Gio Chezhia live:
“After I finished my Master’s Degree in Wine (WINTOUR) and made several harvests in Portugal with Luis Seabra, Antonio Maçanita and Pedro Frey, I started to make my own wines in Portugal.
I took Portuguese and Spanish winemakers to Georgia to introduce them to the wines there. After this trip, the owner of Soalheiro, Luís Cerdeira, invited me to make a Georgian-style wine together with him, in Vinho Verde’s Monção e Melgaço region, and gave me total decision-making freedom. Harvest 2019 marked the birth of our first wine, Ag.hora, and my winemaking story.
In 2020, I decided to focus more closely on the wine vessels I was using. I wanted to find the best possible amphora to increase my wine production and diversity. Luckily, I convinced an iconic amphora producer from Spain, Juan Padilla, to help me achieve this goal, which also helped me to expand to other regions in Portugal.
I challenged my favorite winemakers, Filipa Pato & William Wouters in Bairrada, and Antonio Maçanita in Alentejo, to make wines in my Spanish amphoras and I did my personal project in Luís Seabra’s winery, in Douro. They were happy to collaborate with me and, thanks to my luck, once again, gave me the freedom to do what I wanted.
What I wanted was to tease out another expression of good grapes with my winemaking philosophy and a Georgian twist – long skin maceration in amphora. I believe most white grapes can expresse themselves beautifully and interestingly via maceration. In some cases, this technique can also give more complexity to grapes that are traditionally considered to have less potential or young vineyards, that are still shy from expressing their full potential.”