Sharing and Celebrating Georgia's Rich Cultural Heritage, Vines, and Wine
SHUMI‘s cultural mission is to present to the world the oldest and richest cultural heritage in the world that our ancestors built over thousands of years, Georgian culture, vines and wine, to share and popularize the historical past and to introduce their own innovations.
Georgia is the oldest settlement on the European continent, as evidenced by the excavated remains of people who lived here 1.8 million years ago. Georgia is recognized as the cradle of viticulture and winemaking, which has an 8,000-year-old tradition of winemaking. This is proved by the fact that the oldest cultivated vine pips, clay wine vessels, Qvevri’s tartaric acid precipitated in fragments and cultural vine dust, Qvevri and Qvevri wine-making technologies have been found on the territory of Georgia. Many words related to viticulture and winemaking in Georgian, including “wine”, which was spread in the language of the peoples of Europe from the Georgian language. In 2013, UNESCO inscribed the ancient Georgian Traditional Qvevri wine-making method in the Representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In addition to the method of making wine in Qvevri, Georgia has created many values for the world. The UNESCO list of intangible and tangible monuments also includes: Georgian polyphony, which has been recognized as a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of mankind, Georgian alphabet, Georgian wrestling and 3 architectural monuments.
A Legendary Destination in Georgian Winemaking
The symbol of SHUMI is a Griffin (“Phaskunji” in Georgian mythology). According to an ancient legend it was the griffin who brought the first bunch of grapes to people, which gave a start to the cultivation of vineyards on Earth. SHUMI WINERY and TOURIST COMPLEX is located in the legendary region of Georgian winemaking, in the village of Tsinandali, Kakheti, Georgia. SHUMI occupies a historic location and borders the National Park and Museum named after A. Chavchavadze. This land belonged to the kings of Georgia and Kakheti, prince Alexander Chavchavadze, Georgia’s national poet, and served as a part of the summer residence of the Russian Emperor Alexander III.
A Leader in Georgian Wine Production and Preservation of Autochthonous Grape Varieties
SHUMI WINERY for 25 years of its existence, thanks to the quality of its products, has an impeccable reputation as a producer of Georgian wines. Since 2002, the company has been steadily and successfully operating in the international market. SHUMI exports its products to 32 countries of the world and is intended for real connoisseurs of alcoholic beverages.
SHUMI is one of the best producers of Georgian wines. SHUMI products are famous for their quality, they have earned more than 500 highest awards at prestigious international competitions, including prizes and medals that no other company in the history of Georgia has ever received. SHUMI WINERY was recognized as the BEST PRODUCER OF GEORGIA at one of the most prestigious competitions in the world – MUNDUS VINI Grand International Award!
In 2003, in order to preserve the integrity of the genetics of Georgian autochthonous grape varieties, SHUMI created the First Private Ampelographic Collection in Georgia, which today is considered the largest private collection in the world with more than 1500 grape varieties from different countries. To this day, the company successfully fulfills this historic mission, with great enthusiasm continues to find and return rare grape varieties both from local private vineyards and from various collections around the world. Although the Georgian gene pool is rich in unique wine grape varieties and they allow you to create ideal wines, today, unfortunately, a large number of grape varieties are forgotten and are not used for economic purposes and wine production. The SHUMI Ampelographic Collection, which serves as a basis for scientific research, is included in the list of the FAO and has its own unique code. At this unique facility, Georgian, French, Italian and Japanese scientists conduct research, experimental work, seminars for students and employees of various educational institutions.
Discover Georgia's rich cultural heritage at SHUMI Tourist Complex
In addition to the production of wine and various alcoholic beverages, SHUMI has many other, no less significant and unique activities. SHUMI is the first company in Georgia, which initiated the development of enotourism in the wine regions of Georgia. To date, SHUMI Tourist Complex has no analogues in the world, both in infrastructure and in operation. Nowhere else will you find so many examples of Georgian culture gathered in one space as in SHUMI. The territory of the SHUMI Tourist Complex is recognized as “the most beautiful place in Georgia”.
Visitors to SHUMI have the opportunity to travel to the history of Georgia and get acquainted with its culture. Here they will meet the heroes and gods of Georgian mythology depicted in stone frescoes and painted with Saperavi, Georgian alphabet, the largest private collection of vines in the world, where they will get acquainted with the varieties of vines created by folk selection for millennia and taste them.
Discover the World of Georgian Winemaking
On the territory of the Winery and Tourist Complex, excursions and tours are offered in three languages (English, Georgian and Russian), and professional guides acquaint visitors with the history of Georgian winemaking, including the unique technology of the traditional Qvevri method and the art of making SHUMI wines. SHUMI offers a wide range of services and entertainments depending on the time of year: organization of wedding ceremonies, an exclusive opportunity to plant a named vine in SHUMI’s Comprehensive Varietal Collection of Vines, the performance of SHUMI’s folk group, which you can enjoy during the holidays, participation in the ceremony of initiation into the Kakhetians, helicopter tours of the picturesque places of the Caucasus and the Alazani Valley.
What is the SHUMI Tourist Complex and what are some of the attractions there?
The SHUMI Tourist Complex spans nine hectares, with diverse infrastructure and numbers 39 locations, including:
- The First Wine Museum in Georgia, where some exhibits are 6,000 years old.
- The First Private Ampelographic Collection in Georgia, which today is considered the largest private collection in the world with more than 1500 grape varieties from different countries. It serves as a basis for scientific research, is included in the list of the FAO and has its own unique code. At these unique facility, Georgian, French, Italian and Japanese scientists conduct research, experimental work, seminars for students and employees of various educational institutions. SHUMI’s specialists are constantly researching and identifying the potential of rare varieties of vines, some of them have begun to be cultivated for wine production.
- The GENESIS Sculpture – the prototype of the statue of a 300-year-old vine – one of the oldest wine vines in the world grows in a private estate in the village of Tsinandali. In 2016, conditions were favorable for a harvest of GENESIS grapes, and SHUMI’s master winemakers produced dry red wine. The quantity of wine was extremely limited – only 67 bottles. To create this exceptionally rare wine, the winemakers used the traditional Georgian method, fermenting the GENESIS grapes in a Qvevri – an earthenware vessel buried in the ground. Then the wine was aged in a 250-year-old oak barrel. GENESIS wine is considered a completely new word in the world of wine!
- The VINOBIZA” Pavilion: Ancient Georgia had its own calendar, in which the month when Georgians picked grapes and made wine was called “vinobiza”, which corresponds to the period: September – October. SHUMI patented the eponymous brand and developed a unique collection of wines “VINOBIZA”. The walls of the pavilion are decorated with frescoes. These frescoes are painted with “Saperavi” wine and reflect history and culture of Georgia, depict the famous story of the visit of the first “official tourists” to Georgia – the expedition of the Argonauts, about 33 centuries ago.
- The Georgian Ethnographic Pavilion, where guests can learn about Georgian eno-gastronomic traditions, attend various interesting and fun master classes and other events, participate in the traditional Georgian Supra with toastmaster and polyphonic songs performed by the SHUMI ensemble, take part in various rituals, such as the Qvevri Opening and the Lazarus Ritual.
- The Marani, where SHUMI’s wines are made in Qvevry and aged in oak barrels.
- The Enoteca, a cellar vault holding SHUMI’s best.
- ZIGU House. ZIGU is an exclusive drink that has no analogues in the world, created by the patented SHUMI technology and produced from more than 300 rare grape varieties grown in the vineyard of the SHUMI Ampelographic Collection.
- Gastronomic zones, with a restaurant and terraces, cafes, verandas, pavilions and tasting areas with various activities including: harvesting grapes, pressing grapes in an ancient winepress and making chacha; culinary master-classes, baking Shoti (traditional Georgian bread) in a tone (traditional Georgian oven), cooking Georgia’s national foods, such as, churchkhela, khachapuri, Mtsvadi – Georgian barbeque, khinkali, and more, classes in Qvevry wine making and participating in Qvevry opening ceremonies. Lunch and dinner are available at the SHUMI Winery and Tourist Complex or at one of SHUMI’s biodynamic vineyards in the foothills of the dramatic Caucuses mountains and Picnic in Walnut Grove surrounded by wild nature. The menu reflets a wide range of Georgian dishes prepared from local high-quality ingredients and SHUMI-grown organic products. Some of the patented cooking methods and recipes are unique and do not exist anywhere else in the world.
- The Wine Shop, showcasing a wide assortment of different products and alcoholic drinks including SHUMI’s exclusives produced using our own unique technologies, among them exclusive beverages that have no analogues in the world. SHUMI’s products are acclaimed for their quality, they have earned more than 500 prestigious international awards, among them the prizes and medals that no other company in the history of Georgia has ever received.
- The Decorative Garden, with sculptures made by famous Georgian and international artists.
SHUMI not only introduces the world to Georgian culture and traditional winemaking, but also contributes to the creation of new ones. SHUMI has a number of inventions and patents.
SHUMI actively participates in local and international projects.
SHUMI has set up its own wine school (SWS), where high school students, students and representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises and family farms in Georgia study for free, and where international students undergo their internships.
At Plumpton College, the UK’s leading wine institution, SHUMI sponsored a wine museum and also became an organizer of Qvevri wine production.
SHUMI WINERY is the winner in 9 nominations according to the results of public online voting of the international competition THE WINE TRAVEL AWARDS (WTA): Must Visit; Brand is the visiting card of the country; Progressive approach; Authentic location; Object d’Art; Unique program; Cultural mission; Magnet of the region; An effective event. And in the nomination Magnet of the region – also the winner of the jury prize!
On a regular basis, SHUMI WINERY is the winner in the nomination “BEST AWARD FOR WINE TOURISM” within the framework of the National Tourism Award “WELCOME TO GEORGIA”, receives TripAdvisor awards – “Travelers’ Choice”. SHUMI is the winner in the nomination “THE BEST PLACE FOR GASTRONOMIC REGIONAL TOURISM”. For the first time in the history of Georgia, SHUMI became the winner in the nomination “BEST PRACTICE RELATED TO ARCHAEOBOTANY IN WINE TOURISM” at the international competition in Sicily, organized by the Council of Europe.
Whether you are a true gourmet and wine lover or just someone who would like to experience the best of Georgia – SHUMI Winery and Tourist Complex is the right choice for you!