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Archil's Winery

Located near the tiny village of Kvaliti, in Central Imerteti, Archil Guniava’s family has been supplying wine to the region, including the nearby industrial town of Zestafoni, for over a century. His grandfather built the century-old cellar and winery which remains in use, in its antique state, today. Utilizing completely natural, low-intervention methods in the vineyard and winery, Archil lovingly works with indigenous and autochthonous varieties only found in this small pocket of Georgia. These are important, as all vitis vinifera varieties used today can trace their lineage back to this area of the Caucasus Mountains. Archil has the only known plantings in the world of Mgaloblishvili — an ancient, forgotten variety that his daughter discovered and resurrected — from which he crafts a tiny production each year. All of his wines are made in the ancient, traditional Georgian method of kvevri-aging, where direct-pressed juice is left to naturally evolve over the winter in large, earthern (clay) amphorae buried in the ground. The heads and lid of the kvevri are the only thing showing above ground and periodically throughout the winter a long paddle is used to stir the lees. All wines undergo spontaneous fermentation using natural yeast and are bottled without any fining or filtration. They are known for their intense, saline minerality which comes from the generous slab of limestone on which the vineyard is found. These are fresh, clean and stable, despite being created in a truly natural way. Only 11,000 highly sought-after bottles are produced each year.

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