Askaneli: the history
The history of the company began in the small village of Askana in the Guria region, where the winemaker Antimoz Chkhaidze, one of the founding ancestors, was engaged in the production of wine, selling it not only in Georgia, but also abroad. In the cellar, which he built himself, the wine was stored in traditional kvevri, the oldest of which dates back to 1880. Tradition of this beautiful family was revived by brothers Chkhaidze. The founder of the company Gocha Chkhaidze has been working for years to revitalize Georgian viticulture, preserve and recover unique grape varieties. The company owns hundreds of hectars of vineyards, two winemaking facilities in Kakheti and Tbilisi and one fruit distillery in Guria. In addition to producing more than 60 denominations of wine, the company produces aged brandy, chacha and brut. “Askaneli” is one of the largest organizations in Georgia, which is in the top three winemaking company ratings of wine production and vine farming. In addition to activities related to the production of wine, the company makes a significant contribution to the rescue and preservation of the culture of growing indigenous grape varieties and increasing the level of prestige of Georgian winemaking in general.
Askaneli Winery & Distillery: numerous awards and the export vector
The high quality of Askaneli Winery & Distillery products supplied to such countries as China, USA, Canada, France, Germany, Finland, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan and others is confirmed by numerous awards received at various international exhibitions. Over the 20 years of its existence, Askaneli has grown from a small family business into one of the most successful wine trading companies in Georgia. Today, AWD has three powerful factories in different parts of Georgia, one of them, the newest one, is in Kakheti, where a 90-room hotel in a futuristic architectural style with a panoramic platform will soon open at the winery, which can be accessed directly from the factory floor.
The progressive approach to winemaking
A lot has changed in the company and most importantly – the very approach to winemaking, its philosophy. Today Askaneli Winery & Distillery is a smart solutions company. They work thoughtfully, starting with the vines: they lowered the height of the bushes in some areas to get the maximum amount of nutrients from the soil for the plant, carried out a “green harvest” to improve the quality of the grapes, and recently made an experimental planting “meter by meter” – and they are waiting for interesting results.
They switched to almost full organic. “Someone has to be the first on this path forward,” – Askaneli owner Gocha Chkhaidze talks about the latest decision. Askaneli winemakers have always been known for their perfectionism. If you invite a consultant to set up the process, then Michel Rolland. And today, despite the experience and achievements, the winery uses the services of a group of experienced Liburnian oenologists Oenoteam, working exclusively with Bordeaux chateaus of the first echelon. The task of today is to make elegant premium wines with a Georgian character that will become a new word on the world stage.
Part of the AWD vineyards are still located on the same land where the owner’s great-grandfather grew grapes. But today the company owns vineyards in different zones of the country: in addition to 22 hectares in Guria (where Chkhaveri vines still grow), the largest one in the prestigious Kindzmarauli zone (Kakheti) with an area of 400 hectares. Moreover, over the past 5 years, the area under the vines belonging to Askaneli Winery & Distillery has increased 4 times. And the volume of production increased 10 times, up to 14 million bottles. Totally for today the AWD owns 456 hectares of vineyards.
A new generation of wines of the company has unique qualities, combining the national profile and refined modern style. Among the top autochthonous lines, it is important like to highlight the wines of Gocha’s Collection: Prima (Chardonnay and Rkatsiteli), Muza Qvevri (Rkatsiteli, Mtsvane Kakhuri, Kisi, Krakhuna and Mtsvivani), as well as Saperavi Reserva.