The artisanal winery of Nino Chitoshvili produces a limited volume of superb Georgian wines in a Martkopi village, a 30-minute drive from the Tbilisi capital. Traditionally to Kakheti, a blend of Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane and varietal Saperavi wines are vinified with skins and stems and then matured in clay qvevri vessels over the winter. Moreover, wines from the Chinuri grape are bottled in two different styles - one that is aromatic, zippy and straight from qvevri, and the other one that is opulent and matured in a 300-liter Caucasian oak barrel. By 2021, 150 bottles of a "X Files" dark rosé will see the market. All the wines are allocated to exporters.
A professional pianist, Nino leaped onto the wine path in 2010, starting as a wine tour guide. With the help from the Georgian natural wine pioneers, Nino released her first bottles in 2017.
Nino acts as recoltant for her the only amber wine, a blend of Rkatsiteli (70%) and Kakhuri Mtsvane (30%). It’s from a one hectare co-planted vineyard in Vachnadziani, which is known as a red grape cru. But Nino argues that it is the soil and the particular microclimate which allows for excellent grape growing, and not vice versa. Indeed, her bright as a midsummer sun skin macerated white wine proves the point.
Grapes for the velvety Saperavi come from the Akura village zone, known for producing deep wines with strong black chokeberry flavour. Yet, Nino looks for a fresh, concentrated and fruity expression of the grape rather than a classy easily recognizable Saperavi. Indeed, the wine hints at being at an Italian Montepulciano from Marche or Barbera from Asti. Moreover, Nino asserts that as a natural winemaker, she tries to distance her wines away from the typical flavour profiles, which might easily be formed by industrial yeasts. Try Chito’s 2019 Saperavi with its incredible fruit concentration - there was no more than 40% of juice pressed out of the grapes.
The Kartli region that neighbors Kakheti is famous for its quality Chinuri grapes. The Okami village provides the winery with certified organic berries. Unusual for Georgian wines, the three-month skin-macerated Chinuri is like a flash of lightning with crisp acidity and firm backbone of menthol and dry herbs aromas. From out of all these magnificent wines, it’s the oaked Chinuri that stands out. Arguably it’s the one and only natural Chinuri wine matured both in qvevri and oak barrels in Georgia. This bottle needs an ideal gastronomic match to pair with its intense complexity.
With successive vintages, there is increasing curiosity from abroad. In 2020, Chito’s gvino limited supply of just under 3000 bottles gains enough interest to be all pre-distributed, majorly for export.
Locally: Tbilisi's natural wine bars (Ghvino Underground, G.vino, Living Vino, Dadi wine bar).
Abroad: the US (Black Lamb Wine), Israel (Tel Aviv: Giaconda restaurant), and the Baltic states (Latvia: Locale, Alaverdi).
At fairs: Amerimeri (Georgia, Kutaisi), Zero Compromise (Georgia, Tbilisi), New Wine Festival (Georgia, Tbilisi).
Call Nino at: +995-591-29-23-64. Mailto: Ninola@list.ru