Country Location: Georgia
The people Built in 2001, the Shumi Winery sits in the appellation of Tsinandali within Georgia’s largest wine region, Kakheti. The specialty of the appellation is a dry white wine of the same name. We visited Shumi on our first trip to Georgia and were immediately impressed. They are a mid-size operation and everyone from CEO and wine maker to the marketing and bottling teams is extremely down to earth, friendly, and competent.
Shumi greeted us with a special tasting of wines and one of the most delicious meals during the trip. We sat in a beautiful garden setting enjoying kebabs grilled over grapevines, the freshest salads you can imagine, exquisite traditional vegetable stews, and heavenly bread, straight from the oven.
The word Shumi means genuine, undiluted wine. The logo of the winery is a griffin (“Phaskunji” in Georgian mythology). Legend has it that the griffin brought the very first bunch of grapes to the people and it was from these grapes that people started growing vines on earth.
In the vineyards. Shumi grows grapes in and around Tsinandali on the right bank of the Alazani river where the winery is located. The mixed soils are composed of alluvial, loam and brown forest soil. Wine is made only from their own fruit grown in unique micro-zones, famous for their geographical locations, climate, and wine-making history. They are located in Khvanchkara and Martvili in West Georgia; Tsinandali, Akhmeta, Gurjaani, Akhasheni, Kindzmarauli, Napareuli, Kvareli, Mukuzani and Ikalto in East Georgia.
The wines are straight forward varietal expressions of native varietals. Distinctive, but accessible. A vine museum of 294 unique and 93 foreign varieties are co-planted and studied to preserve Georgia’s rich genetic pool. From this vineyard Zigu a semi sweet wine fortified with Chacha (grappa) distilled by Shumi. There is possibly no wine on Earth with more varieties of grapes in it!