Gaioz Sopromadze - Imereti, Georgia

Gaioz Sopromadze - Imereti, Georgia

Gaioz Sopromadze Wine Cellar is located in the village of Baghdati, western Georgia, close to the Khanistskali river. It was founded in 1914. Gaioz, the third-generation family winemaker, established the family's reputation as a producer of some of the best wines in this part of Georgia.

Now in his 70s, Gaioz passed the winemaking baton on to his son, Lasha, in 2018. Since then Lasha has put his own stamp on the family's wines. working with as little intervention as possible to highlight the subtleties of Imeretian terroir. In doing so he has raised his family's wines to a new level of refinement.

In a single vintage he makes more than a dozen different wines. This is unusual in Georgia, where most wineries work on a tiny scale from small, family-owned vineyard plots. Sopromadze owns just 2.5ha of vineyards, but Lasha buys grapes from the best growers in Imereti. He knows exactly where to find the best grapes to make the most intensely terroir-focused wines.

Eschewing the long skin-macerated style of white wine common in eastern Georgia, but still using traditional Georgian qvevris for fermentation and ageing (steel tanks also used for ageing whites), Lasha uses only indigenous Imeretian grape varieties - tsolikouri, tsitska, krakhuna (white), dzelshavi, chkhaveri and otskhanuri sapere (red) - from vineyard sites where sand and stony, flinty soils with a high iron content predominate.

These soils, combined with minimal skin contact, minimal sulphur and ageing in qvevris, produce wines with extraordinary purity, pith and energy. Lasha bottles all of his wines unfined and unfiltered, typically with no sulphur added. 


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