Georgia – Why and How Is This Country Unique?

Giorgi Papashvili
Giorgi Papashvili

On June 18th,  Georgian Art Historian, Giorgi Papashvili held a lecture about Georgia’s art history and culture at the Georgetown Unviersity. The event was supported by Professor of Theology at Georgetown University, Ori Soltes and the Young Ambassador of Georgia to the United States, Ioseb Jorjoliani.  Ph.D candidate Papashvili who is now finishing his four months project in the United States, discussed the unique contributions of Georgia to the world, including the achievements of George Balanchine, John Shalikashvili, Alexander Kartveli and many more.

Professor Ori Soltes
Professor Ori Soltes

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GiorgiiiPublic Talk

Young Ambassador of Georgia, Ioseb Jorjoliani came up with an initiative to express American public’s support to the victims of the flood, which hit the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi on June 13th. The address of  TBC bank and link to Maka Meshveliani’s initiative to help Tbilisi recover from flooding were advertised in the lecture. Besides, that attendees took pictures with a sign “Support Tbilisi” to express their solidarity to Georgian people in this tough period of time.

Ambassador
Ioseb Jorjoliani

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Standing Stone Vineyards – The First Place to produce Georgian Saperavi in the United States

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Standing Stone Vineyards is a small winery at the Seneca Lake of Finger Lakes in the East of New York State. It is the first place to start labeling Georgian vinifera variety, Saperavi. Saperavi is an acidic, teinturier-type grape variety that has been growing in Georgia for about 6000 years and now is spreading all around the places. Standing Stone planted Saperavi a while ago but the owners of the winery could not label it as Saperavi, because it was not approved by TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) . Therefore they labeled it as the Dark Red. “Seneca Lake is not overwhelmingly famous for its red wines but we are trying to bring new viniferas so that we know what we can produce here, Saperavi is a proof that we should be growing more red here”, said the owner of Standing Stone vineyards, Marti Macinski.

SAPERAVI22012 production of Saperavi has won a Gold Medal Award on New York Wine Fair. Therefore the owners of Standing Stone planted more Saperavi , increasing 3 acres of vineyards to 5 acres, “My husband and I decided to produce more Saperavi as we sold 200 cases of the Dark Red (Saperavi) in 8 months in 2013. We applied for a label to call it Saperavi and received approval in about a month”, said Marti Macinski who runs the winery with her husband, Tom Macinski. ” We are selling this delicious inky purple, deep, dark red, Saperavi at $29.99 which is not overly expensive and not overly cheap for New York market”, added Mrs. Macinski.

The owner of Standing Stone Vineyards, Marti Macinski
The owner of Standing Stone Vineyards, Marti Macinski

Tom and Marti purchased historic vineyards on the east side of Seneca Lake in 1991 and spent years researching the quality of these lands, “From ripe, richly flavored grapes we produce premium wines – each year making slightly more wine which is better than the preceding vintage”, said Marti Macinski. Standing Stone produced only 800 cases back in 1990s, now with increasing numbers of various wines including but not limited to Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Smokehouse Red, Saperavi and even Ice style wines, Standing Stone is producing about 8000 cases every year. “We get a fair amount of recognition, which is a little bit surprising, for our ice style wines. We harvest our grapes late, we freeze commercially and then make killer, delicious desert wines out of four different varieties” added Mrs. Macinski.

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The wines made at Standing Stone Vineyards are made and sold in renovated barns, “The white wines are made in stainless steel tanks, allowing temperature control of fermentation and cellaring, and the red wines and Chardonnay are made in oak barrels – primarily American Oak but we also use Hungarian and French ones too. We spend many hours tasting the wines, both to follow their progress, and to assess the blends. We believe that the hands-on, vineyard based approach to our wines results in a superior wine finished in the bottle”, said Mrs. Macinski who hopes that her new production of Saperavi will be a huge success like the years before.
You can tour Standing Stone facility, often including a visit with someone from the wine making team, and often including samples of the current vintage from barrels or tanks.

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For more information about Standing Stone Vineyards please visit www.standingstonewines.com