Georgian wine and how to look after vineyards
11 January, 2019
Georgian wine and how to look after vineyards
It requires lots of attention and knowledge to take care of vineyard. In the beginning, before planting vines, many inexperienced thinks that every peasant knows how to look after them and that everyone in the Kakheti region are wine makers. They also think that to make a good wine it is enough not to add water or sugar to wine and they will get high quality wine. Experienced wine makers warn beginners that they will make some mistakes before starting a
vineyard, but this job without mistakes is unimaginable.

The first advice for beginners is to find out more about wine and wine making, read and learn as much about that as possible and only then start a new, but very interesting business. They should forget any material benefice in the beginning at all – this is a long term and hard business.
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Wine is either made in barrels or in Qvevri in Georgia. Photo courtesy: science.howstuffworks.com

Wine makers say that vineyard is like a child – too much attention spoils it. For example, today there is an argument about how often should vineyard be watered. Some say that vine should “fight” itself and find ways to get as much water from the soil as they need. Vine like this gives better harvest than one that is being watered all the by others.

The way wine maker treats vine also has its importance. Every type of wine is unique and a good wine maker should know what level of involvement is enough to get good harvest.

We can say that this wine making in Georgia is developing. For example, some entrepreneurs have started to produce Ice Wine. But it is not easy to fully implement its production.
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People often squeeze grapes with foot. Photo courtesy: elissos.com

Ice wine production is risky because of uncertainty whether the frost comes before the grapes rot or do not come at all. Harvesting ice wine requires the availability of a large enough labour force to pick the whole crop within a few hours, at a moment's notice, on the first morning that is cold enough. This results in relatively small amounts of ice wine being made worldwide, making ice wines generally expensive.

Ice wine production is limited to that minority of the world's wine-growing regions where the necessary cold temperatures can be expected to be reached with some regularity. Canada and Germany are the world's largest producers of ice wines. About 75 percent of the ice wine in Canada comes from Ontario.

But Georgia is more famous with wines that are traditional to the country and the region. Georgian wine has been named among the best by many international organizations or media outlets. For example, The Independent published an article about Eastern European wines in the middle of last year. The aim was to name the best wines in the region and quite reasonably, Georgian wine was listed among them.
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Vladimir Boisa, former player in the Georgian basketball team, has also started wine-making in Georgia

“With technology and know-how often imported from their Western neighbours, a whole range of top-quality wines are now available at prices that won’t break the bank from countries such as Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia and Georgia” – read the article.

So what type of wine does The Independent advice readers to buy?

Saperavi – red wine made in qvevri. “Georgia is one of the oldest wine regions in the world and this red has been produced in the traditional method where the wine is fermented in subterranean terracotta amphoras or “qvevri” – the article says, “Made from the Georgian Saperavi grape it’s also unfiltered, leaving you to wallow in ripe cherry and soft fruits with pleasing tannins”.

Cover photo courtesy: taylorswines.com.au

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