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  • Writer's pictureNick Keppel-Palmer

Artisan wine

This is the first of a handful of small batch artisan wines.

It's a project with masses of potential. Georgia is a nation of winemakers and would be winemakers. Many thousands make wine as a hobby in the villages and mountains that are a long, long way from any kind of market.

Commercialising this passion and making it possible for the makers to earn a living is the point of this project - and in the process a few lucky wine drinkers get to taste some extremely rare wines.

Very rare handmade wine - with a Premier Inn breakfast in the background. We are classy.

This wine was bottled in the village with a small bottling unit and then brought to market by Teliani Valley as part of an artisan series. There are 7 winemakers featured so far.

Asuretuli Shala 2018 - made by Levan Bandzeladze in Bolnisi

The rare dark pomegranate red Asuretuli Shala grape was discovered growing wild in the woods around Asureti by German settlers in the early 19th Century. It only comes from around this small village in southern Georgia. The wine - Asuretuli Shala - is small volume and rare (this bottle is one of 750).

Levan Bandzeladze is a 37 year old auditor who has been making wine as a hobby in nearby Bolnisi since he was 18. Through this program his wines can reach a market of wine enthusiasts who until now would never have had the chance to taste this wine - and provide Levan with the chance to turn his passion into a profession.

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