From basketball to wine-making – wine of Vladimer Boisa name brand
22 October, 2018
Vladimir Boisa used to play in the Georgian National Basketball team among Zaza Pachulia and others, but today he makes wine in village called Shalauri, near Telavi in the Kakheti region, Georgia. He is also the vice-president of Georgian Basketball Federation since 2013.

Why has the basketball player decided to start wine-making and what motivates him? He tells us his story.

Firstly, we should admit that he was born in Rustavi in 1981, on the 4th of July.
Vladimir Boisa produces cognac
named after him as well

“I have a chance to serve an old, traditional Georgian wine-making method and bottle each and put my heart into each bottle” – he says. “My enthusiasm has grown into production named after me. I strictly follow traditional wine-making methods. We use Qvevris of different size. Some of them are 100 years old.”

How Boisa wine is made

Boisa says that he produces biologically clean wine.

“I made this step because of my love towards vine, money has nothing to do with that. I visited wine cellar of my friend in 2014 and everything was neglected there. I had the restoration works done. Since then four years has passed and I still use the same cellar. A friend lent me a vineyard – he was not interested in wine-making so I took over this business” – says Boisa.
Vladimer Boisa in his wine cellar

Grape harvest this year was spoiled by hailstorm, but Boisa still harvested around 4 tons of grape. He says that this year he will make three types of wine – Rkatsiteli, Saperavi and Kisi.

The cellar was built in 1910 and this information is written on every bottle they produce. “Nothing is done without me, but I always take into account advices from professional wine-makers” – says Boisa.

The former player admits that currently he is an amateur wine-maker, but wants to become professional one in the future.
Vladimer Boisa looking into Qvevri

“My wine is different from others because it reflects me – I follow an old tradition, place wine in Qvevri and keep it covered until April. We closed Qvevris last week and now I’ll wait what we get. The feeling is similar to one before stepping to the basketball court before a game, when you think about victory… But in this case one should not think about how much money will they earn…” – says Boisa.

“You get 2000 bottles out of 3 tons of Rkatsiteli, I have around 1500 bottles of Saperavi and will get around 400 bottles of Kisi and Khikhvi. I used to provide two restaurants and a shop with my wine, now we export some 40% of wine. Saperavi of 2016 vintage was especially fine. I am told to keep it for two more years in my cellar”.
Vladimir Boisa and his friend standing near Qvevris

An advice for future wine-makers

An advice from Vladimir Boisa is to never look at wine-making from economic point of view. “First of all, you need to love wine and have a desire to communicate with it. I do not think that one will make lots of money in 3 or 4 years from wine-making, but they will not lose either.”

“I produce cognac as well… I have full support of my family in everything. I often joke with my brother Anatoly that if we cannot sell wine, we will drink it and will not lose anything. No one used to make wine in my family. My children can continue it if they want it. Everybody makes choice by themselves. I thought my children would become basketball players, but one of them plays volleyball and another one – football. Everything is up to them” – says Boisa.
Vladimer Boisa puts etiquette on the bottles

Author: Lali Patsia

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