• Henry Mchedlishvili

Georgian Wine UK, Why Is It So Special? Where To Start!

How old is Georgian wine?

Let’s start from the beginning and go back 8000 years ago.

Our favourite fermented juice is native to the area we now know as Georgia. The grapevine Vitis vinifera evolved between the Black and the Caspian Seas. Even today, 450 native grapes call Georgia home, most unknown, even by the snobbiest wine connoisseurs.

What is the Georgian method? and What is the name of the huge jug found in Georgia that was stored underground to ferment grapes?

The grapes, though, are just part of the equation, winemaking traditions matter, too. Healthy and well-made wine must be fermented and aged under a controlled environment, so Georgian people developed the distinctive Qvevri (ku-é-vri) — pointy clay amphorae buried that is buried in the ground to ferment the wine in a nice, cool environment.

How do you pronounce Qvevri?

Qvevri (ku-é-vri) - pronounced “kway-vree”

Georgian winemaker extraordinaire Henry Mchedlishvili explains, “People didn’t have refrigerators, so they buried these amphoras to ferment wine in stable conditions”, and they still do today. Winemakers worldwide have found in this traditional method a natural and sustainable way of fermenting their own wine. “Many countries have imported qvevri amphoras from Georgia: Italy, Slovenia, Spain and even France — I’m even making qvevri wine in England,” says Mr Mchedlishvili.

What makes Georgian wine unique? For Henry, “In the same way you can cook an egg in a thousand different ways, every bottle of wine is different… In Georgia, we make wine in a natural way.”

What do they drink in Georgia?

Natural winemaking really gets Mr Mchedlishvili going. “I don’t discriminate any country’s wine, but I discriminate their method — homemade wine is choosing a good grape, crush it, letting it ferment, and leaving it for six or seven months developing… wine needs to evolve at least one year to become real wine.”

In contrast, “Industrial wine uses sulphites to kill ‘bad bacteria', but they kill the good bacteria as well. Then they add yeast which taints the wine with anything from banana to cherry flavours”, Henry continues, “Industrial producers then fine and filter the wine; for me, that’s dead wine; the wine is tired.”

The distinct processes shape the wine’s organoleptic properties.

For industrial wine, every single vintage tastes more or less the same…

Is Georgia the birthplace of wine?

when wine is made naturally; the wine tastes different every year, you can’t control it; you just can’t fake it,” share’s Henry Mchedlishvili.

Wine in Georgia is bottled unfined and unfiltered; you’ll find sediment in the bottom; the wine continues to evolve, meaning it tastes different throughout its life.

Although some people don’t like sediment in their wine, this is not a wine flaw and it's absolutely safe to drink. Wine enthusiasts, though, are getting used to the idea that sediments in wine keep it alive.

Defining natural wine is complicated. Henry explains, “Although getting certificates for natural, organic or bio wine is a complicated process, nothing stops you from making your wine in a natural way and enjoying it without added flavours.”

Is Georgia famous for wine?

If you want to experience Henrys naturally made wine, enjoy a bottle of UK-grown, home-made Trebbiano, fermented and aged in a traditional qvevri. Honey and intense white fruit aromas brim off the glass. Although it’s delicious on its own, you can pair it beautifully with seafood and light dishes like salads, and you can also enjoy it with a plate of

Khachapuri— cheese cooked inside a boat-shaped bread; that’s what Henry does, anyway, and he knows what he’s talking about.

Henrys Wines - Georgian Wine UK online has a great selection of handpicked Georgian wines. Henry is dedicated to providing wines that a Georgian would be proud to drink. Now available in the United Kingdom for everyone to enjoy some real authentic wines. Wines of all types including Saperavi, Kindzmauruli, Ojaleshi, Akhasheni, Chacha spirits and more...

Let us know below what your favourite Georgian wine is. If you have not tried before and want to know more about Georgian wines then let us know in the comment box below.

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