Pheasant’s Tears is owned by three individuals: John Wurdeman who deals with sales and wine tourism; Gela Patalashvili who makes the wine, and a small Swedish importer of wine who facilitates the UK import.
The vineyard is planted on limestone and chalk soils down the slopes of the eastern Georgian Kiziqi province overlooking the Alazani Valley and snow-capped Caucasus Mountains. This area has up to 14 hours a day of sunshine and evenings cooled by the breeze from the gorge, making for a unique microclimate. Gela grew up in a farming family and approached John in 2007 with a business proposition, aiming to bring authentic Georgian wines back to life. Gela’s desire is to preserve the traditional winemaking techniques, including organic viticulture and use of Qvevri. Qvevri, clay vessels lined with beeswax which are buried in the ground, were the first vessels ever to be used for wine fermentation, allowing the wines to ferment in the natural coolness of the earth. As is traditional for Georgian winemaking, the whole grape is used for the winemaking, and maceration varies on the qvevri and grape variety.