• OWC Exclusive : Georgian wine history and its wine culture

    Georgia is the only country in the world where winemaking methods that were developed up to 8,000 years ago have not only never been abandoned but remain in many ways best practice.” – ANDREW JEFFORD, Wine writer, Financial Time.

    Georgian wine history

    For generations, Georgia has proudly claimed the title of the birthplace of wine. In 2015, scientists studying the residues (remains of grapes and grape seeds) contained in an ancient clay vessels dating back 8,000 years at an archeological dig in southeastern Georgia, dated these artifacts to 6000 BCE, which had established ancient Georgia as the first known location of grape winemaking.

    Georgians have made wine in egg-shaped clay vessels called qvevri continuously for 8,000 years. Using the traditional method, these vessels are buried underground to keep temperatures constant during fermentation and aging. In 2013, the United Nations added qvevri winemaking to the UNESCO list as “Humanity’s Intangible Cultural Heritage”.

    Georgia wine regions and its wine culture

    The Georgian wine map is sprawling and complex, where few areas of this ancient country have remained untouched by viticulture. From Kakheti in the south-east to Apkhazeti atop the Black Sea coast, there is great diversity of climate, topography and geology. Among the best-known Georgian wine regions, Kakheti is the best place to get acquainted with this ancient tradition, thanks to its welcoming wineries, 1,500-year-old monasteries and man-made cave cities.

    Despite being the oldest wine region in the world, Georgian wines have only come onto the world wine map recently due to the growing interest in natural wines. Even when many would think the culture of France or Italy is so wine-centric, Georgians has taken it to a whole different level as it is such an integral part of their culture and everyday life, which has always been a home endeavor, infused with history, religion and mythology.

    To taste wine at its source, you need to visit Georgia, the tiny Caucasian nation that’s been making wine longer than anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, we are unable to do so now due to the current COVID-19 situaion, but fear not, OWC has collaborated with several boutique Georgian vineyards and obtained the exclusive rights to export and sell wines into Singapore and selected Asian countries. Look out for these unqiue Georgian wines via OWC eShop.

    Wholesales of Georgian wines is also welcome too.

  • OWC Exclusive: Georgian wines

    It is with great pleasure to announce that OWC has collaborated with several boutique Georgian vineyards and obtained the exclusive rights to export and sell wines into Singapore and selected Asian countries.

    Wholesales of Georgian wines is also welcome too.

    Where is Georgia?

    Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia and cross road to the black sea Silk road. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan.

    The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its 2016 population is about 3.72 million. Georgia is a unitary, semi-presidential republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.

    What so special about Georgian wines?

    Georgia is one of the oldest wine regions in the world. The fertile valleys of the South Caucasus house the source of the world’s first cultivated grapevines and neolithic wine production, dated back to over 8,000 years ago. .

    Traditional Georgian grape varieties are little known to the world. Now that the wines of Eastern and Central Europe are coming to international awareness, grapes from this region are becoming better known. Although there are nearly 400 to choose from, only 38 varieties are officially grown for commercial viticulture in Georgia. More and more rare variety grapes are being rediscovered after the post break away from the former Soviet Union.

    Ancient Georgian Qvevri wine-making method

    The Georgian Wine processing, Qvevri wine-making method now comes under the UNESCO heritage listing in 2013, is practised throughout Georgia. The Qvevri is an egg-shaped earthenware vessel used for making, ageing and storing the wine. The wine-making process involves pressing the grapes and then pouring the juice, grape skins, stalks and pips into the Qvevri, which is sealed and buried in the ground so that the wine can ferment for five to six months before consuming.

    How does Qvevri wines taste?

    The flavor of Georgian qvevri wine depends on a variety of factors including grape varieties and the length of fermentation. Owing to skin-contact fermentation, qvevri wines made using white grapes are of a dazzling orange in color while red grapes are intensely colored, inky wines. Qvevri wines are intensely aromatic, displaying an intriguing mix of fruit and savory characteristics. Among these are oxidative notes, which are developed thanks to the vessel’s porosity.

    With all these narratives on Georgian wines, we bet you are eager to try a few now. OWC is proud to bring in wines from 4 different boutique Georgian vineyards, with plenty of selections to choose from in our eShop. Have a try and let us know your feedback on these wines. Happy shopping!

  • Investing in Fine Wine?

    This question would have probably came into many wine enthusiasts’ mind before, what are wealthy families collecting and is fine wine one of them? In recent years, wealthy investors have increasingly included alternative forms of investment, such as fine wine, art or vintage cars, to their portfolio.

    What is fine wine investment?

    The quality and scarcity of fine wine appreciates over time – and so does its value, this is the underlying principle of investing in wine. Today, wine investing is no longer an elite pastime – there are wine stock exchanges, wine specific investment funds, professional storage solutions to store your bottles as they age, and e-Commerce platform to buy and sell your assets.

    Why fine wine investment?

    The fine wine market has outperformed most global equities and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and is less volatile than real estate or gold, it can be a profitable alternative investment option for investors and wine drinkers to diversify their portfolio. You can keep abreast of your wines’ valuation by following the London International Vintners Exchange (Liv-Ex), however be aware that wine is not as liquid as the stock market, but is definitely more liquid than real estate and alternative assets like fine art.

    Types of wine to invest in

    Majority of wine produced in the world is meant for consumption, rather than for investments, so even among those meant to be aged and kept for years, not all can be considered for investment. Across all the wine producers around the world, only about 250 produce investment grade fine wines, and about 90% of these investment grade wines are produced in Bordeaux, France. The Grand Cru wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy have long dominated the scene and wine investors typically need to hold cases of wines for at least 5 or more years to allow it time to become rarer, before selling it at a profit in the secondary market

    How to start your wine investment?

    1. Purchase and resell individual bottles or cases of particular wines.
    2. Purchase shares in a fund that specialises in wine investments – like a mutual fund
    3. Invest with a wine company that offers wine portfolio management service

    However prior to choosing the your wine investment channels, you need to do the following works:

    • Step 1 – Research about wines
    • Step 2 – Determine how much you can invest
    • Step 3 – Decide where you want to buy your wines from
    • Step 4 – Determine how you want to store your wines
    • Step 5 – Decide where and how you want to sell your wines

    OWC offers a wide range of solutions from wine sourcing, logistic arrangement, wine storage to “En Primeur” services for our wine collectors and investors . OWC also enable wine entrepreneurs to leverage on OWC eShop platform to sell their wines and auctioning of their prized possessions. Talk to us for a more in-depth discussion.

  • Wine tasting basics

    How to taste wine like a professional wine taster, even if you are just a beginner? To be a good wine taster, all you need are the 5 S’s (see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor), and you will be able to get the most out of any glass of wine

    See – Hold the glass at 45 degree angle over a white background. Look for the color and clarity of the wine. Colors give the taster clues to the grape variety, and whether the wine was aged in wood. As a general rule, color saturation tends to go hand in hand with flavor intensity.

    Swirl – Swirl the wine a couple times. This is to increase the surface area of the wine by spreading it over the inside of the glass, allowing the aromas to escape from solution and reach your nose. Heavy wines will be deeper in color and generally more intense on the nose. Sweeter wines, being denser will leave thick, viscous streaks down the inside of the glass when swirled.

    Sniff – Great wine is enticing on the nose and gives you a hint of what is to come, so sniffing the wine before tasting is essential. A wine’s quality can be judged by its nose and taste.

    Sip – Take a slightly larger sip than usual and roll the wine around your mouth for 3-5 seconds, exposing it to all of your taste buds. This is where the complex taste experience and characteristics of a wine happen, pay attention to the initial flavors that stand out – sweetness, fruitiness, saltiness, acidity, bitterness, and alcohol.

    Savour – Take another sip of wine, this time slurp the wine. Note the aftertaste of the wine, how long does the finish last? A good, 60 second or longer flavor as an aftertaste is a good sign of quality. Sometimes, you will pick up things in the finish that was not detectable in the initial taste.

    There is no right or wrong in your taste, as everyone has a different taste. But one thing for sure is that the best wines in the world are meant to be enjoyed with friends and family over a meal.

    Our Wine Coterie (OWC) has our own wine tasting room that acts as a waterhole for wine-lovers to conduct and savour wine tasting sessions with good company. Do check out our events regularly.

  • Premium Cru, Grand Cru and Grand Cru Classe

    Wine classifications are a means of categorizing and describing different wines based on how they’re made, where they’re made, and the quality of the wine you’re about to enjoy. While every country has its own classification system, most people are more familiar with the French wine classification as some of the most incredible wines are produced in Burgundy (France)

    What is Cru and their differences?

    Red Burgundy wines are classified based on their cru, which means “growth” and the wine classification indicates that the wine has been legally verified as a product of Burgundy. There are four quality categories in the Burgundy classification system for white and red wines, with Grand Cru at the top of the pyramid, followed by Premier Cru, the “village” wines, and the generic Bourgogne category at the bottom.

    Grands Crus appellations are the “elite” of Burgundy wines and there are only 33 grands crus in France. Grand Cru status is only granted to small areas or vineyards (less that 1% of the total production in Burgundy) and it is jealously preserved and coveted. They refer to the quality of a particular vineyard and the terroir in which the grapes grow. It is the highest and most well-respected wine classification within the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC).

    Wine labeled with Premier Cru is just a notch below Grand Cru wine. This wine is still highly coveted and the vineyards bestowed with the lavish title are among the best in the world.

    What about Grand Cru Classe?

    As of 1855 Bordeaux Wine Official Classification by the declaration of Emperor Napoleon III , a list of the top ranked wines, named the Grand Crus Classés (Great Classified Growths) was introduced to carry a mark of high prestige, tied to a specific chateau or estate, rather than a contiguous vineyard.

    Within the Grand Cru Classé list, wines were further ranked and placed in one of five divisions. This classification has never been revised except in 1973, when Château Mouton Rothschild was promoted from Second Grand Cru to Premier Grand Cru.

    The best of the best wines were assigned the highest rank; only four wines – Château Latour, Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Margaux and Château Haut-Brion were deemed worthy.

    Have you tried any of these four wines? If yes, what is your verdict and do they deserve such high acclamation?

    Our Wine Coterie (OWC) private membership follows the Cru wine classification, with Grand Cru Classe as our highest tier with the best exclusive privilege and benefits OWC can offers. Do join us to enjoy an unparalleled fine wine experiences.