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12/03/2019 - History of Shalva Gvaramadze Wine Cellar

The wine tradition in Georgia dates back to thousands of years. And the unique grape breeds which are widely spread in Georgia are stored in the Worldwide Winery museums. Unique and different from other companies with  grape varities and wine making technologies "Shalva Gvaramadze Wine Cellar" company achieved the most prestigious awards on worlwide Wine events and presented special Georgian wine to the world.

On the "Sakura Japan Women's Wine Awards 2019" festival which was held in Japan ,"Shalva Gvaramadze Wine Cellar"s wine "Saperavi" 2017 was awarded with double golden medal. "Shalva Gvaramadze Wine Cellar"s "Warapi" 2017 was also awarded with golden medal. "Saperavi" 2017 was also awarded with golden medal on China Wine and Spirits Awards (CWSA) festival which is the most prestige wine and spirit contest in China. We had an interview with Shalva gvaramadze, the founder of successfull Georgian wine company:

"We are from Meskheti, our homeland is Atskuri. My grandfather was a good winemaker, he had pitchers and was good at looking after of vineyards. That is why i got used to work on vineyards from childhood,  i learned how to take care of vineyard, how to wash pitcher and all other little details which my grandfather knew. Despite the fact, that after some time we moved live in the city, we managed to maintaine connection with our village, we had Khikvi grape breed in village but it was cut down by Communist regime, they said that vine was less feracious and hard to look after. That is how whole Meskheti was left without vineyards and only some families where able to protect it.

From the early 90's, when i was already working at the Academy of Science, we had the opportunity to purchase our own vineyards, gradually i started to search for places where the best vineyard could be cultivated. I looked for it in Kartli, Imereti but in the end, I chose Kakheti. Specifically village Kardenakhi.
 
In Kardenakhi, due to it's location, the vineyard is optimally loaded with glucose and wine acid. For example, in the north of Alazani, grape acidity is high and in south part sugar in grapes are high, because of that, these wines are mostly used for port wines. It is also important that the village of Kardenakhi has the smallest statistics of hail. Hail is a big enemy for winer, and as close agricultural lands of vineyards are close to the Caucasus, the higher is the risk of hail, becayse of that it is mostly common in Telavi, Akhmeta region and Kvareli, even though they have best grapes.
 
After finding the place, I gradually began to search for grapes. Temur Beridze helped me with this. By 2004-2005, when we accumulated enough harvest, turned out that no one needed grapes. Because of necessity we founded our wine factory. We bought abandoned land in Kardenakhi, gradually started to build the factory, alongside with this, we started to search for unique Georgian grape breeds, to make our production more diverse and interesting.
 
I started to search for Khihkvi breed, because i remembered that my grandfather was looking after it. We searched for it door to door, but unfortunatelly we were not able to find it nor in Kardenakhi nor in Gurjaani. After that, one of the professors suggested us to visit Italian Worlwide Library Of Grape Breeds where they also had unique Georgian grape breeds. We managed to bring with us enough saplings to cultivate them on one hectare. Saplings of Khikvi blossomed amazingly. After that, we planted Khisi and Green grape breeds.
 
Factory started to function from 2008, to be honest it was more of a hobby at first, but then, my son and daughter-in-law got interested with it and we desided to  activily participate in this business. 
 
In the factory we have 260 pitchers, which I found by myself.
In 2005-2006, nobody was interested in the pitchers, I was walking from door to door in the abandoned factories, i was carring out them from the ground and taking to my place. This 260 pitchers, gives 400-500 tons of pitcher wine. My commersial intent was not high. I was more focused on production high quality wine. 80% of wine consumers, including Georgians, unfortunately, can not understand the quality of wine.
 
My goal was to make such wine, that would interest higher classes. That's why i payd a lot of attention to choosing lands for vineyards. Most of our vineyards are laid out in Gurjaani Region, village Kardenakhi, on the right bank of the Alazani river, 390 meters above the sea level. Some of our vineyards are laid out in historical micro-zone of "Kindzmarauli" village Eniseli. Also in micro-zones of "Tsarapi", "Akhoebi" and "Motskobili". First presentation of our pitcher wine was made in Switzerland and deserved big approval. And that's how, gradually "Shalva Gvaramadze Wine Cellar" was born, with it's "Saperavi", "Khikvi", "Khisi", "Tsarapi" and "Green".
 
Before vintage, we scrupulously pick and select grapes, the wine is made in pitcher with traditional Kakhetian technology. Despite the fact that pitcher wine is made with traditional peasant technology, wine in factory is controled in laboratory, and the results showed themselves. We do not want to participate in many contests, because high demand on our wine speaks for its high quality.
 
We have recieved several prestigious prizes. I would like to point out "Saperavi", which won several prizes not only in Georgia, but also in different countries around the world. On the "Sakura festival" in Japan, our pitcher made "Saperavi" won double golden medals for it's texture and aroma.  At Honkgonk festival, our "Tsarapi" won golden medal, also on "Aplod Export" festival in Russia, we have received two golden medals.
 
First Award
 
I learned that in Kardenakhi domestic wine named "Kardenakhi" was being made. They also there called "Liqueur wines" sometimes. I considered that it was my duty to restore it's production. With the help of Ms. Nana Tsiklauri, we where able to restore exact technology and made "Kardenakhi" wine. Our distributor took this wine to USA and despite the fact that we have been just starting out on US market, prestigious well known magazine : "American Wine & Spirits" - granted 92 score from 100 to our wine in contest of fortified and sweet wines, which is a very high assessment. This event was also published in the same magazine, and it was our first big success, because we got praise from US market.
 
Now then many wine factories have opened, some of them started to use stainless steel in process of winemaking and most of them started to make wine with French or Italian technologies. I remembered words of famous Georgian writer Ilia Chavchavadze which states to maintain our identities and following his words, i chose to make wine with traditional Kakhetian technologies. It is also important to mention that making pitcher wine also includes adapting new technologies.
When the pitcher wine is made by peasant technology and traditions it is different and will not be useful because high-level customers have high requirements.
 
Because of high quality, prime cost of our wines are high, all equipement which is used while wine making are brought from Europe. To enter the European market, the company faces serious and at the same time an objective barrier, which is not easy to overcome.It is also noteworthy to say that our wine has a very high level of consumers in Georgia and in my opinion, together with the foreign market, it is also necessary to use the Georgian market. Our wine is being distributed in both the US and other countries of Europe and Asia, we think that it is also very important that Government should promote companies to occupy more foreign markets, and the most important condition for that is solving logistics issues. The winemaker faces many problems when he wants to take the wine abroad.
 
Our goal is to provide Georgia and the world market with high class wine, which is made by "Shalva Gvaramadze Wine Cellar". From March 10th our wine will go to Japan, with the slogan "Georgia, the cradle of wine". Exhibiton shop of Georgian Wine in Japan will start. I hope that our wine will achieve more succes.
ABOUT GEORGIA
GVARAMADZE PATENT BUREAU
56, Sulkhan Tsintsadze str., apt. 36,
Tbilisi 0160, Georgia

      (+995 32) 2 36 72 33
      (+995 32) 2 36 72 28

      info@gvaramadze.com