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The Land of 8,000 Vintages


Vineyards in Georgia south of the Greater Caucasus Mountains

Vineyards in Georgia south of the Greater Caucasus Mountains

The most remarkable wine region that Kathy and I have visited is the country Georgia, south of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. In addition to modern winemaking, they have a traditional winemaking process that is the only winemaking process to be on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. That winemaking process involves making wine in clay-fired vessels called qvevri that are buried underground. Kathy and I were so impressed with the wine culture in Georgia, that we wrote our third book Georgia, Sakartvelo: the Birthplace of Wine. We even brought a qvevri from Georgia back to our Maryland home and are making wine in the buried qvevri. Now we would like to encourage you to make a donation to an Indiegogo Campaign titled “The Land of 8,000 Vintages.”

The Land of 8,000 Vintages is a cinematic documentary film that will inspire wine enthusiasts to learn about the culturally wine rich country of Georgia, its people and its ancient world winemaking. The Indiegogo Campaign is seeking contributions to purchase equipment to produce the film. There are a number of incentives or perks at various donation levels including  the gift of our book Georgia, Sakartvelo: the Birthplace of Wine, for contributions at the $250 level and above.

A winery in Georgia with buried qvevri.

A winery in Georgia with buried qvevri.

The film’s director, Nina Kalandia, was born in Georgia. Her family immigrated to the United States and settled in Montgomery County, Maryland. I wrote a blog post on my winemaking site about the wine that I was making in a buried qvevri at my home in Columbia, Maryland. Nina saw the blog entry and was amazed that a qvevri wine was being made in her state. We met during the summer and shared a special bottle of Ojaleshi that we were given by the monks at Dadiani Old Cellar in Salkhino, Samegrelo, Georgia. During our discussion, we learned that Nina and her family were forced to leave Georgia during a period of unrest. They made their new home in Maryland. Since the mid-1990s, Nina has returned to Georgia, and like many Americans who visit the country, she fell in love with the wine culture. She was at Dadiani Old Cellar tasting Ojaleshi when she thought to share this ancient story with other wine enthusiasts. It just seemed fitting that we would share a bottle of Ojaleshi at our home.

In working with Nina to set up the Indiegogo campaign, we noticed that she is very creative with words that paint an image in your mind. This creativity transforms over to cinema. We expect the film The Land of 8,000 Vintages to be more than a documentary. We expect it to be a story that will touch the heart and inspire people to learn more about Georgia and its wine culture. Help us make the dream a possibility. Visit the campaign website and view the film’s trailer. All donations are greatly appreciated.


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