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Winiveria Winery at Chateau Mere
Terry Sullivan

Winiveria Winery at Chateau MereSummary: Winiveria is the name of the winery at Chateau Mere a resort that opened in 2011 near Telavi in Kakheti, Georgia. The winery was established several years earlier in 2005. The agritourism site offers a winery, lodging and restaurant. It is the perfect base for wine travelers who want to explore the wineries in and around Telavi.

George Piradashivili established Winiveria in 2005. Both European-style wines and traditional Kakheti wines are made in the winery and marani (wine cellar) near the swimming pool. Grapes for the wines are sourced from local growers' vineyards with vines between 20 and 25 years old. The winery sources Kisi, Khikhvi, Kakhetian Mtsvane, Rkatsiteli and Saperavi grapes. The winery produces 200,000 bottles of wine. Winiveria sells half of the wine in Georgia and exports the other half to the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Ukraine and the Baltic countries.

Winiveria Winery at Chateau MereWinemaking

Stainless steel tanks and oak barrels are used to produce the European-style wines. Grapes are destemmed and crushed on the crush pad outside the winery. The large press and two stainless steel tanks were outside the winery during our September 2013 visit. Fermentation lasts for two weeks, then the wines are aged in stainless steel tanks or oak barrels until time for bottling.

The traditional Kekheti method for winemaking calls for placing the grapes in qvevri for fermentation and maceration. After about six months the wines are ready for bottling or additional aging in bottles or oak barrels. The wine is racked off the chacha (pomace). The chacha is distilled to produce Chacha, a brandy-like drink. After six months in a qvevri, the wines are transparent and stable. They do not need to be filtered.

Winiveria Winery at Chateau MereIn the marani there were several qvevri of different sizes buried under the stone floor. There were also half barrels with Saperavi grapes in them fermenting. One qvevri had Saperavi grapes in it fermenting. We could see the grapes in the qvevri actively fermenting (bubbling) as carbon dioxide gas was released.

George Piradashivili is very passionate about building a wine business and does not let challenges get in his way. He wants wine enthusiasts to know that both Winiveria and Chateau Mere try to get visitors involved in the wine culture. Guests to the chateau can participate in a range of activities including harvesting grapes, crushing grapes, learning about cheese making, baking bread in a tone, and making churchkhelas ( a string of walnuts dipped into a boiled down grape juice) pictured.

Winiveria Winery at Chateau MereWines

We tasted a few of the wines during dinners at the chateau. we noticed that the wine bottles are embossed with the name, Georgian cross and two keys. The 2011 Mtsvane was a straw color European-style wine. The aroma had tropical fruits and the taste had pineapple, lemon and lime notes. The finish was crisp and fruity.

Winiveria Winery at Chateau MereThe 2010 Saperavi was a dark purple to black color qvevri produced wine. The aroma had dark fruits while the taste reminded me of dark fruits with a touch of leather and cedar. The wine had tannins and the finish was fruity with fruit yielding to spices. The Kindzmarauli Appellation Controlled was made from Saperavi grapes from the Kindzmarauli region. The ruby colored wine had red and black berry fruits on the aroma. The taste also reminded me of red berry and black berry fruits. The wine was semi-sweet, had mild tannins and a fruity finish.

Kakheti is Georgia’s main wine region. Chateau Mere is located close to many wineries, and makes the perfect base for wine travelers who want to explore the region. There are many wine related activities, especially during the fall.

Winiveria Winery at Chateau Mere
Vardisubani, Telavi Region,
Telavi, Kakheti, Georgia











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