Saturday, September 1, 2012

An artist in stone and clay

Nika Bakhia commutes between Kvevris and sculptures 
He is a traveler between many worlds. He lives in Berlin, Tbilisi, and the small Kakhetian village Anaga near Kardenaki. He has created works of art in Berlin, Saarbrücken, Luxembourg and many other cities, he was a guest lecturer at art academies in Saarbruecken and Tbilisi. Now 40-year-old, he could easily live from his art, commuting between Berlin and Tbilisi.

But since 2006, he has one more food item: a small winery in Anaga. He has just bought it, along with six hectares, and has begun to grow vine. So far, he has planted Saperavi, Kratziteli, Mzvane, Chichvi, Cabernet and Syrah.

To find find Nika's estate is not easy. It is best to arrange to meet with him on the main road in Kardenaki. Winery: a small farmer's cottage, two floors, hidden somewhere among the bushes.  On the ground floor - a kitchen, and the basement. A dozen Kvevris he himself buried in the ground. Another technology was never even considered. With a little innovation: Nika's Kvevri are not sealed with clay  but with foil and a sheet of glass with a special foam.

In Germany, his wines are available in wine shops in Berlin, Bremen, Frankfurt and Saarbruecken and in some restaurants. In Tbilisi, he also marketed in two wine stores. The prices speak for themselves: between 25 and 28 euros in Germany, in Georgia it is 30 lari.

Speaking of nuts: even with nuts Nika deserves his money, but he would not be an artist if there was not something special that would have occurred about them. From traditional Tschurtschelas he simply made patent pending Kokoris (photo). Nuts are in thickened grape juice, however  not on strings but as pear-shaped individual pieces. A really smart idea, which corresponds to Nika's philosophy in art, as in the wine: "Wine making is a creative process for me like sculpture or painting."

© Hvino News (translation from German), source

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