Archil used to try to make a wine using only the Otskhanuri Sapere. He discovered that the resulting wine was too strong, so he now blends the Otskhanuri Sapere with Tsolikouri, a white grape. Firstly, he presses the Tsolikouri and adds it to a qvevri. Then, in November, he harvests the Otskhanuri Sapere, presses the grapes and adds the juice and chacha to the qvevri.
According to Archil, even with the Tsolikouri fermented, it is not a problem to add the Otskhanuri Sapere. The maceration lasts for one month. To finish the wine, he continues to use the same winemaking process that he uses for the other qvevri wines. Even with the Tsolikouri making up the balance, this is a more structured wine with aromas and flavours of blackberry, cherry, dark berries.
Archil Guniava Wine Cellar and Vineyard are located in Zestaphoni, Kvaliti Village, at the family home, where generations of the family have lived. Vines are planted across 1.5 hectares of vineyards. This location provides excellent soil structure and a conducive climate for grapes.
The climate in this part of Imereti is subtropical, warm rather than hot, and quite humid in the summer. The soils are clay over limestone, this latter feature giving the wines their particular freshness and vitality. Organic farming methods are practiced. Grapes are harvested by hand, destemmed and crushed into the beeswax-lined qvevri. Fermentations are ambient and take around two weeks to complete. All wines undergo natural malolactic fermentation and are bottled without filtration, fining or sulphur added.
Guniava Otskhanuri Sapere Tsolikouri