“I had my first glimpses of the flavors and colors. I felt an affinity with it all. Why? In part because I so often feel too emotional to live in the real world, but in Georgia everyone seemed like a mythical human who felt first and thought later. I felt at home.”
Qvevri Wine Tours got its inspiration when several wine-loving friends joined together to make quality wine by traditional methods. They were dissatisfied with the cheap Soviet wines they had been consuming, and delighted by the rare bottles they occasionally gleaned from the few remote villages that kept to the wine of their forefathers. They loved gathering round a table on a crisp evening to drink toasts to love and friendship – but too seldom did the wine match their passion. Thus was born the Our Wine winery, a joint venture by lifelong friends. Located in Kakheti, it was lovingly tended by Soliko Tsaishvili, a professor of linguistics who left academia to combine his passion for wine with his attention to detail, and who had been making wine on a small scale for decades. Soliko was one of the few winemakers that pioneered the Georgian natural qvevri wine renaissance.
Tragically, Soliko passed away in 2018 after a long battle with cancer, but his wife and friends maintain his commitment to excellence in producing Our Wine. It is a labor-intensive effort to oversee all aspects of bio-dynamic vine-growing and wine-making, but the end result of this labor of love is worth it.
One childhood friend could only look from afar at this noble endeavor. Konstantine Akhvlediani undertook graduate studies in America as a young man, staying to marry and raise a family. But combining a Georgian’s love of wine with a geologists grasp of the terroir which enables great wine, he wanted to share his joy in visiting his friends vineyards. Although, living in America for the past quarter-century, he retains his pride in his Georgian heritage, and wishes to share the treasures of Georgia with the world. And thus Qvevri Wine Tours came to fruition. Konstantine takes personal pride in the opportunity we have, to introduce you to Georgia’s private, traditional wineries.
The quintessential Georgian literature is Shota Rustaveli’s medieval tale The Knight in the Panther Skin. It is a tale of friends who go on a quest for love, where the efforts and risks are exceeded only by the rewards. In its own small way, the story of Our Wine and Qvevri Wine Tours is similarly one of friendship, passion, vision, and hospitality. The labor and the (literal) fruit of that labor enjoyed together.