Georgian winery Pheasant’s tears was founded in 2007 by John Wurdeman and Gela Patalishvili. John is an American painter who first came to Georgia in 1996, and the following year bought a house in Sighnaghi. In 1998 he relocated to Georgia full time. Gela is a winegrower whose family’s connection with wine goes back eight generations. The two met in 2005 when John was painting in a vineyard, and decided to work together. All wines are fermented in qvevri, traditional clay amphorae, which are lined with beeswax and sunk into the ground. Natural yeast fermentations are employed.
Slightly different techniques are used to make each of the wines. Some have moderate skin contact, others have minimal (3 weeks to 6 months). Stems are included. It’s all decided by taste. John notes that qvevri wines seem to age faster than conventional wines.
The name ‘pheasant’s tears’ refers to a Georgian story in which only the very best wines are good enough to make a pheasant cry. Not sure what they are doing giving wine to pheasants…
Rkatsiteli will stand up well with roasted chicken or more exotic fowl like duck or quail, but won’t overpower lighter fare.