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|Vineyard/Cellar Practices||Organically Grown, Low-Intervention/Natural Wine, Vegan|
With both his mtsvane-rkatsiteli blend and his saperavi, Gia Togonidze contributes a sense of refinement, precision, and beauty to the Georgian wine conversation. As a professional artist, Gia focuses not on creating wines of brute textural and aromatic force through extended skin-macerations and long-term aging in qvevri (subterranean clay amphora). Instead he applies a clear aesthetic vision for how these native Georgian grapes can fully express terroir with precise and minimally invasive vinification.
Gia’s vineyards are adjacent to the Satlianiskhevi River, just outside the city of Telavi in the region of Kakheti. He follows traditional family practices of non-irrigated, chemical free viticulture. Kakheti’s “cinnamonic” soils are comprised of reddish, sandy, calcareous clays. The hue is a function of high iron content which also imparts a depth of flavor and rustic, earthy notes to the wines of this region.
When tasting Gia’s interpretation of “amber” wine, there appeared to be some wonderful references to spatlese mosel riesling - ripe peach and yellow apple and tropical fruit - with the typical spice and dried apricot notes often achieved through skin-maceration and qvevri aging. Tannin and acidity are balanced, not brutish or overpowered. Gia is not chasing a trend of extreme flavors and textures far too common among skin-contact wines, but choosing the path of extremely pleasurable and cohesive wine. Organically grown, low-intervention/natural wine, vegan.