ღvino Underground, was founded by 8 wine growers, that share a common philosophy in how they grow their vines and how they raised their wines. In Georgian you don't say you "make" wine you say you "raise" it actually, like raising a child until it can walk independently. We believe that wine with strong varietal character, and expression of terroir can be made, when there is as little intervention as possible, it is more about the quality of the grapes, and how you farm than what you do in the cellar. When you listen to the vines and help them have a robust immune system, through natural struggle, and by keeping a rich balance of flora and fauna in the vineyard, you end up with grapes that are naturally balanced, have lively yeast populations. This means when the grapes are crushed you don't need to add any yeast, or enzymes to help with primary or malo-lactic fermentation. Likewise, the addition, of anything to "correct" the wine in the cellar is seen as unnecessary, and rather than an enhancing often "standardizes" the wines making them less unique with less character. Some natural wine growers, use light handedly minimum amounts of sulpher and light filtering when necessary.
The philosophy behind the growers represented at ღvino Underground is as much about taking care of the earth, and drinking healthier wines as it is about the belief that this method produces wines of greater character and unique aroma and flavor transcending the standardization, and homogenization that we find when too many additives are used in too many countries making wines from different hemispheres, and countries that have no or little sense of place. While many of the producers showcased at ღvino Underground use the traditional method of qvevri, clay vessels completely buried in the ground, used for fermenting and storing wine, and many of our white wines use traditionally long and extended skin maceration which Georgia is famous for, the wine bar was founded to promote a low intervention style of farming and wine raising, whether, wines made in Georgia or from other countries, with skin maceration or not, from Georgian varietals or not. That being said many quite unusual Georgian wines that are very scarce and have limited availability are found at ღvino Underground, making it an exceptional place to explore authentic Georgian wines.
While France and Italy have experienced in recent decades revolutions amongst wine growers wanting to go back to natural wine making practices, in Georgia we have the unique situation of a living tradition that was never ceased making, organic, natural wines, we simply called this traditional farming and wine raising, however the peril of over mechanization, heavy handed chemical treatments in the vineyards, and too much intervention in the cellar threatens to make Georgia a " me too" wine country if Georgian farmers don't stick to their traditions. We hope that by having international natural wines, and Georgian natural wines available, unique character and spirit of the place they were made, we can avoid needing a wine revolution, because there never will have been a full break with tradition.
Georgia is the cradle of wine civilization. What is unique about Georgia is not only the 8,000-year-old tradition, but that wine still is and has always been an unbroken, living part of the culture. Georgia has equally deep and living roots, expressed through music, dance, cuisine and traditional cultural heritage. Living Roots aims to open the window to this enchanting world for our guests.
Being a Guest of Georgia
Georgians believe that guests are sent by our Creator. The respect paid to one’s guest is a form of gratitude to God.
So be our guests at www.travellivingroots.com