Pheasant’s Tears Saperavi Kakheti Georgia
Pheasant’s Tears Saperavi is a bold, earthy, dry red with flavours of blackcurrant and toasted almond with an elegant, natural tannic structure. Saperavi is a red grape that is sometimes so dark in colour that it’s called black in Georgian, and varies greatly according to the terroir in which it’s grown.
Pheasant’s Tears estate vineyard plantings flow down the slopes of the eastern Georgian Kiziqi province overlooking the Alazani Valley and snow-capped Caucasus Mountains. The site itself is located near the village of Tibaani in the shadow of the 6th century monastery of St. Stephen. The terroir here is special, with long summer sunlight of over 14 hours a day and evenings cooled by the breeze from the gorge.
Winemaker Gela Patalashvili grew up in a farming family learning from grandparents how to grow grapes and make wine in qvevri. Gela, along with John Wurdeman, are helping to preserve the traditional winemaking techniques that have made Georgia a home for viticulture since 6,000 BC.
Qvevri were the first vessels ever to be used for wine fermentation, with archaeological finds dating back to 6000 BC. Qvevri are clay vessels lined with beeswax and completely buried under the ground where the temperature stays even throughout the year, allowing the wines to ferment in the natural coolness of the earth. Pheasant’s Tears qvevri vary in age but some date back to the mid 19th century. The cellar is built in the vineyard itself to minimize the damage to the grapes in transportation, allowing harvesting and process before the heat of the day takes effect. In accordance with Georgian traditional winemaking methods, the ripest of stems are added to the grape skins, juice and pits, for both reds and whites. The maceration time depends on varietal and the size of the qvevri and varies between 3 weeks and 6 month