Kathy & Terry Sullivan
Adjarian Wine House in Khelvachauri, Georgia not only produces wines but also offers a restaurant with an elegant setting for private events including weddings. Future plans include adding a hotel to the site.
Visitors to Adjarian Wine House in Western Georgia, close to Batumi, will discover the winery and restaurant on a small hill with a showcase vineyard nearby. As one walks up the steps to enter, a glance behind shows several covered areas where one can enjoy wine and food during warm weather. A narrow pond filled with an assortment of large fish adds to the ambiance of the site.
Adjarian Wine House was established in 2010 in Khelvachauri. The owner wanted to produce wine because of the unique variety of the little known locally grown Chkhaveri. He did not want the grape to become forgotten. He planted Chkhaveri and now produces wine with the grape. Adjarian Wine House has their own vineyards and when more grapes are needed they are usually sourced from local growers.
The inside walls of the winery are made of the same brick and stone as the outside walls of the building. The building blends in well with the surrounding environment. Gleaming stainless steel tanks contrast with the earth tones of the brick and stone walls.
Below this level there is a wine cellar where oak barrels are used to age wines. Several riddling racks are used to riddle the sparkling wine bottles. Nearby is a 250-year-old wood press on display. This old press contrasts with a basket press a short distance away.
Back on the first floor of the winery, a restaurant area is filled with numerous tables. Wine bottles line the walls. Georgian-style artifacts (modern) carefully placed add to the pleasure of visiting Adjarian Wine House. There are floor windows in the restaurant area that provide a glimpse into the wine library and cellar below.
Outside, in a nearby two-story stone building, is a marani with several qvevri buried in the ground. This building is also made of stone and brick. The marani floor is covered with stone. Bricks line a hole in the floor marking the opening to a qvevri buried below. Near the qvevri a stone stairway leads to the second floor.
The Adjarian Wine House produces three kinds of wine including European-style wines, qvevri wines and specializes in wines made from Chkhaveri, a local grape. The European-style wine is a blend of Rkatsiteli and Tsolikouri. Qvevri-made wine is produced with the Tsolikouri grape variety. Currently the winery is producing 8,000 bottles. Most of the wines are sold locally including in Batumi, a Georgian seaport on the Black Sea.
We tasted three Adjarian wines at a large wood table in the first floor dining area. The Porto-Franco Chkhaveri Rosé 2010 was a reddish orange color with an aroma of red raspberries. The taste also had notes of red raspberries with baking spices. The finish was crisp and spicy. Be sure to note the wine label. Porto-Franco was an 18th century name for the city of Batumi.
Tsolikouri 2010 was made in qvevri. The juice was fermented with chacha (pomace.). The qvevri is sealed and after six months the wine was racked to a tank for four or five months then bottled. The wine was a golden color with floral and dried yellow fruit notes throughout the tasting. The floral reminded one of daisies with a hint of honeysuckle. The Rkatsiteli Tsolikouri 2012 was a wine that was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks. The aroma reminded one of floral and peaches. The taste offered peach notes and hints of floral. The finish was crisp and fruity.
When planning a visit to Batumi, Georgia include a visit to Adjarian Wine House. Watch for the opening of an onsite hotel.
Adjarian Wine House
Acharistskhali near Khelachauri, Adjara, Georgia