The 8,000 year old culture of wine in Georgia is extraordinary – a very good book could be written about it (and I hope someone will do that soon!). I visited Georgia in November 2012, as part of an EWBC press trip.
Here’s an article I contributed for Tim Atkin’s site:
For Father Gerasim, whether to treat his wines with sulphur or any other additive isn’t a matter of choice. The imperative is simple. Any impurities in the finished product would render it unworthy in the eyes of God.
Gerasim is the winemaker at the 11th Century Alaverdi monastery, a commanding, slightly austere complex with breathtaking views of the Caucasus mountains, located in Kakheti – Georgia’s most revered wine region. His core philosophy – “My only wish for wine is less interference in the winemaking” – chimes with non-interventionist winemakers around the globe. But Alaverdi has a traditional Kakhetian weapon in the arsenal which is capable of creating some of the world’s most individual and complex wines.