Founders Bet Strong US Relationships Will Help Break Russia’s Economic Power Over Georgian Wine Industry
New York, New York – Nov. 10, 2020 – Lost Eden, a red wine blend created to showcase Georgia’s unique winemaking traditions and win the hearts of American wine lovers, launched today in the United States. In partnership with the Georgian Ministry of Agriculture and Partnership Fund, Lost Eden was crafted to build ties with the West and forever pivot Georgia, the birthplace of wine, away from Russian dominance. Behind the Georgian project is a renowned team including Lado Uzunashvili, a prominent 11th generation Georgian winemaker, Levan Gachechiladze, who previously established a successful Georgian wine joint venture with the drinks giant Pernod Ricard and Tariel Chichua, a Georgian millennial and entrepreneur with a Cornell MBA, passionate about ensuring his country is recognized globally. As Lost Eden enters the US market, it is available through Wine.com for a suggested retail price of $18.99.
Wine is at the heart of Georgian culture. Central to the country’s history and identity, wine is deeply intertwined with religion, family traditions, hospitality and everyday life. However, 70 years of forced dependence on the Soviet economy has led to more than 60% of Georgian wine being exported to Russia1, giving the Russians considerable economic power over Georgia’s wine industry. With the launch of Lost Eden in the United States, the stage is set for Georgia to ease themselves from this heavy economic grip.
“The Georgian people have suffered many years of Russian oppression and a number of crippling embargos that have negatively impacted both our current wine industry and our 8,000 year winemaking tradition. To break free from Russia’s grasp, we partnered with an incredible team to create Lost Eden for the United States wine market. This visionary wine project will not only introduce Americans to an exquisite Georgian wine, but also will help us build back a strong, free wine market in Georgia,” said Irakli Cholobargia, National Wine Agency, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.
“Over the past 200 years, Russia has occupied, economically suppressed and annexed territories of our country,” said Levan Gachechiladze, co-Partner of Lost Eden. “Georgia is the Birthplace of Wine. The Georgian people were the first people on earth to conquer the grape. And yet, because Russia continues to have huge economic influence over our wine industry, few in the U.S. know the history or the quality of our winemaking. Lost Eden is designed to change that for good.”
“Growing up in Georgia and going to graduate school in the United States made clear that Georgia is Europe’s best kept secret. Our amazing history, food and wine has been virtually unknown to most Americans. Lost Eden will be a wonderful bridge between our two countries, while helping us realize economic freedom from Russia,” said Lost Eden co-founder and brand ambassador Tariel Chichua.
Lost Eden represents Georgia’s winemaking traditions within the boundaries of its lush green landscape tucked between the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains bordering Russia. Aspects of the ancient methods, which pre-date written history, are still applied to Georgian winemaking today. Lost Eden is a red blend made from the Saperavi grape, the region’s most renowned grape variety and signature grape of the country. The most authentic part of the blend comes from a portion of the wine that is made in traditional Georgian Qvevris (pronounced que-v-ree), which is added to the main blend towards the end of fermentation. The two unique components marry in harmony until bottling.
“When making the Lost Eden Red Blend, it was important to showcase Georgia as the birthplace of wine. To do this I found the perfect balance between modern and traditional Georgian winemaking practices to illustrate the quality and evolution of wine produced in my country. We believe wine is better with less human intervention,” winemaker Lado Uzunashvili explained. He continues with “Incorporating wine made in the Georgian Qvevris into the blend brought an authentic element, contributing to the layers of black fruit that will continue to emerge and gain structure with age. Lost Eden is smooth and silky on the palate. The finish is bright and memorable, as pure as the famous garden where it was first discovered. I’m looking forward to sharing it with Americans.”
About Georgia and Lost Eden
There are 21 distinct wine-producing regions (a.k.a. PDO – Protected Designation of Origin) in Georgia and 500 grape varieties, which is more than anywhere else in the world. Lost Eden is a Saperavi blend, a native grape that grew wild in its lush, verdant valleys for thousands of years. The very word “wine” is believed to have spread from the ancient Georgian word “Ghvino”, which supposedly derived from the Georgian word “Ghvidzili”, meaning “awakening”, something that comes to life, grows, flourishes and ages. Recently, the Qvevri technique itself was given heritage protection status by UNESCO. For more information about Lost Eden and the history of winemaking in Georgia visit www.LostEden.com and follow along on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
- Georgian Ministry of Agriculture