It all began with the love of wine-making, which united four brothers of the Mildiani family to establish a winery and continue 8,000 years of Georgian history with the best combination of traditional and modern methods.
Eldari, Levani, Leri and Pridoni’s first step was to buy locally-produced wine and export it to Russia. The brothers saw there was potential in the business and decided to create a wine pouring enterprise in the country’s ancient city of Mtskheta back in the ‘90s.
Soon a ceramic shop was also built there that produced different kinds of ceramic bottles for wine. The bottled wine was sold for export.
After a few years the brothers moved from Mtskheta to the country’s wine region of Kakheti, where they established a private wine company in the special winery microzone of the village of Tsinandali. Since then the company has been producing the best quality wines and other grape-based alcohol beverages.
These have gained many international awards and badges over the years. The 2002 harvest Saperavi wine of Mildiani Winery was awarded a silver badge in the Paris 2004 international wine contest Vinalies Internationales. It was the first Georgian wine to receive such an award since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Today Mildiani Family Winery owns vineyards in different winery zones in Kakheti, including the Kindzmarauli, Napareuli and Tsinandali microzones, and is now a group comprised of Tsinandali Old Marani, Gurjaani Wine Marani, souvenir wine enterprise Vazi-1, and a distribution company, Letre.
The company produces not only wine, but brandy, chacha and other alcoholic beverages, and sells their product not only in Georgia but in 21 other countries.
Being a winner of Sakura Japan Women's Wine Awards, Mildiani has thus also been praised and awarded with the local business award of Golden Brand.
Eldar Mildiani talked with Golden Brand about their family label’s wines.
Q. The experts and customers who participated in the survey of Golden Brand lauded Mildiani Family Winery’s successful activities of 2022 and named it their favorite winery. Could you please summarize 2022?
A. First of all, thank you for this wonderful award. It really means a lot to us.
I think that purposefulness and many years of hard work have yielded this result.
Regulations imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19 were lifted in Georgia like in other countries of the world and as a business we finally became free in 2022. Despite the pandemic and the decline in sales in previous years, we paid attention to the market as before. This in itself raised the level of trust in our winery. I think that was one of the main factors that led us to the Golden Brand award.
High quality and the variety of our portfolio also made an impression on experts and customers.
Q. I agree, Mildiani Family Winery is truly distinguished with its diverse products, which are very different from what other companies are offering. Please introduce your wines to our readers.
A. As you know, we produce wine-based drinks. These are wine, chacha, brandy, sparkling wine, liquor wine, wine in ceramics, wines in souvenir packaging, honey vodka Tapluchi, and others. In total we produce about 150 sorts of alcoholic beverages.
Q. Wine fermented in the traditional qvevri clay vessels, buried underground and made with grapes of French origin but grown in Kakheti, was especially popular. How did this idea come about?
A. Yes, you are talking about Cabernet Sauvignon. This grape variety has been cultivated in Kakheti for a long time. The idea of putting it in a qvevri arose by itself. We were wondering what the qvevri’s Cabernet would be like. Our hopes were justified and will continue production of this wine variety in the future.
Q. In general, what kind of winemaking technology has the winery developed over the years?
A. I probably wouldn't call it our technology, but we have our signature, of course.
Q. You also offer dessert wines, liqueurs with chocolate and cherry flavors — how popular is this line among consumers and how did you create these products?
A. Practice has shown that people interested in flavored wine are quite an important part of our society. We just try to have a product for every taste.
Q. Please tell us which countries Mildiani wines are exported to?
A. Mildiani wine is exported to almost all continents of the world, including in many European countries such as Germany, France, Poland, Holland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary. We export to England, America and Canada. We cooperate with Ukraine and different post-Soviet countries.
We are also active in the Asian market. China and Japan are our largest partner countries in Asia.
Our company tries its best to expand its presence on the international market and popularize Georgian wine all over the world.
Q. What are the sales statistics on the domestic market?
A. We are satisfied with the sales figures of 2022. Compared to the previous year, we had an increase of 28%. At the moment we are in the top five in terms of market share. Both our qvevri line and classic wines are selling well and are profitable.