The most precious feelings have no name
Usakhelauri is an endless universeyou can search for ages and never seize discovering its wonders. Not many have seen its limits, but those who dare to venture boldly into the vast unknown, are graciously rewarded with unfathomable adventures.
Usakhelauri is just like Georgianseach one with its own quirks, looks, stories, and character. Probably that’s the main reason Georgians keep caring for wine, seeking new flavors, experimenting, and talking for the last 8’000 years.
Usakhelauri is an emotioncolorful, warm and thoughtful. Emotions just like wine are plentiful, and it’s their collective power that gives meaning to our lives. Usakhelauri definitely isn’t the first of its kind, but it is the only one.
by Autumn Sun
Late in October our vineyards in Okureshi, Georgia turn scarlet. It means, Usakhelauri has already gained its aroma, colour, acidity and sweetness - ready to turn into the most precious wine. For centuries it used to be brewed in Satsnakheli (or “Khorgo”, as it is called locally) and later transferred to Kvevri. Grapes harvested at the end of October were usually affected by November chill, so Usakhelauri frequently failed to brew completely - this is how our special gentle taste was born.
Usakhelauri comes from a tiny patch of land! Just a day’s walk around two villages of Lechkhumi - Okureshi and Zubi. It is just a narrow gorge, surrounded by mountains from all sides. On one side there is Khvamli mountain from which Usakhelauri originated, on the other side there is a massive of the Askhi mountains. The air, soil, and people are so peculiar in this area, Usakhelauri cannot survive them.
Child of the Sun
& the Moon
Vineyards are hanging on the slopes in the middle of the forest which abounds in blackberry, dog-rose and berries - this is why Usakhelauri is so rich in flavour. In the gorge, the sun sets soon, hiding behind a mountain. For this reason, the vineyard has to face the South, as grapes need sunshine for sweetness. Nights are cold, so Usakhelauri gains acidity by the moonlight. This is why the wine is courageous, bold and, at the same time, tender and sweet.
Priceless Power of Devotion
Bringing this strange wine to finish is never an easy mission. Usakhelauri yields its first crops 6-7 years later. Until then, all you have to do is work hard... In Georgia they say a wine-grower has to kneel by each vine-plant 7 times a year. Usakhelauri requires kneeling at least 12 times. As it grows on mountain slopes, no technology can be brought and used to tend it. The vine is fragile and weak. It needs special care and attention - a single mistake will spoil the entire crop. Usakhelauri yields only 1 kg of grapes per plant, but uses all its capacity and strength to make this single kilogram special.
In the beginning of the 20th century Usakhelauri’s name conquered the hemisphere. For years it was considered the best wine in the Soviet Union. They say it was presented Truman and Churchill with Usakhelauri at the conference in Potsdam. Considered by the authorities as the best gift for governmental delegations and VIP guests, the popularity of Usakhelauri lasted until the end of the 70s. Unexpectedly, in the 80s Usakhelauri was seen as “unprofitable species”, production stopped and at the end the “Perestroyka” period it was entirely forgotten.
A New Horizon of Immortality
In 2000 nobody saw a lot of future in Usakhelauri. Everyone thought it was foolish to plant vine which required extremely hard work and yielded first crops only after seven years. Yet, we decided to plant Usakhelauri on the land we had inherited from our grandfather. We selected other land plots too and cleared them from wild thorn. We had to plough the land, digging on the depth of about 60 centimeters. This was necessary for the roots of the vine to grow as deep as possible into its motherland.
In 2009 we were ready to bring Usakhelauri to you. We found the exquisite bottle in Italy and spent months to figure out the label details - everything had to be in sync with Usakhelauri’s magical nature. We did our part to bring Usakhelauri’s mystery to you - untainted and unfiltered, just like the wine itself.
We aren’t trying to make wine - Usakhelauri grapes turn themselves into a flawless emotion. Nature has given them lots of talent. We’re just working to get the best harvest and the rest goes as in the old days: we gather the crops, let the wine brew, chill the wine, exactly like in November, and then bottle it in springtime. Then it’s up to you to turn this process into a nameless feeling, a dearest feeling, which bears no name.