Exile on Caucasus
This is their lighter, drink-now orange wine with notes of yellow peach, apricots, hazelnuts and black tea with crisp, gorgeous texture.
Harvested on the 14th of September 2019, destemmed and fermented on skins in qvevri for 20 days. After pressing and racking, the wine was aged in qvevri and old 350 litre barrels.
Bastien Warskotte and his wife Nino Gvantseladze established Ori Marani in 2016, with their first official vintage in 2017. They are located in Igoeti, in the Shida Kartli region of central Georgia – minutes from downtown Tbilisi. We know Bastien from his time as the assistant winemaker at Benjamin Bridge in Nova Scotia and being from a vine-growing family in Champagne, it makes perfect sense that he and Nino focus their efforts on a small range of traditional method sparkling wines, in addition to a few still wines in all colours. All their wines are aged first for a period of time in qvevri followed by barrel aging, making this a truly unique, kind of hybrid project in the context of a continuous 8000 year-old wine making tradition that has arguably not changed much over the course of that time. Ori Marani, literally meaning “Two Wineries”, is one half of their ultimate dream to have two wineries – the second producing amphora-aged Champagne.
Our experience with Georgian wine is often limited to the bold orange wines so historically familiar but, as with most other wine regions in the world, there’s so much more to explore; hundreds of indigeneous grapes that exist nowhere else in the world with hugely diverse approaches to skin contact for whites (there are whole regions with a history of zero skin contact!), and structure in reds. The one consistent factor inherently Georgian is the history of amphora aging. With no estate vineyards yet, Bastien sources his fruit from small grower families practicing organic vineyard management in Shida Kartli, Kakheti and Imereti. Grapes for the sparkling wines come from the cooler regions of Kartli and Imereti, where they can mature slowly on limestone soils, retaining all that freshness. The used barrels come from Champagne Egly-Ouriet and Burgundian Domaine Prieuré Roch, Domaine Hubert Lamy, Domaine de Villaine among others.