A Lady Winemaker in Georgia
18 December, 2015
A Lady Winemaker in Georgia
Baia Abuladze is 22 years old and her choice of profession is quite unusual for a woman – she is a winemaker. “I never did anything else since I turned 15, pretty much. I live in a village and tend to grapes and wine throughout the year. I am very much into winemaking; I feel very close to this profession,” she says. Despite being very busy, Baia still finds time to go camping or hiking with her friends or attend receptions.
Apparently, even with her friends, the topic of conversation inevitably switches to wine – they are aware of her knowledge in this field and frequently seek her advice.

Aside from making wine, Baia is also fond of tasting it: “I love tasting all kinds of wine, but I always drink in moderation. By the way, being perfectly aware of my attitude towards this wonderful drink, my friends frequently give me various brands of it as gifts.”

Baia and her family generally produce dry wines, since the micro-climate in their home village of Obcha is perfect for them: “We mainly have white dry and semi-dry wines here. Most of them are made from Tsolikauri grapes, since they are most widespread in our area. By the way, some books on winemaking also call them Obchura, which means ‘from Obcha’ in Georgian,” Baia explains.

Many people are surprised at Baia’s choice of profession, since “a 22-year-old female winemaker” sounds a bit hard to believe. Baia herself laughs it off: “When people first hear about what I do for a living, they don’t take me seriously; however, when I start discussing the topic at length and they realize that I do know my way around winemaking, they are very surprised. Eventually, all of them end up inspired - which means additional stimulus for me!”.

By the way, winemaking is not cheap; many people reject it as a profession precisely due to lack of finances. “We have our own vineyards that give us about 13 tons of grapes yearly, and wine that we make from these grapes sells very well. People come to us and buy them on the spot; we also have arrangements with restaurants in the region and they also buy wine from us,” explains Baia, whose family used to be involved in a governmental program “Produce in Georgia” and is planning to use funds gained from participation to start its own wine brand.They also participate in various festivals and have won many awards. The last one they took part in was the Georgian Wine Day, where out of 14 wine cellars, only two were family-run, including Baia’s.

When asked whether she would advise girls to take up winemaking, Baia responded positively: “Girls absolutely should look into this. It is interesting and besides, women are more attentive to the process, which means they get great results.”

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