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Zurab Topuridze

Zurab has been involved in vineyard farming and making natural wines from childhood when he used to help his granddad. He was 13 years old when he made his first natural wine on his own. His winery is in the village of Dablatsikhe (English translation “Lower Castle”), which is located in Chokhatauri municipality of Guria region. Guria region is located in the western part of Georgia, bordered by the Black Sea subtropical coastal lowlands to the west and the mountains in the east. The region is rich in cultural traditions and natural beauty, famous for its polyphonic music, humorous people, and used to be well known for its delicious rose-hued wines. When Zurab got married to Tamar to a native of Dablatsikhe, he bought small house in the village and sufficient land for viticulture, and started planting and reinstating the variety that his grandfather loved so much. This was Chkhaveri, a rare late-ripening variety, native to Guria region, making rosé-style wines. He makes natural wines in underground qvevris with a total capacity of around 13 tonnes (22 terracotta vessels in total). The vineyard itself is four hectares, planted on the terraced slopes of River Supsa valley, on the reddish-brown clay over lime with lots of magnesium and iron in the soil. The rosé is macerated for one month on skins and seeds and aged five months in qvevri. The Saperavi is from an organic vineyard in Kakheti on lime-rich soils. The wine undergoes two weeks of maceration (including the stems) and is fermented naturally with its own yeast before ageing in underground qvevri for seven months. The wines are very approachable and an easy entry point into the unusual world of Georgian wine.