John Wurdeman & Gela Patalishvili – Pheasants Tears, Kakheti

In 2006 when John was painting a landscape in a vineyard in the Alazani valley in Kakheti, Gela found him as he was driving by on his tractor and this was the beginning to a new adventure.

John, born American, moved to Russia as a teenager and has now spent the last 20 years in Georgia. He came here for the music and art, and got so attached to the country and people so he stayed.
That day in 2006 when he was making a piece of art and Gela, who needed a voice for the wines he was making, had decided that John was the man for this job and chased him down.

And what an incredible job they’ve done together since they started out together in 2007. Yes, Gela managed after being very convincing, some wine bribing involved. John has traveled more than all people we know, together with chefs, singers and other winemakers and practically exported the whole country. 10 years ago you didn’t see Georgian restaurants or Georgian wines all over the hip places, but today, it’s everywhere-and a lot of this is thanks to this fantastic guy!

Back to the wines and winery: Pheasants Tears is situated in the eastern Georgia, Kakheti and is like a library when it comes to Georgian grape varieties. They farm all their vineyards Biodynamic (organically)  and has vineyards in other areas as well where they’ve found interesting soils and varieties. All to be able to show how fantastic and diverse the Georgian wines can be. All wines are made in the traditional Qvevri, which are buried in the ground for natural temperature control. Not all the whites are made with skin, but a big proportion of them are ‘orange’.

The wines are vibrant and full of life, with depth, transparency and very unique tastes.

2020 Chkhaveri Petnat

Soil: Red clay & granite
Grape: Chkhaveri
Appellation: Meskheti
Age of Vines: Planted 2016
Yields: 20 hl/h

Vinification: Fermented with skins in qvevri for 6 hours, before pressing and continuous fermentation in stainless steel tanks. At bottling in October 2020, grape juice is added to create a second fermentation in bottle.


2021 Quinta Petnat

Soil: Volcanic, Basalt
Grape: Chinuri (white), Goruli Mtsvane (white), Shavkapito (red),
Danakharuli Mtsvane (red), Chkhaveri (red)
Appellation: Kartli
Age of Vines: Planted 2010
Yields: 20 hl/h

Vinification: Fermented with skins for 1 day and then fermentation is carried out in stainless steel tanks. At bottling in October 2021, grape juice is added to create a second fermentation in bottle. Undisgorged.


2021 Chinuri-Mtsvane Petnat

Soil: Brown alluvial clay sandstone
Grape: Chinuri, Mtsvane
Appellation: Kartli
Age of Vines: Planted 2000
Yields: 20 hl/h

Vinification: Fermented with skins in qvevri for 1 month. At bottling grape juice is added to create a second fermentation in bottle.


2018 Chinuri No Skin (White)

Soil: Sandstone
Grape: Chinuri
Appellation: Kartli
Age of Vines: Planted 2000
Yields: 20 hl/h

Vinification: Direct press and fermented in qvevri, aged in qvevri for 9 months. Bottle aged for 2 years.


2020 Tsistka-Tsolikouri (White)

Soil: Brown clay, lime rock
Grape: 80% Tsolikouri 20% Tsistka
Area: Imereti
Age of Vines: Planted 1975
Yields: 20 hl/h
Vinification: Direct press, fermentation in qvevri and ageing in stainless steel. Botteled in June 2021.


2012, 2020 Mtsvane Tibaani (Orange)

Soil: Sandstone, quartz and brown clay
Grape: Mtsvane
Appellation: Kakheti
Age of Vines: Planted 2011
Yields: 20 hl/h

Vinification: Destemmed and macerated with the skins for 7 days in qvevri before pressing and ageing in qvevri. Bottled in June the year following harvest.


2020 Rkatsiteli Tibaani (Orange)

Soil: Sandstone
Grape: Rkatsiteli
Appellation: Tibani
Age of Vines: Planted 1975
Yields: 25 hl/h

Vinification: Destemmed and macerated with the skins for 3 months in qvevri before pressing and ageing in qvevri. Bottled in May 2021


2020 Xixvi (Orange)

Soil: Sandstone, quartz and brown clay
Grape: Khikhvi
Appellation: Kakheti
Age of Vines: planted 2011
Yields: 20 hl/h

Vinification: Destemmed and macerated with the skins for 3 months in qvevri before pressing and ageing in qvevri. Bottled in June 2021


2020 Kakhuri Mtsvivana (Orange)

Soil: Sandstone, quartz and brown clay, from Tiibani vineyard
Grape: Kakhuri Mtsvane
Appellation: Kakheti
Age of Vines: Planted 2012
Yields: 20 hl/h

Vinification: Destemmed and macerated with the skins for 1 month in qvevri before pressing and ageing in qvevri. Bottled in June 2021


2019 Kisi (Orange)

Soil: Sandstone, quartz and brown clay
Grape: Kisi
Appellation: Kakheti
Age of Vines: planted 2011
Yields: 20 hl/h

Vinification: Destemmed and macerated with the skins for 6 months in qvevri before pressing and ageing in qvevri. Bottled in May 2020


2019 Vardesperi Rkatsiteli (Macerated pink)

Soil: Sandstone, quartz and brown clay
Grape: Vardesperi Rkatsiteli
Appellation: Kakheti
Age of Vines: planted 2011
Yields: 20 hl/h

Vinification: Destemmed and macerated with the skins for 1 week to 10 days in qvevri before pressing and ageing in qvevri. Bottled in May 2020


2020 Danakharuli-Goruli Mtsvane (Red)

Soil: Sandstone
Grape: 60% Goruli Mtsvane (white) 40% Danakharuli Mtsvane (red)
Appellation: Kartli
Age of Vines: Planted 2011
Yields: 20 hl/h

Vinification: Destemmed and macerated with the skins for 5 days in qvevri before pressing and ageing in stainless steel. Bottled in June 2021


2020 Quinta (Red)

Soil: Volcanic, Basalt
Grape: Chinuri, Goruli Mtsvane, Shavkapito, Danakharuli Mtsvane, Chkhaveri
Appellation: Kartli
Age of Vines: Planted
Yields: 20 hl/h

Vinification: Destemmed and macerated with the skins for 1 week in qvevri before pressing and ageing in qvevri. Bottled in May 2021


2020 Triad (Red)

Soil: Volcanic, Basalt
Grape: Chitistvala (60% white, 40% red), Buera (white), Grzeltevanma (white)
Appellation: Kakheti
Age of Vines: Planted
Yields: 15 hl/h

Vinification: Destemmed and macerated with the skins for 1 week in qvevri before pressing and ageing in qvevri. Bottled in May 2021


2019 Poliphonia         

 Soil: Sandstone, quartz and brown clay
Grape: 227 different indigenous varieties, both red and white
Appellation: Kakheti
Age of Vines: Planted 2011
Yields: 25 hl/h
Vinification: Destemmed and macerated with the skins for 1 week in qvevri before pressing and ageing in qvevri. Bottled in June 2021


Soif da Vsvam 2020 (Red)

Soil: Volcanic, Basalt
Grape: 16 Indigenous varietals from Meskheti with Khikhvi and Meskhuri Mtsvane dominating
Appellation: Meskheti
Age of Vines: Planted 2016
Yields: 15 hl/h
Vinification: Destemmed and macerated with the skins for 1 week in qvevri before pressing and ageing in qvevri. Bottled in May 2021

Extras: Soif da Vsvam is a collaboration between Pheasant’s Tears and Thierry Puzelat based on 12th C vine terraces in the southern region of Samtskhe- Javakheti full of volcanic soils, harsh wind this wine is made from more than 16 ancient Meskhetian varietals from the village of Khertvisi.


2019, 2020 Chkhaveri (Red)

Soil: Red Clay & Granite
Grape: Chkhaveri
Appellation: Meskheti
Age of Vines: planted 2016
Yields:17 hl/h

Vinification: Destemmed and macerated with the skins for 1 week in qvevri before pressing and ageing in stainless steel. Bottled in May the year following harvest.


2018 Saperavi (Red)

Soil: Sandstone and quartz
Grape: Saperavi
Appellation: Kakheti
Age of Vines: Planted in 2000-2002
Yields: 25 hl/h

Vinification: 80% destemmed (crushed), 20% whole bunch (not crushed) maceration with the skins for 5 days in qvevri before pressing and ageing in qvevri. Bottled in May 2019.


Chacha (or Georgian breakfast)

Skins and wine (so this is a mix between marc and fine) that’s left in the qvevri after racking was single distilled in a 150 liter copper pot still heated by woodfire. Both head and tail taken away, so high viscosity and intense flavors. Aged for 3 years in old oak barrels.