Genuine wine cellar in Kardenakhi scrubs!
It is noteworthy that nowadays operating “Naghdi Marani” company and its forerunner, two-century-old wine cellar, have, so to say, a similar, interesting background.
As you may know, the demand for ‘Kardenakhis Tsarapebi’, being an elite product made from indigenous endemic grape varieties, has been relevant since the emergence of grape and wine culture in Georgia, in general.
To make the long story short, let me tell you in a few words about the foundation of a predecessor of the present-day revived wine cellar, based on the stories that, though few, but are still preserved in the locals’ memories.
It all started back in the late 18th century, in the period when Tbilisi ‘Sirajis’, nowadays commonly referred to as wine merchants, were transporting wine from Kardenakhi to our capital by ox-driven wagons.
Those people were zealously assisted by an orphan boy, a native of Kardenakhi village. Due to his diligence, he was taken by the wine merchants to Tbilisi, where he served them, dealing with wine-related matters. I’m just saying ‘he was taken’, though I am convinced that the orphan boy gladly accompanied them even without any remuneration, just for a piece of bread.
People were probably different back then, and the labor was valued differently, since decades later, as that guy shaped into a well-versed man and an expert in his field, the wine merchants fully paid off the remuneration accumulated over the years, handing him a pouch full of gold and letting him go on his way and launch his own business.
Without thinking twice, the man opted for the business activity that he’d mastered over the years. He bought the vineyards in that God-blessed Kardenakhi and reportedly built a ‘marani’ (wine cellar) adjacent to those vineyards in 1801. As far as I know, the owner passed away childless, though the wine cellar operated for quite long thereafter.
Time has changed much and our country has gone through many hardships since then. The old cellar was considerably affected during the communist rule. In that period the government gave little consideration to the quality of unique wine from that particular micro-zone. The primary focus was made on commitments plan and increase of wine production volumes. Therefore, the ancient, small and medium-size wine cellars were replaced with the oil base-like mega-plants with enormous, iron-clad wine reservoirs.
First serving as a kindergarten and later being turned into a collective farm storage facility, the wine cellar was finally completely destroyed and abandoned.
It was probably the call of the Georgian gene that brought this area into focus again. In the early 2000s, Akaki Kharashvili and Temur Gilauri, the founding fathers of our company and the true sons of this region, started thinking of and taking actions for reviving and restoring the Georgian winemaking traditions, examining each and every inch of the newly bought land. It was exactly the area, where the wine cellar was supposed to be located, where a worker accompanying them accidentally tripped over an ancient qvevri (clay vessel), overgrown with blackberry bushes.
As the saying goes, everything happens for a reason! Perhaps this wine cellar was destined to leave its legacy rather than vanish traceless. That day marked the beginning of revival of once-thriving wine cellar that operated on this ancient Kakhetian land over two centuries ago.
Right from the start the matter was treated with particular care and cautiousness. The unique ‘qvevri’-s (clay vessels) were subjected to scrupulous examination and restoration in order to maintain their full identity. The experienced architects did the initial architecture modeling, restoring it using specially selected materials.
Now let’s get back to the question -
“Why ‘Naghdi Marani’?”
That’s probably because the wine cellar itself is located in the eastern part of our country, namely in a unique micro-zone of Kardenakhi village, commonly known as ‘Tsarapebi’.
It’s no secret and even a person unfamiliar with viticulture and winemaking can find it in any guidebook, that this particular micro-zone of Kakheti region is renowned for such famous Georgian grapevine varieties as: Rkatsiteli, Saperavi, Khkhvi, Mtsvane and, most importantly, those varieties, cultivated exactly in Kardenakhi scrubs (Tsarapebi), produce the best crops throughout the entire Kakheti.
Therefore, it could be stated without flaunting and self-praising that in this case the matter concerns the situation when the name of the wine cellar, both in terms of content and quality, is in full correlation with the wines possessing the unique tasting qualities, that matured deep in its bowels.
A major hallmark product of the “Naghdi Marani” company is the “Tsarapi Qvevri” - a dry, white wine made from Rkatsiteli grape variety, aged in qvevri using a traditional winemaking technique, the assortment of which is presented by years of aging.
No less popular is the “Saperavi Qvevri” - a dry, red wine made from Saperavi grape variety cultivated in this very micro-zone, aged in qvevri using a traditional winemaking technique.
The company takes due account for the market demands and therefore its portfolio also includes some semi-dry and semi-sweet wine brands, such as: "Daisi", "Lileo", "Pirosmani", "Rosé" etc.
The wine cellar is located at the crossroad of various tourist destinations of Kakheti region, which, coupled with its unique preserved architecture, turns it into an attractive tourist locality.
In view of the aforesaid, the company has been carrying out its activity with due account for such principles, as: high quality and full preservation of ethnic and traditional components.
Indeed, it’s due to that very vision that our old ‘marani’ has become Gurjaani’s landmark wine cellar within such a short period of time, compared to some other major manufacturers.
Our company is mostly focused on cultivating elite product, building its future plans accordingly.
The unique grapevine varieties are being cultivated in the available micro-zone.
Tourist infrastructure is being developed and expanded.
An assortment of the jubilee, limited output products is being increased.
Geography of the exported produce is being expanded etc.
Particular attention is paid to bio-enrichment components and environmental factors.