Aurika Kroitor, Georgian Wine Ambassador: I would encourage individuals to approach Georgian wines with an open mind and a willingness to think creatively



At this edition of  REVINO BUCHAREST WINE SHOW, one of the masterclasses is dedicated to premium Georgian wine tasting. The event invites the public to embark on a captivating journey spanning 8000 years of Georgian winemaking excellence at the Revino Bucharest Wine Show's premiere masterclass. Led by Aurika Kroitor, wine jury, Georgian Wine Ambassador, and Vaziani Company representative, alongside TrueWines, Romania's leading importer of authentic wines, this exclusive event promises a deep dive into the world of Georgian wines. Tickets and more information about this masterclass are available here.

Before the event, REVINO sat down with Aurika Kroitor to find out more about the Georgian wines.


Aurika Kroitor Sommelier


What initially sparked your interest in the world of wine, and how did you transition into becoming a sommelier specializing in Georgian wines?

My interest in wine sparked during my first job in 2015 as an Executive Director for a startup in wine and tourism. Despite lacking prior experience in the field, my background in project management proved valuable. With a small, dedicated team, we delved into every aspect of the business—from tending to vineyards to negotiating with customers and representing our product at fairs. As I became deeply involved in the process, my appreciation for wine grew, and I found myself particularly drawn to Georgian wines. It was a journey that began professionally but quickly turned into a personal passion.


Can you share any memorable experiences or moments that solidified your passion for Georgian wines?

The passion exuded by winemakers and winegrowers is truly palpable, radiating love, care, and dedication. Their genuine enthusiasm when discussing wine is undeniably inspiring, evoking a profound appreciation for their craft. Their unwavering belief in what they do, coupled with their tireless efforts, is deserving of immense recognition.

Georgian wine boasts a rich history spanning an impressive 8000 years of winemaking, a heritage that is proudly brought into the present day. The traditional method of making wine in qvevri, with extended skin contact, stands as a testament to the country's unique and sustainable approach to winemaking, a practice recognized by UNESCO.

To be part of this storied history is a tremendous honor, one that carries with it a deep sense of pride. Furthermore, there remains much to uncover within this historic treasure trove, with countless discoveries awaiting those who follow in the footsteps of our predecessors. Despite lacking formal education in oenology, these individuals were intimately connected to nature, their innate understanding guiding them in the creation of high-quality wines. It is a privilege to continue this legacy and to contribute to the ongoing narrative of Georgian winemaking excellence.


What advice would you give to aspiring sommeliers who are interested in specializing in Georgian wines or exploring niche wine markets?

I would encourage individuals to approach Georgian wines with an open mind and a willingness to think creatively. This is especially relevant for those who may not have previous experience with niche wines. Rather than solely focusing on the tasting experience, I would advise starting by exploring the story behind the wine and getting to know the winemaker.

By delving into the background and philosophy of the winemaker, one can gain a deeper understanding of the wine's origins and the passion that goes into its creation. From there, I would suggest venturing to the place where the wine was born, immersing oneself in the unique terroir and culture that shapes each bottle. Georgian wines offer more than just sensory pleasure; they embody a rich narrative, a sense of place, and a profound passion. Each bottle has a story to tell, a soul to uncover, and by embracing this holistic approach to wine appreciation, one can glean a wealth of knowledge and insight beyond mere taste. Georgian wine has the power to impart a deeper understanding of history, culture, and tradition, making it a truly enriching experience for those who are open to exploring its complexities.


In your opinion, what sets Georgian wines apart from those of other countries, and why do you believe they deserve greater recognition on the international stage?

Georgian wine stands out in the global wine landscape for several compelling reasons:

Rich History: With a winemaking tradition dating back 8000 years, Georgian wine carries a profound sense of heritage and tradition, making it one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world.

Qvevri Tradition: The use of qvevri, clay vessels buried underground for fermenting and aging wines, is a unique and ancient winemaking method. This traditional approach imparts distinct flavors and textures to Georgian wines, contributing to their character and complexity.

Amber Wines: Georgian winemakers are renowned for their production of qvevri or amber wines, which involve extended skin contact during fermentation. This method results in wines with vibrant colors, intense aromas, and distinctive flavors, adding to the diversity and appeal of Georgian wine.

Diverse Grape Varieties: Georgia boasts an impressive array of over 525 indigenous grape varieties, offering a remarkable diversity of flavors and styles. This wealth of grape diversity allows Georgian winemakers to craft wines that showcase the unique terroir and microclimates of the region.

While these factors certainly contribute to the exceptional quality and appeal of Georgian wine, it's important to recognize that they do not inherently elevate it above wines from other regions. Instead, they serve to position Georgian wine as a valued and respected member of the global wine community, offering unique perspectives, flavors, and traditions that enrich the world of wine as a whole.


Georgian Wines


Can you tell us about the unique characteristics of Georgian wines that set them apart from wines produced in other regions?

Indeed, Georgian wine stands out not only for its rich history and traditional winemaking methods but also for its unparalleled diversity of indigenous grape varieties. With over 525 autochthonous varieties originating from the region, each classic (European-style) wine crafted from these grapes carries its own unique character and expression.

Moreover, Georgian winemakers have perfected the art of producing qvevri and amber wines, employing techniques such as extended skin contact to create wines with a remarkable depth and complexity of flavors. From the spicy notes to the nuances of dried fruits, jammy textures, citrus hints, and berry undertones, these wines offer a sensory journey unlike any other.

What's particularly intriguing is that this diverse flavor profile extends beyond red wines; Georgian amber wines boast a full-bodied, velvety texture that pairs exceptionally well with meats and can age gracefully over time. As these wines mature, they develop nuanced layers of flavor, making them a captivating choice for both connoisseurs and casual wine enthusiasts alike. In essence, Georgian wine represents a treasure trove of unique varietals and winemaking traditions, offering an experience that is as diverse as it is delightful.


What historical and cultural factors have influenced the winemaking traditions in Georgia?

One of the most important cultural factors that preserved this unique method is that Georgians by nature are quite traditional and conservative. Georgia has been merely influenced by foreign cultures and has never changed its core traditions. Wine has been entwined into the everyday life of Georgian and has been the main part of its culture and tradition.


Could you share some insights into the different grape varietals used in Georgian wines and their flavor profiles?

Saperavi, the primary red grape variety cultivated in Georgia, boasts a captivating spectrum of flavors that are both diverse and esteemed. From the freshness of red berries and delicate rose aromas to the warmth of spices and the richness of leather, Saperavi wines offer a noble and multifaceted drinking experience. Whether enjoyed in a dry or sweet style, Saperavi wines consistently deliver exceptional quality and complexity.

Mtsvane, translating to "green" in Georgian, is a lesser-known white grape variety that nevertheless shines when crafted using either classic or traditional (qvevri) winemaking techniques. In its classic method, Mtsvane wines exhibit a light structure and delicate floral notes, captivating the palate with their elegance. Conversely, when produced using the qvevri method, Mtsvane wines reveal a distinct character characterized by high tannins and a rich tapestry of flavors, including dry fruits and hints of honey. This versatility allows Mtsvane to showcase its adaptability and allure across a range of winemaking styles, making it a hidden gem in the world of Georgian wines.


What should attendees expect in terms of tasting notes and flavor profiles when sampling Georgian wines?

Fresh fruits, citrus, berries, jam, honey, wax, nuts, vegetables, pear, apple, spices, pepper and etc.


Can you highlight any specific challenges or obstacles that Georgian winemakers face in the production and distribution of their wines?

Probably the same as all over the world: climate change, the impact of economic crisis on wine consumption

How do Georgian wines pair with different types of cuisine, and do you have any recommendations for food pairings?

Certainly, Georgian qvevri wine are extremely gastronomic wines and are best if paired with Georgian cuisine. Thats the ideal paring!

However it is friendly with any cuisine which contains meat, fish or vegetable dishes, especially well-paired with Asian, Italian or Mediterranean cuisine.

Are there any emerging trends or innovations in the Georgian wine industry that we should be aware of?

Certainly, the Georgian wine industry has been experiencing several notable trends and innovations in recent years such as focus on indigenous varieties including worldwide lesser-known grapes like Kisi, Khikhvi, Tsolikouri and others or exploration of terroir, single-vineyard wines and site-specific bottlings are becoming more common as winemakers seek to express the unique terroir of their vineyards.

What advice would you give to someone who is new to Georgian wines and wants to explore them further?

They should start from exploring classic wines from Georgian autochthons smoothly moving to qvevri wines. Sometimes I offer paired tasting: comparing the wine from single variety made in classic and traditional technology. It helps to discover the diversity of the single variety and its hidden gems.

What makes this premiere presentation of Georgian wines in Romania particularly special or unique?

The cultural exchange between Romania and Georgia is indeed profound, with a shared history and a deep connection through wine culture. TrueWines is dedicated to fostering this connection by offering Romanian connoisseurs the finest selections of Georgian wine. From esteemed wineries like Vaziani Company, Batono, Kapistoni, Dekanozishvili, and Victory, TrueWines showcases a diverse range of varieties, each reflecting the rich terroir and traditional winemaking techniques of Georgia.

In addition to presenting these exceptional wines, TrueWines extends a gracious invitation to explore the art of pairing them with both Romanian and international cuisines. This culinary journey promises to enhance the appreciation of Georgian wine while celebrating the cultural exchange between these two vibrant nations.

Tickets and more information about this masterclass are available here. The masterclass is held in English.





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