Producer Profile: Baia’s Winery

Baia’s wine journey started younger than most. As a child she and her siblings spent their childhood helping their grandparents in their vineyard. They were even allowed to tend their own small farms too, which sparked Baia’s interest in plants and nature. As well as growing vines, her family produced wine as well, all in line with the traditional techniques used in the region they are based in Imereti, a central wine region in Georgia. This involved using qvevris, which are large, egg-shaped amphorae clay vessels used for the fermentation, storage and ageing of traditional Georgian wines.  

After Baia completed college, she decided that the city life wasn’t for her, and she relocated back to where she spent her childhood. In 2015, she followed what she truly wanted to do and started her own winery. Wineries, even small ones, are no small feat and no small cost, so Baia and her family applied for a local start up grant, which she received, giving her the start she really needed to produce her wines.  

Accompanied by her brother and sister, Baia created a winery that was 100% organic and focused purely on indigenous grape varieties and traditional winemaking techniques. They first started by making a few white wines, which saw a few months of skin-maceration and qvevri aging. Her grant gave her the opportunity to create high-quality wines and even purchase a bottling plant! However, not a car. So, when it came to Baia wanting to share her wines with restaurants in the city, her and her siblings hopped on the train to the city of Tbilisi, to share their wines with the hospitality world. Incredibly, Baia’s wines were a massive success and warmly received by many in the wine world.  

Since then, Baia’s winery has grown from strength to strength. Her wines are internationally known and highly regarded, while giving Georgian wine the platform it deserves. She now produces a range of wines, from a variety of grapes, including Tsolikouri, Tsitska, Krakhuna, Aladasturi, Otskhanuri Sapere. Amazingly, Baia was named in Forbes’ 30 under 30 in 2019 at just the age of 25, which is truly the icing on the cake. She is truly a force to be reckoned with and an inspiration to female wine makers and boutique wine makers in Geogia.  

The Wines:

Baia’s Tsistka, Tsolikauri Krakhuna Qvevri 

This is Baia’s blend of three grapes from her vineyard; Tsitska, Tsolikouri and Krakhuna. The wine has aromas of persimmon, apricot and citrus. To drink one gets the harmonious velvety taste of Krakhuna, the balance of Tsolikouri and the crisp finish of Tsitska. These appear as flavours of persimmon, apricot and soft lemon that create a full-bodied and dry wine with a long and pleasant finish. 

Gvantsa’s Aladasturi Qvevri 

Made by Gvantsa Abuladze, sister to Baia, this is a gem of a wine. It is made with 100% Aladasturi, a rare native variety. Unfiltered, with a silky texture, it has fragrances of violets and cherry and with an elegant light grip. Then there is black cherry and black pepper on the palate. Aladasturi translates as ‘god is happy!’ which clearly rubs off on this wine! 

Gvansta’s Aladasturi Rose 

Also made from Aladasturi, it is hand-picked, hand-sorted, and very gently pressed after de-stemming, creating its beautiful salmon-pink colour. Then finally it is spontaneously fermented in qvevris. It’s unfiltered and is bursting with cranberries, strawberries and pomegranates.