Interview with Gia and Gela Gamtkitsulashvilis, founders of Twins Wine House company
– When and how did you start the business and how would you appraise those years for your business?
We were born in the village of Napareuli, the Telavi District. Having graduated from a secondary school we continued our studies at Georgian Polytechnic University and graduated it in 2005 by a profession of an engineer-builder. We joined private business activities in 1990, not in winemaking business. Our family had always made the best pitcher wine. Therefore, in 2000 we started our own winemaking business.
In 2002, we entered the winegrowing-winemaking institute. In 2005, we managed to make pitcher Kakhetian wine of Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane grapes from our own vineyard (Napareuli Micro zone). We bottled the mentioned wine in 5000 glass bottles and distributed it in the domestic trade network. Our product became very popular in a short period. In the recent history of Georgia, we were the first to bottle pitcher wine in bottles.
Then we started purchasing pitchers in intense regime and expanding our cellar. At this stage, we own 127 pitchers of various sizes, including 90% are 3-4 ton pitchers made in the village of Vardisubani in 1979-1982. The total volume of these pitchers constitute 450-500 tons.
Besides contemporary winemaking, in order to make high-quality pitcher wine, we explored the many century history of making pitchers, its supervision methods in various regions of Georgia, as well as traditions and instructions for making pitcher wine of various grapes species.
– What processes and difficulties are related to making pitcher wine and which methodology do you follow to make it?
Pitcher wine does not imply to just press gpraes into a pitcher. This is a very tedious and long job. The process starts by a purchase of a valuable pitcher, its treatment (waxing, liming, washing by due pitcher and winemaking instruments and so on). Then grapes varieties should be selected (origins, species and so on), their analysis, pressure, valuable fermentation, sealing the pitcher and many other factors.
We follow our own family tradition to make pitcher wines (both white and red wines), based on the recipe of our ancestors. This knowledge teaches special instructions on how to care for a pitcher (washing, keeping an empty pitcher and so on) and how to make wine (duration of fermentation in a pitcher, sealing a pitcher, duration of keeping husks of grapes for various wine varieties and so on).
Our father has taught us: “To make a good pitcher wine, you should stay a long time in a pitcher from the very childhood and you have swallowed one pitcher washed water throughout the life”.
We have built a pitcher and pitcher wine museum. In one of the halls three 500-liter pitchers are exposed. They are equally cut. We have been supervising and exploring the wine fermentation process in a pitcher.
All our wines are for church, for divine liturgy, pure wine, because no additional substances are added and our wines pass only natural filtration on husks of grapes. We supply our wines to the retail sector in this form.
It should be noted the winemaking does not exist in abstract dimension. Winegrowing and winemaking are interconnected. Therefore,
The next year we will build vine and vineyard museum nearby the pitch and pitcher wine museum.
We will expose Georgian grape varieties there, show how to select soil, vine roots, bud, inoculation, plant a grape, how to grow up it to full vintage and many other things.
– Do you export wines to foreign markets or supply them to the domestic market too?
– We make wines for both exports and domestic markets. We grow exports volume every year, as well as the number of exports markets. Today, we exportwines to China, Japan, Russia, Britain, Germany, Lithuania, the USA. Last period our wine called as Pitcher Sun has become particularly popular and the most selling one.
– What are your plans in 2016? Do you plan any innovations in the company and in general, what will you make focus on?
In 2016, we will introduce new wine varieties to the market with new labels, namely Qisi, Khikhvi, Kakhuri Mtsvane, Cabernet, Alazani Valley White, Alazani Valley Red. We are conducting export negotiations with Poland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Latvia. We also plan to increase the volume of supply of various wines to China and the USA.
– Has the currency problems affected the winemaking in Georgia?
– The currency problems have not affected our company immediately. It should be noted last period the Authorities have provided much job (The Agriculture Ministry, National Wine Agency, the Wine Association) for popularizing the Georgian wines. In 2013, the UNESCO recognized technological process of making wines in a pitcher and added it to intangible cultural heritage list.
We believe the Georgian Authorities should further popularize pitcher wines. To this end, the quantity and volume of pitchers should be determined.
Pitcher wines making methods should be strictly regulated, as well as its color, organoleptic characteristics and other parameters so as the pitcher wine occupy leading positions on the global winemaking map.