Thursday, July 26, 2018

Rare Megrelian vine varieties restored

26.07.2018. Rare Megrelian vine varieties Chvitiluri and Koloshi have been restored, Misha Tsirdava, founder of Obene family wine cellar, told BM.ge. Several other Megrelian vine varieties will be also restored, namely, Kachichi, Chechipeshi, Cheqobalio and Makhvatina, he added.

For the purposing of finding the mentioned vines, Tsirdava visited all corners of Samegrelo Region and managed to restore two vine varieties Chvitiluri and Koloshi for two years. He planted these varieties on the wine cellar territory of about 1 hectare. At the same time, he has also made wine from the mentioned varieties in small volumes and international experts highly approved the mentioned wines.

“I have read a lot of books about ancient vine varieties. When Georgian researchers wrote about Megrelian winemaking, they stressed two varieties, Chvitiluri and Koloshi, which were spread in while Samegrelo , but especially high-quality grapes used to grow in Mukhuri, Jgali, Salkhino, Tsalenjikha. Chvitiluri is a white grape varsity, Koloshi – red grape variety. Both varieties give top-quality dry wines.

At the end of the 19th century these varieties extincted because of phylloxera, and in Soviet period, when accent was made on high-productive varieties, not on quality, these varieties were annihilated finally and only survived in research land plots”, Tsirdava said.

After identify of the searched varieties were proved scientifically, Misha Tsirdava made two wine varieties – dry amber-colored Chvitiluri and red dry Koloshi. He united these wines under the brand of Obene and this is a Megrelian word and signifies a wine cellar. Misha Tsirdava also used Megrelian winemaking technology.

“We launched winemaking in 2017. We use Megrelian winemaking technology and this technology differs from Kakhetian and Imeretian methods. The grape is pressed in satsnakheli and then wine is fermented on full chacha for 7 days in qvevri and after this wine and chacha are separated and wine is taken to another qvevri.

We received amber-colored wine from Chvitiluri, which is a separate category, and we made red wine from Koloshi. I have collected this grape from farmers, where I searched out these varieties and bottled only 50 bottles. In the future, we plan to increase the production. This is a premium class wine, which will cost very expensive, at least 100 USD per bottle”, Misha Tsirdava said.

The mentioned wines have been already explored by foreign wine experts and their appraisals exceeded our expectations, Tsirdava said.

“French wine experts arrived in Georgia, who participate in restoration of extincted vine varieties worldwide. They arrived in Mukhuri and tasted my wines. They visited 70 countries and selected 5 countries, including Georgia. And these two wines were selected from Georgia and were introduced to wine international symposium in Spain. Chvitiluri and Koloshi deserved much approval. The wines were approved by distinguished American wine expert Liza Granik and she also published post on her own Facebook page about my wines. In the future we plan to sell Chvitiluri and Koloshi in Europe and America”, Misha Tsirdava said.

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