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. They overlook the Alazani Valley and snow-capped Caucasus Mountains. This area has up to 14 hours a day of sunshine. The evenings are 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. She wanted to bring authentic Georgian wines back to life. Gela’s desire is to preserve the traditional winemaking techniques. These include organic viticulture and the 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. They allow the wines to ferment in the natural coolness of the earth. At Pheasant’s Tears, the whole grape is used for the winemaking for reds and whites (Orange) according to tradition. The length of maceration varies on the qvevri and grape variety.
John Wurdeman says of the winery…
‘Pheasant’s Tears was born out of a love of authentic tradition, and culture and endless creativity. It is more than a winery, it’s about songs, cuisine, art, heritage, tangible and intangible. For wine is born out of a confluence of the spirit of a place, its geology, its history, and the emotions of the vintner himself. In the end, a dialogue between nature and man, a fine tension between respect for the past and creating a new experience for tomorrow. Traditions here are seen as the nourishing soul for improvisation and respectful evolution.’
The Pheasant’s Tears wines are expressive and full of character. With the rising interest in Georgian wines and also the prices, Pheasant’s tears still offer outstanding value for money.