(Zurab and son Ioane harvesting local red varietals in Guria: November)
The last month in Georgia has found us criss-crossing the country several times, visiting old friends and new - gathering final harvest footage, gauging the vintage, tying up historical narratives, and exploring uniquely beautiful features of the Georgian landscape.
A few of the moments included:
At the National Center for Grapevine Propogation in Saguramo, Director Levan Ujmajuridze spoke to us about the clonal variations, wild vines, and grafting availabilites among the 400+ vine varietals in their nursery. In the northwest region of Samegrelo, Agency of Protected Areas of Georgia offical Zaza Gagua showed us the small cellar where he's crafting natural wines from the local Ojaleshi vine. We spoke with Kakhetian wine growers in the eastern part of the country about wine quality in the Soviet era, and their thoughts about the 2015 vintage; professional polyphonic singers shared their opinions about wine's special relationship to music in the Georgian context; and we enjoyed a harvest supra feast at one of the nation's pioneering, private, natural wine co-operatives.
We have nothing but gratitude and love for all of our friends in Georgia (and beyond) - the last 5 months have been a life-changing experience. Tomorrow, we head to America to work with our producers on the first edit of what we hope will be a moving and meaningful final film, a worthy reflection of the generosity and spirit we have been shown.