Pleasant Evening and Impressions from Brand Wine – New Wine Shop Opened in Tbilisi
About three months ago, a new wine shop Brand Wine was opened in Mtskheta street, Tbilisi. Rumours about this shop have been going around the city for quite some time, and for exactly that long I was planning to visit this place. I decided against going by car – driving to a wine cellar is nothing short of a crime. I hailed a taxi… When we passed by the Round Garden, I started looking around not to miss my destination.
And there it was! A large and beautiful plate appeared between houses 48 and 50 in Mtskheta street. A red vine was illuminating the twilight street, while an arrow told me to go in. I got out of the taxi and started moving forward slowly. You will agree that the first impression is the most important one. It seemed the shop owner had thought about it too and placed wooden barrel-shaped chairs and tables outside. People stood in front of the shop. Through the glass façade, I could see that there were many visitors in the shop. “Guess I came at a right time”, I thought and crossed the threshold.
As I understood from the first glance, there was a wine sampling in place. I was right. As soon as the host noticed me, he offered me a glass, then took a bottle and poured me some wine. The wine had a pleasant flavor and odour, I took a sip and looked around the shop.
Everything spoke of good taste. It was obvious that the creator had considered each detail. Walls were hand-painted. In the middle of the shop, there was a handmade wooden table with small ornaments, with several open bottles of different types of wine on it. A refreshment plate was right there too, with dried fruits and churchkhela.
I was lucky, the day I visited the shop, it was hosting a sampling and a presentation of a famous winemaker Kakha Chotiashvili. Kakha talked to the guests about all types of wine he produced. He highlighted the technologies, even disclosed some small secrets to the audience and openly answered questions.
As I learned later from the host Giorgi Chkhaidze, he sold Kakha Chotiashvili’s wine exclusively, it was almost impossible to find this wine anywhere else.
After the presentation I asked Kakha several questions. It turned out that he produced wine from 12 types of grapes. Besides, he nurtures old and forgotten grape sorts and has future plans regarding them.
Kakha Chotiashvili has a family business. Together with his family members, he produces wine with traditional Georgian methods, which alongside many other details includes use of “kvevri” – large clay jugs. During the presentation, Kakha said that he does everything with his own hands, including washing the kvevri, which makes the quality of his product even higher.
As Kakha mentioned during the conversation, meeting customers like this is very important for him, as interested parties should learn information about his wine and he must answer questions as well.
“You can’t buy our wine everywhere, not in supermarkets, only in specialized shops and restaurants. It is important for us to know who buys our wine, we need to know them personally. They need to know our winemaking technologies and its merits. A good history suits wine, makes it more interesting. Such meetings with the audience are, correspondingly, important, as they get a chance to personally learn information about our wine”, stated Kakha Chotiashvili.
After the presentation, host Giorgi Chkhaidze showed me around the wine cellar, shared many interesting facts and made my visit even more interesting.
It turned out that there are 350 types of Georgian wine presented in the shop, from all over Georgia.
During the conversation, Giorgi mentioned that tourists are greatly interested in Georgian wine, pay often visits to his place, get to know Georgian wine and take it back home too.
Winemaking has 8000 years of history in Georgia. This history needs care and protection. Shops such as this one, that provide not only wine but also information service, are very important for the promotion of our culture among even more people.
Giorgi Chkhaidze is one of those who tries to highlight this important part of our culture and show it to as many people as possible. His shop is an example of his efforts (and it worked well!), every detail here shows care and respect towards winemaking.
At the end of a pleasant evening, Giorgi gave me his own wine and an informational book with a CD and made me promise that I’d visit him again. However, even without this promise, I’ll come to visit this pleasant environment with my friends, I find it nothing short of a crime not to share this place with others. And I advise you do the same.