At the end of 2005, someone asked Burkhard Schuchmann whether he had plans after his retirement as the Chairman of the Board of Vossloh AG. This someone was from the country of Georgia and passionately told him about his country and its wine culture.
Burkhard Schuchmann’s interest was piqued. He found a committed partner, Angeles Tegtmeyer, and together, the two started exploring Georgia as a wine country. Soon they had made up their minds: they wanted to develop their own wine-growing estate there!
Georgia, which is located south of the Caucasus, is considered the country of origin for winegrowing. For more than 7,000 years, vines have been cultivated here, and 500 of the approximately 4,000 international vine varieties come from Georgia. Even today, the most is filled in Qvevris (amphorae), which are buried in the cool earth of the cellar up to their necks. It is an ancient method, which produces outstanding results. Burkhard Schuchmann and Angeles Tegtmeyer obtained expert advice in terms of soil and climate from the University of Heilbronn. One of the main growing areas in Georgia is Kachetia, located in the east of the country. In Kisiskhevi, a small village south of the Caucasus in a valley, the two found what they were looking for. Dr. Giorgi Dakishvili had contacted them and explained that he was part-owner of a small boutique winery called Vinoterra, which was for sale. He had made the wines with great passion, and the vine areas and general conditions of the company were excellent. The tasting of the wines confirmed Dakishvili’s claims impressively. Would Dr. Dakishvili be interested in using his know-how and enthusiasm for Schuchmann Wines? Absolutely!
Since Georgia does not want to make matters difficult for foreign investors, all bureaucratic matters were quickly settled. In 2008, Schuchmann Wines had its first grape harvest. Burkhard Schuchmann, Angeles Tegtmeyer and Dr. Giorgi Dakishvili helped with the harvest, which surprised and delighted the harvest workers, who were mostly from Kisiskhevi. Owners had never before showed interest in this kind of work.
In the meantime, the company has expanded with additional vine-growing areas, storage and operating locations, and an impressive, beautifully located hotel with an excellent restaurant. Thus it has become an important employer in the area. Everyone feels closely connected to Schuchmann Wines, rejoices about the increasing number of international wine awards, and committedly caters to the hotel and restaurant patrons. The company has become a family.