Ramaz Nikoladze, Tsolikouri - Imereti, Georgia


Over the last few years, Ramaz is producing wines that are amongst the purest and most vibrant in Georgia. Our last two tastings with him, in London and La Dive Wine Fair were impressive.

The nose is flinty and mineral with just a touch of lemon skins and wild herbs. The palate shows razor-sharp precision, bone-dry and super focused, lemon and lime fruit, very similar experience to a white Jura from top producer.

The Tsolikouri comes from Ramaz uncle’s vineyard in Lechkhumi region on the edge of the Caucausus in NW Georgia. No skin contact, no stems, no So2 added.

'Undoubtly the qveri  is central to the character of these wines as well, some say it's like some sort of terroir that goes into the wine : These vessels are made with specially chosen clay and sand, plus beexwax and you don't make these things like that (although i'm sure some company is going to try produce them in industrial numbers), they're living containers which will breathe and accompany the wine safely without needing the safety net of sulfur. Ramaz don't adds sulfites and his wines are unfiltered.' Wine Terroirs

RAMAZ NIKOLADZE, Imereti - Organic, Natural

Ramaz Nikoladze is the head of Slow Food in Georgia and he started his small domaine in 2007 just a few kilometers from Kutaisi in the Imereti region on the grounds of his grandparents parcel. Ramaz himself is from this village, same for his parents, he bought his house in 2001, eventually setting up his cellar on the basement with a few qvevri buried to their neck.

Ramaz' own vineyard surface makes 1,5 hectare in total, his yearly production is about 4000 bottles from his own cellar, plus he sells the wine of his wife's uncle (Didimi) who is 82 years old and also makes wine the traditionnal way in a village 30 km from here (makes 2000 bottles more)

To complement his small production Ramaz occasionally looks for local people who have a family parcel and make wine for themselves, if they're interested and after he speaks with them and is sure they work naturally in the vineyard, he can buy them some fruit.

Imereti is a region where there's usually no skin maceration during the vinification and Ramaz was the first to introduce some skin contact in the wines here.