Giorgi Natenadze: “I have spent much of the past decade traipsing through mountain forests in search of ancient grapevines growing the way nature intended — up to trees. I have found some vines that are more than 100 years old and one that I reckon is more than 400 years old” says Giorgi Natenadze.
While searching local vine varieties, Giorgi has uncovered 40 rare grape varieties in the forests in the south of the country, near the border with Turkey. He identified 24 of them so far. In 2009, Giorgi restored the tradition of winemaking in Meskheti region, where centuries ago the Ottomans destroyed valuable local grape species. From this period Giorgi poured the first Meskhetian wine, which is made in a Qvevri using traditional Georgian methods of winemaking, and as he considers, it was the first wine making also for the Meskheti (Samtskhe-Javakheti) region.
Today Natenadze’s Wine Cellar produces 14 types of red and white wines and the citizens of 11 countries of the world have the opportunity to enjoy unique Georgian wine. Giorgi’s wines are very harmonic and tasty with low alcohol and well-balanced acidity. Each year he makes a different wine from these ancient varieties. Giorgi uses organic processes, dry-farming all grapes manually with no irrigation used, most of the grapes are growing on fruit trees like wild vines. Natenadze combines the curiosity to rediscover forgotten knowledge, the passion to revive lost traditions and the ability to bring all this to new, younger target groups in a modern, contemporary way. The labels of his wines are designed in street-art-style and speak a fresh and unconventional language.
Apart from winemaking, Giorgi developed a gastronomic facility in the historic “Rabati” district, where authentic Meskhetian dishes and wine take a leading place. He is a member of the Georgian Gastronomic Association and takes the opportunity to participate in the world’s largest gastronomic exhibitions and competitions.