Black Sea country – and now it’s at the forefront of a renaissance in traditional methods” the article reads.
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Qvevri - Georgian earthenware vessel

The article starts with Georgian Qvevri, large earthenware vessels used for the fermentation, storage and ageing of traditional Georgian wine. As The Guardian reports, for Georgian people Qvevri means more than just a clay pot used for wine storage. It is a symbol of how proud the Georgians are of being the oldest winemaking country in the world.
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For Georgians, Qvevri means more than just a clay pot used for wine storage

As a reminder, after international group of scientists discovered oldest archaeological evidence of winemaking near Tbilisi, Georgian wine was included in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest wine.

Researchers have found wine residue on pottery shards at two Georgian sites dating back to 6,000 BC. The pottery jars were discovered in two Neolithic villages, called Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora, about 50km south of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. The residues were identified as wine since they contained tartaric acid, which only occurs in large amounts in the Eurasian grape in the Middle East and the wine made from it. The detection of other organic acids (malic, citric and succinic), also found in the Eurasian grape, provided confirmatory evidence.
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Researchers have found wine residue on pottery shards at two Georgian sites dating back to 6,000 BC

“Paradoxically, the Qvevri is also a symbol of the country’s pursuit of a very particular kind of modernity – one based on what John Wurdeman, an American painter-turned-winemaker and restaurateur making wine in the country’s main Kakheti region, calls “a way of living and creating informed by the past” the article reads.

According to the author of the article, production methods are the main reasons of Georgian wine’s uniqueness and distinctive taste.

“After being lightly pressed, whole bunches of grapes are thrown into the beeswax-lined pots, which are buried in the ground, and once fermentation has taken place, sealed and left to age. The result: amber-coloured whites with the grippy structure of reds, and reds that often display a wild, spicy, herby quality” –The Guardian explains.
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Wine production in Georgia is expanding

As David Williams notes, wine production in Georgia is expanding and this direction plays a major role in the development of the country. Nowadays, you will find Georgian wine in different parts of the world, popular restaurants and wine shops.

For more information, the author of the article names six best Georgian wines: Schuchmann Mtsvane Georgian Dry White, Château Mukhrani Rkatsiteli, Pheasant’s Tears Saperavi , Orgo Saperavi, Dakishvili Family Vineyards Vita Vinea Kisi Amber and Telavi Marani Satrapezo Qvevri Saperavi.
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The author of the article names six best Georgian wines

Here is how David Williams describes the six best Georgian wines:

Schuchmann Mtsvane Georgian Dry White, Kakheti, Georgia 2015 (£8.25, The Wine Society)

For many observers, Georgia’s greatest winemaking asset isn’t the qvevri, it’s the array of high-quality, individualistic native grape varieties such as mtsvane, which here shows floral fragrance and grapefruit zinginess in an easy-drinking dry white.
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Château Mukhrani Rkatsiteli 2015 (£10, Marks & Spencer)

Characteristically, M&S has been one of the few mainstream retailers to give Georgia a spin, with both this spicy, fresh dry white and the chewier, fuller-bodied, qvevri-made, herb-and-apple-scented Tblvino Qvevris 2015 (£10), worth your attention.
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Pheasant’s Tears Saperavi, Kakheti, Georgia 2016 (from £19.95, Noel Young Wines; smilinggrape.com)

Thanks to the evangelical eloquence of American co-owner John Wurdeman, Pheasant’s Tears is arguably the best-known member of the natural qvevri movement. But with wines such as this ever-evolving, nutty, tangy, earthy red, they deserve to be.
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Orgo Saperavi, Kakheti, Georgia 2015 (£20, Roberson Wine)

The Dakishvili family was the standout producer for me on a recent trip to Georgia, this qvevri-made red so delectably dark but pure and supple, with wild dark cherry and blackberry, a superb expression of the great Georgian native saperavi grape variety.
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Dakishvili Family Vineyards Vita Vinea Kisi Amber (£22.50, Bottle Apostle)

Another qvevri beauty from the Dakishvili family, using the native kisi variety for an amber wine that fills the mouth with white flowers, silky textured ripe quince and apple, and a patisserie creaminess. Complex, it evolves in the glass as you drink.
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Telavi Marani Satrapezo Qvevri Saperavi, Kakheti, Georgia 2014 (£24.99, georgianwinesociety.co.uk)

One of Georgia’s largest producers has a small qvevri cellar alongside its vast ex-Soviet facilities, and the output is really impressive, not least in this deep, dark, sumptuously ripe, rich, glossy saperavi red, with its intense blackberry fruit.
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Related stories:

Drinking Georgian Qvevri Wine Daily is Super Healthy!

Qvevri Winemaking on UNESCO Cultural Heritage List

Oldest evidence of wine-making found near Tbilisi

Is Georgia the world's cradle of wine? - CNN

Guinness Book of Records declares Georgian wine as world's oldest wine
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