Levan Chichinadze and Teona Omarashvili
Levan Chichinadze and Teona's Wines
- 1 wine
- 1 style
Your very first Georgian winemakers producing medal-winning nectar from their boutique backyard winery
- Teona and her uncle Levan run what might just be the smallest winery you've ever seen. In a teeny outside storage space in their garden, Winery PI is hiding in plain sight in the heart of Georgia's capital city, Tbilisi.
- Most people in Georgia make their own wine at home, but Teona and Levan have taken things to a whole new level, producing medal-winning nectar with just three wine tanks. Small-scale boutique winemaking in all its glory, these are doubtlessly some of the finest Georgian wines on the market.
- Their Saperavi (Georgia’s indigenous red grape variety) won Best Georgian Red and Grand Gold at the Mundus Vini wine awards. Some accolade! The wine is so pure, smooth, dense in fruit and texture. A fantastic glossiness and polish that reminds you why we love to drink red wine.
Levan Chichinadze and Teona Omarashvili's Story
What's your background?
We are proud that our family has a long history of wine making. Levan’s and my love (uncle and nephew) and obsession towards wine derives from generations who in their time in 19th century owned vineyards, cellars with Qvevris (Georgian Amphora) in Kakheti region and wine bars so called “Sirajkhana” in the Old Tbilisi. Since our childhood, both of us, we have been observing harvest and making wine with technics that were passed down from our great-grandfather. Over the decades, Levan who is also a chemist and economist managed to keep the family traditions and knowledge about wine making and now he has 25 years of experience in winemaking.
Back in 2019 there was a turning point when I decided that it was a time to fulfill my dreams and thoughts that that have always been associated with vineyards and wine. Before that, I’ve spent 7 years in public sector and as time passed, more and more I felt that I wanted to build my own business in a field that would never be a “JOB” but a source of joy, where I could put all my energy and see visible and tangible results.
So, I started insisting my family members, that we should become public, as has always been our way of life, as every year, my father, my uncle and their fathers and grandfathers made wine for family joy.
For me as a woman, it was a big challenge, firstly, to convince family members to share their experiences and the treasures of our vineyards with the general public, and secondly, as I stepped into an area where a women's work is still a big surprise (this is still the case in Georgia). Eventually we made this decision with the vision that we would create a standard that would stand the test of time, criticism and take its place in the great world of wine.
As a result, Levan and I together with a small investment established our precious winery PI in 2020. The name PI is related to the mathematical number pi (3.14) which is the universal constant - "wine as a constant that existed and will exist" this is our message.
What is it about your job that you love?
We love that as winemakers we are creators and observers, for us it is a passion and constant renewal. Every vintage is unique with its character as the terroir conditions is changing year by year. We are constantly adapting to new conditions and trying to make decisions that enable wines to express themselves. We believe with less intervention wine keeps purity and character.
We admire the fact that, grape juice by its natural properties is transformed into wine, so that, this process retains its biological properties for thousands of years. Thus, wine is a constant, natural, very individual and intellectual substance in the earth like the number Pi.
What makes your wines special?
We believe that our wines are special, because they are from the “cradle of wine – Georgia” giving value of heritage of 8000-year-old continuous history and tradition of wine making.
Besides, treasure our vineyards of Saperavi (planted in 2004) and Rkatsiteli-Kakhetian Green (planted in 1980s) located in Akura, TSINANDALI Appellation, Telavi, Kakheti. The age and the properties of our terroirs and our family’s traditional techniques of winemaking has given us the opportunity to show the merits of the Georgian wine.
We wanted the whole focus to be on the wine quality mark. So, we chose a limited production line and took a modest step towards producing a premium class wine. We are very small producer and are very proud and delighted to offer customers Saperavi handmade, natural wine with history and quality. Each and every member of the company, team of four (Me, Levan, my husband and my father), are involved in wine making process and this makes each bottle unique.
Which varietal / style is your passion and why?
We enjoy cooking and making wine. We seek balanced taste not only in wine but also in food. A skill that we learned from Levan’s pharmacist mother who was a remarkable cook and a lovely grandma at the same time. Most importantly, we learnt respect from her.
For us wine is alive and thereby we treat it with much respect. We encourage our wines to be balanced and characteristic. We believe that our wines have Georgian soul and tell you about their birthplace.
Our passion is to make wines that will give you the sense of balance and joy, where one glass leads you to a second and fills you with a positive Georgian energy.
Most memorable moment making wine?
Among many joyful and memorable moments, I would definitely pick a moment when we heard that our wine "SAPERAVI 2020”, was awarded with "Grand Gold" and "Best of Show Georgia Red" medals at MUNDUS VINI summer tasting 2021.
This was the third time that Georgian wine has been awarded a GRAND GOLD medal in the history of MUNDUS VINI tasting.
We believe that our success, recognition of Georgian wine internationally, was also a huge success for our country and at the same time incentive for the fellow small wineries, showing that even the small wineries with little resources can produce quality wine that can be seen internationally. This high-ranking award has given us a high sense of responsibility and assured us that we are on the right path.
Do you have a message for Angels
We are grateful that due to your interest and support to Georgian wine we are now part of the Naked Wines a great opportunity for us to turn our passion into reality.
Thanks to you and the Naked Wines many people from UK and around the world will get a chance to taste our wines and learn about Georgia at the same time. We do hope our wine meets your expectations and look forward to receiving your feedback, reviews and recommendations, so we can take them into consideration.
Our aim is to develop production while maintaining and further improving the quality. Our wine is unique in character because it is hand-made and as we develop we will stay committed to our values and technics. At this point our cellar and production is so small that during harvest we have to sell half of our vineyard grapes which is very painful for us. To develop our capacity, we do need to build a new cellar close to our vineyards in Kakheti. We believe with your support our hopes can come true.
Why did you join?
We have read and heard about many stories when Naked Wines and Angels provided extraordinary support to winemakers. We highly appreciate the values and the work of Naked Wines and are honored to join a community that is so compassionate and supportive to it members. We also wanted to be represented on the British market as the consumers have a good knowledge about wine as well as strong interest in Georgian wine.
What is the biggest difference working with crowd funding?
You are crowd funded when crowd feels and believes in your work which is the great honor, motivation and a huge responsibility at the same time.
What do you hope to accomplish as an Angel-funded winemaker?
To become a respective and loved member of the Naked Wines who delights its members with exquisite, interesting and joyful wines while at the same time enjoying the wines of the others and supporting the newcomers to Naked Wines.