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Dr. Brent Trela, Director of Research, is investigating wine production in Qvevri produced by Billy Ray. Dr. Trela worked previously in the Republic of Georgia studying wine production under the auspices of the World Bank. He also led the UC Davis Winemaking certificate program and developed and directed the Enology program at Texas Tech University and Enology extension services through Texas A&M.

Dir. Tom Vincent lived in the Republic of Georgia for three years, and obtained his winemaking certificate from UC Davis, in part while studying Georgian wine. He maintains contacts with producers there for the team and helped arrange for Billy Ray’s trip.


  1. Taylor

    Bill, Brent and Tom

    I’m in Georgia enjoying the wine and beer but, I want to see it made and have a great Georgian wine experience. Currently I’m in Tbilisi and plan on exploring Georgia as much as possible. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • trelab

      Hello Taylor,
      Your travel journey looks interesting and fun! Did you start out from the Northwest (as might be surmised by your email address)? Great to see you made it to Georgia! Here are a few places among many that may interest you:

      • In Kakheti
      o Telavi:
      Giorgi Dakishvili, Winemaker and partner- his were among the first qvevri wines I tried first in 2003.
      Schuchmann Wines
      o Sighnaghi
      John Wurdeman- a transplanted American artist and winemaker that has helped generate significant press for Georgian wines and winemaking
      Pheasants Tears
      Baratashvili St. #18, Sighnaghi, Georgia

      • In Tbilisi and near each other:
      o Tbilvino
      Zurab Margvelashvili, Head- delicious wines
      2 Sarajishvili Ave., 0153 Tbilisi
      While there is some rivalry from the south (Armenia), Georgian brandies are excellent too:
      o Sarajishvili Brandy
      4 D. Sarajishvili Ave., 0153 Tbilisi

      Among the foods I most fondly remember and seek are: Khachapuri (cheese bread), Sulguni cheese, Kharcho soup, and an all-time anytime favorite (especially after a night of plentiful wine and brandy): Khinkali dumplings!

      If you visit these places and folks- please let them know I said hello.

      Best wishes!


    • Nino Chkhartishvili

      Dear Friends, Dear Brent,
      As I see your friend, who is interested in Georgian wines and especially in qvevri is in Tbilisi. I would like to suggest to visit the cellar (Marani of Qvevri), which is situated in in Tbilisi, in the territory of International university of Caucasus, where as I informed you started master program of viticulture and wine making so we have a cellar of qvevri. our wine maker is Temur GOnjilashvili you know him he is the best nowadays.
      Please call 591 30 74 74 Nino

  2. Carmen

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  4. info

    I truly thank you for your contribution. Recently, I have been considering and researching most of this and I’m pleased people are doing the same.

  5. Francesca

    My husband & I are coming back to Georgia, first week of April for my birthday.

    Our passion for qvevri wines is what is bringing us back to Georgia!

    This time we would like to get to understand the qvevri making & maintenance. Do you have recommendations for qvevri makers?
    Also planning to buy a qvevri to ship back home.


    • trelab

      Hello Francesca,

      That sounds great! I am already imagining the great food and wine you will have! One place I can easily recommend is John Wurdeman at Pheasants Tears Winery- who could point you in good directions: #18 Baratasvili Str., Sighnahghi. Please tell him I said hello.



  6. Madge

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