No two Georgia’s are the same. One is known for peaches, the other is the birthplace of wine. This is the story of how a friendship forged in the vineyards of the country of Georgia, was cultivated, nurtured, and fermented to create Saperavi USA. Historians and archeologists have identified Georgia as the first region of the world to make wine some 8,000 years ago. But for the last century, Georgian wines were hidden from the Western world behind the former Soviet iron curtain. In 2018, Saperavi USA principals Gayle Corrigan and Linda Dykeman, were looking for their next entrepreneurial adventure when Gayle met Wine Company Shumi owner Temuri Lomsadze on one of her frequent trips to Moscow. It wasn’t long before they began to think, “What if?” What if they could find a way to introduce Georgian wines to the US, in a way that had never been done before? Soon, Gayle and Linda visited Temuri at Wine Company Shumi in Georgia, and the wheels started to turn.
Wine Company Shumi is nestled between the greater and lesser Caucasus Mountain ranges in the Kakheti region of the country of Georgia. Its vineyards primarily lay between 1,000 and 2,000 feet above sea level in the strictly controlled Napareuli and Mukuzani micro-zones along the Alazani River. It was among those vineyards that Temuri, Gayle and Linda carefully developed their plan to introduce wines to America from the Kakheti region of Georgia. As Temuri hosted Gayle and Linda, he eventually invited them to take on the role of tamada or toastmaster during Supra – a traditional Georgian feast. In this role, glass after glass of wine was raised in toasts to family, friends and food. It created a bond of trust between the three that only can come from true friendship. That friendship has resulted in the creation of the Vinobiza brand by Temuri and Wine Company Shumi for Saperavi USA. On the ancient Georgian calendar Vinobiza meant the month of harvest, or October. Our goal is to educate American consumers about traditional Georgian wines and their unique place in history at your table and on your palette.