Pheasant’s Tears is a project of John Wurdeman and Gela Patilishvili. Pheasant’s Tears focus on rare Georgian varietals such as Tavkvevri, Shavkapito and Tsolikouri (amongst many) and preserving an expression of unique terroir. They farm organically. The wines are all raised in Qvevri. Qvevri are wine specific earthenware jars. Traditionally they are buried entirely in the ground and used for fermentation and storage before bottling. This is an ancient Georgian winemaking traditions. They even make a grape archivist’s dream blend from a 400 different varieties.
Destemmed and left on skins for two weeks. The ferment is in qveveri (aka kvevri or churi) with native yeasts. It has a lifted nose. Spice, nuts, herbs, tropical. The palate is plump, dry and vibrant. Hints of tea and a touch of grip on the finish.
First of all, this is one of the oldest wine regions in the world. 8000 years ago the world’s first cultivated grapevines and wine production was in the South Caucasus Georgian wine regions of note including Kakheti, Kartli, Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, and Abkhazia. Of particular note in Georgian wine is the extensive use of native varieties and the use of Kvevri.
Tasting the wines of Georgia require a re-calibration of your palate and thinking. But the rewards a great for those with an open mind.
Also known as churi. Large egg-shaped, handleless earthenware vessels used for the fermentation, storage and ageing of traditional Georgian wine. They are either buried below ground or set into the floors of large wine cellars. Volumes range from 20 litres to a rather large 10,000 with 800 being the typical size.
One of Georgia’s most ancient wine grapes. It makes high-quality table wines with characters of peach, blossoms, and mineral.