Five Georgian wines to help you ring in 2017

  • Find the best natural wine for your New Year's Eve table. Photo by N. Alavidze/

By Mariam Papidze

Economic Editor, 30 Dec 2016, Tbilisi,Georgia

How will you ring in 2017? Quietly at home, staying awake to welcome the new year? Or at a party enjoying the last moments of 2016?

In either case, a good glass of wine will provide for a festive mood: especially if that wine comes from Georgia, a country known for its 8,000 + grape varieties and high - quality, amber wines.

Widely recognised as the birthplace and ‘cradle of wine’, Georgia sports an enormous selection of wines, but these wines listed below made by these five Georgian, female entrepreneurs are especially worth a try. Spread out a side of some of these foods as well for a delightful combination:

1. Keto Ninidze’s Ojaleshi: kale and tangerine salade

Keto Ninidze has been producing wine from Ojaleshi grape variety together with her husband. Ojaleshi is a unique grape variety, widely spread in western Georgia. Photo by N. Alavidze/

Keto Ninidze makes wine in her small, family cellar. She uses a number of rare grape varieties and different fermentation methods and styles. In 2015, she made a white dry wine from Ojaleshi grapes sourced in Samegrelo, while in 2016, she made a rosé from Orbeliani Ojaleshi.

2. Ketevan Berishlivili's Rkatsiteli: rice with lentils, baked egg

These are some of Georgian wines produced by the young women. Photo by N. Alavidze/

Keteven Berishvili produces ‘Gogo Wine’ (Geo. gogo, Eng. girl). She started making wine independently in 2015. Her vineyards and cellars are located in the village of Artana of Georgia’s wine region, Kakheti. The Berishvili family has been making natural and traditional wines for decades.

Ketevan Berishvili is producing 'Gogo Wine', which is fermented and aged in qvevri. Photo by N. Alavidze/

Gogo Wine is fermented and aged in qvevri: a traditional, Georgian, clay winemaking vessel which has been in use on the territory of Georgia since the 6th millenium B.C.E..

The blend combines both rkatsiteli and saperavi grape varieties.

3. Mariam Kurtanidze’s Mtsvane (Geo: green): baked potatoes and carrots with whey solids and curds

Women making natural wine in Georgia showcased their delicious wines at the special event held at Poliphonia  - Tbilisi's newest natural wine restaurant. Photo by N. Alavidze/

Marina Kutanedze produces a brand of wine by the name of ‘Mandili’. Since 2012, she has been making wine from the Kakhetian mtsvane grape variety, and sources her grapes from the village of Manavi. Her wine is also a traditional ferment, and sits 6 months within a kvevri: stems and skins included. Since 2013, she has been exporting her wines to France, Italy, Ukraine, US, Poland and the UK.

4. Mariam Iosebidze’s Tavkveri: smoked seabass with spinach

Georgian wines were highly appreciated at the wine tasting event. Photo by N. Alavidze/

Iosebidze has been producing the same variety of wine, tavkveri, since 2014.

5.Tamuna Bidzinashvili’s Semi- Carbonic Rkatsiteli: pork shoulder baked with cloves and oranges

 Visitors sampled six wines made by five women at the wine event. Photo by N. Alavidze/

Tamuna Bidinashvili’s wine is known as ‘Tamuna’s Wine’. Her cellar is located in Kakheti, in the village of Gremi. Her farming and production methods, she says, are strictly organic.