Shavnabada Monastery is a medieval Georgian Orthodox Monastery named in honor of St. George and is located at the top of Shavnabada Mountain, in southeastern Georgia. If you want a window into the past, drink the wines from Shavnabada Monastery. The monastery is located on the outskirts of Tbilisi, where classical wines are made under the strict supervision of the Monks. This place is so off the beaten path that we would not have know about it had it not been for Jean-Michel of Kabaj in Slovenia. He apprenticed at this winery and was the one to introduce us to the wines. Drinking these wines is an almost spiritual or sacred experience.
The Monastery vineyards are planted in Melaani, Kakheti. Grapes from perish members are also utilized. Everything is done by hand as it has been done for centuries.
Hand harvested grapes are transported to the winery south of Tbilisi and foot trodden in the traditional wooden press “Satsnakheli”. The badagi (grape must) is poured into Qvevri where the wine macerates on the skins for approximately 2 weeks for red wine and 6 months for white sorts. A small amount of So2 is burned in the empty Qvevri before vinification, no other additions are made. When done properly wine can be aged in Qvevri for years, even decades, only to emerge stable, complex and harmonious. Wines are not fined, nor filtered and bottled by hand. The bottleneck is covered with beeswax from Shavnabada's own bees.
Dark and brooding with intense earthiness. This saperavi was aged for 8 years buried in the earth right outside the church. Take a sip, close your eyes, and you will feel transported to another time and place. Pairs perfectly with most meat or mushroom based dishes. Try with richer, creamier cheeses.
GRAPE COMPOSITION: 100% Saperavi
MACERATION & AGING: 8 years in qvevri
RESIDUAL SUGAR: 3.7 g/l
ACIDITY: 6.3 g/l