The weird and wonderful wines from the Republic of Georgia

Amiran's Marani
Amiran Vepkhvadze’s Marani or Wine Cellar

Wine columnist Allison Alevine also attended the Republic of Georgia Wine seminar in Los Angeles last June. Georgia was a wine-producing country that she knew very little about and as such, she was excited by this opportunity to explore what might be the oldest wine-making region.

I knew tasting the wines of Georgia would be different. But as they came around and poured the wines, a wine novice would question what was in front of them. Instead of the bright lemon or golden colors of white wines, the white wines ranged from yellow and golden to pale peach and orange. The red wines, however, are more the typical shades of purple, ruby and garnet that we are familiar with. The wines are made in large vessels called qvevri, which means “below.” These are concrete tanks built underground. If you are a fan of “The Amazing Race,” you will understand what I am talking about as this past season the teams were required as one of their challenges to clean out grapes skins from the qvevri at a winery in Georgia.

Several of our wines were among her favorites:

Orgo Kisi, Kakheti 2013 (fermented in gvevri, skin contact) – A hazy peach color, this wine had aromas of dried peach and dried flowers, and on the palate notes of black tea and pear.

Gotsa Family Wines Chinuri, Kartli 2013 (fermented in gvevri, skin contact) – This high-acid wine has herbal and black tea notes and has grippy tannins on the palate.

Amiran Vepkhvadze Otskhanuri Sapere 2014 – This wine is an intense ruby color with dark berry and dried floral notes, has firm tannins and high acidity.

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