Winery notes (2017 Vintage)
"The mystery of wine lies deep in nature, and our only role as vignerons is to reveal it with love and awe, the way Georgians have been making wine for 8,000 years. Our natural wines are made entirely in qvevri inside the womb of the earth.
Our Poliphonia 417 vineyards are located in Tibaani, Kakheti. The soil is brown alluvial, with sandstone and quartz. Poliphonia 417 is a field blend of 417 of the original 525 Goergian local varieties. Our .5 hectare plot was planted as a vine library to help these rare varieties survive. This is a blend of white, red and rose varieties from Western to Eastern Georgia."
From Blog Les Caves de Pyrene UK
"Harmonic chaos" is how John Wurdeman describes this blend of 417 indigenous Georgian grapes.
Polyphony or Poliphonia is a mixed planted field with 1-10 vines of each of the 417 varieties. This micro-vineyard is harvested in 3-4 sweeps, as the grapes all ripen at different times, so one ends up with white, golden greenish, blue, purple, grey-pink grapes at various level of ripeness that eventually finish co-fermenting together!
90% destemmed 10% whole bunch, everything is naturally fermented in buried qvevri, after a five day maceration the must is pressed.
The wine itself is delicious, more like a dark rose than a red, with sappy fruit and a nice herbal twist. The idea behind it is lovely – this is, of course, about conserving and promoting autochthonous grapes, providing a raison (raisin?) d’etre for them to be replanted. The wine also riffs energetically on the idea of Georgian folk song; different voices at different pitches and interval coming together in tonal fusion. With wine as with music you have to surrender to it to cultivate the message. Georgian wine seems atonal if we can extend that metaphor; oddly coloured and oddly shaped texturally, and then with the food and the occasion it makes perfect sense, as if you were shaping around the wine.
About Pheasant Tears
"All of the wines at Pheasant's Tears are fermented and aged in qvevri (large earthenware vessels). Pheasant's Tears qvevri vary in age but, some date back to the mid 19th Century. The winery built their cellar in the vineyard itself to minimize the damage to the grapes in transportation, allowing them to harvest and press before the hot hours of the sun. It is usually a question of hours before the harvested grapes are already pressed and in the cool qvevri.
In accordance with Georgian traditional winemaking methods, the ripest of stems are added to the grape skins, juice and pits, for both reds and whites produced by Pheasant's Tears. The maceration time depends on varietal and the size of the qvevri and varies between 3 weeks and 6 months.
Since all of Pheasant's Tears' wines are aged exclusively in qvevri, no flavors are imparted from oak barrels. What some might consider a lack of oak, the winery views as an opportunity to let the quality of the grapes and the resulting wine shine through."