Georgian winemaker who chases for indigenous Georgian vines
12 December, 2018
Georgian winemaker who chases for indigenous Georgian vines
Georgia is a cradle of wine and today mostly everybody knows about that. Yet, within Georgia not every part is rich with different species of vines. Especially Guria – the only famous species of vine there is called Adesa or Isabella, as it is known in Europe. Adesa is easy to take care of - grapes are tasty and wine is distinguished, but still, wine is cheap because its features cannot be compared to other Georgian species of vine.

Nevertheless, one
Georgian from Guria Andro Vashalomidze has decided to find out more about the Gurian vine species. It appeared that in the past there were much more species than today, so some types of wine were expensive and tasty.

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“I’m an engineer” – says Andro. “I used to work in a tea factory that sadly is demolished today. I like to read and once I accidentally read that there were around 64 vine types existing in Guria in the past. Then I have decided to find those types which were still available. Adesa is a low quality wine and quite cheap. It has very poor positive qualities for health.”
Around 64 vine types used to exist in Guria

Andro has decided all the remaining types of vines in Guria and luckily, he found the last plant of Sakmiela (Gurian variety of white grape). Andro took vine trunks and took them home.

“Sakmiela is quite fragrant and tasty” – says Andro. “It gives large amount of harvest. There are other vine types I found later, like Klarjuli (the name derives from the oldest part of Georgia Klarjeti, that is no within the Turkish borders) and Jani (Strength in Georgian). I would recomend Jani as the best wine in the world.”

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Andro says that there is a connection between the Gurian wine and the Gurian people – both of them are easygoing and pleasant. As he says one can drink three times more Gurian wine and stay sober while in case of the Kakhetian wine they would already be drank long time ago. “Jani used to be exported to Europe” – says Andro. “It was exported to Turkey as well. Aladasturi is the Gurian type of wine but what they sell today in market is different. It is the Moldavian hybrid that got well along the Georgian climate and soil”.
Andro Vashalomidze in his land between vine plants

Andro has already planted around 16 types of the old Gurian vines.

“I have been looking for them for 18 years and found some 40 types of wine. Then I have chosen the best from them and planted them in my yard” – says Andro. “Eventually, we came up with 16 vine types.

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“People were surprised when they saw me looking for vine types in Guria. They advised me to plant Adesa that does not need great attention” – says Andro. “But then My Sakmiela was awarded with several medals at the Batumi family wine exhibition and the number of my clients grew dramatically. Now I sell both wine and vine plants and even have a special notebook where I have a list of my clients”.
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