In the western reaches of the country, the climate is subtropical and maritime; it rains quite often and the topography is dominated by natural watersheds, intricate limestone canyons with emerald-colored waterways, lowlands, and marshland. This is Samegrelo, one of Georgia’s most bucolic provinces, where flora and fauna uncommon to the rest of the country thrive within a unique ecosystem. By many accounts, here is where wine may have its oldest documentation in this country with the longest unbroken winemaking tradition in the world. A fun fact – up until the 20th century the Maghrali method of grape-cultivation was still widely utilized in Samegrelo, whereby the vine was trained up the trunks of trees! The principal varieties here are the absurdly gorgeous Ojaleshi that has been given new life post-Soviet rule where it was overfarmed into semi-sweet oblivion; at its best, Ojaleshi renders a wine that is unmistakable. Ruby-red and full of salty strawberries and underripe cherries, basil, black olives, fenugreek… from this region, we have rare Mingrelian treats from Martvili Marani and Oda Family Winery, each with their own take on Ojaleshi in addition to two amber wines from Martvili, one of Tsolikouri and one of Krakhuna.