Thursday, 1 August 2013

The daddy of all wines

“Georgia?” I asked the sommelier at the Grande Bretagnes, Athens, skeptically.
“Are you sure this is nice, why not something Greek?”
“Yes, give it a try. You will ask for more.”
With that, my friend and I had our first sip of Lagvinari’s Cabernet Sauvignon. Indeed, the red wine explode on out tongue with rich, fruity flavors, secondary to none, the colour is intense, the smell pure and for more we asked for. Not only that, we did received a briefing from the sommelier about the rich history of the nectar of the gods from Georgia.
This was confirmed yesterday by a dear colleague of mine who is a connoisseur himself. The taste is of it was so wonderful that he can’t resist a second and finally a third bottle, finishing almost half of my collections. His penchant for fine wine and other finer things in life made him can’t resist the temptation to call me this morning, asking where to search for them.
“Greece. London. Georgia. You can’t find them in Malaysia or Singapore. Access to this nectar is still restricted by low levels of production and limited overseas distributions.” I replied.
We know that the Greeks and Romans, both the mortals and their gods, enjoyed an amphora of wine or two. However, this is far from the start of the story, as, in a southern corner of the Caucasus, the Georgians have been making fine wines since at least the seventh millennium BC.
Georgia’s finest vines have always been grown on the mountain slopes as opposed to flat valley bottoms in other countries. Mineral rich springs and streams feed the vines. The Caucasian Mountains have moderate climate too with mild winter months and long warm summers. This gives the grapes plenty of time to ripen and become naturally sweet.
Unlike their French and New World counterparts, the Georgians winemakers are still maintaining the traditional way of winemaking. The grapes are still harvested by hand, the juice is extracted with wooden presses and the skins are fermented alongside the grape juice in s vast clay pot. The pot is then coated with lime, sealed with natural beeswax and buried beneath the ground. 
Take a sip and enjoy what is quite literally, the daddy of all wines.

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