Owner & winemaker: Simon Sesikashvili
Vineyards: One 1ha rented parcel
Vineyard management: Practicing organic
Soils: Cinnamonic soils (sandy, reddish-colored calcareous clay with a high iron content)
Grapes grown: Rkatsiteli, Saperavi, Mtsvane
Annual production: 6,000 bottles
- All of the Sesikeli wines are made in qvevris according to the eight-thousand year old traditions handed down by Simon’s ancestors.
- Simon works exclusively with Georgia’s unique native grapes.
- They’ve increased their capacity to 5000L–that is, they now have fifty 100L qvevris buried in the ground.
The winemaking history of Georgia goes back eight thousand years, and today Kakheti is home to distinctive traditional styles that have been passed down from generation to generation. Nestled between the Caucasus mountains in the Alazani Valley, with striking iron-rich red soils and a proliferation of native grape varieties, it’s an ideal place to make high-quality natural wines. At the Sesikeli winery, Simon Sesikashvili makes amber wines in traditional qvevri, the way his ancestors did. He learned winemaking by working alongside his family as a child, then continued his studies and began bottling and commercially selling wine for the first time in 2016.
Sesikeli produces all of their wines in traditional “qvevris,” large (100L) clay vessels that are buried in the ground. Both white and red grapes are fermented with their skins in qvevri for six months. This gives the red wines a deep purple color, and the whites get their characteristic amber hue. The wines are then aged in the sealed qvevris for up to several years. The clay vessel naturally and gently filters the wine during this period as well. Every part of the winemaking process is done by hand. This millenia-old tradition was recently added to UNESCO’s world heritage list.