Please see the interview with Ia Imerlishvili – Founder, “Ia’s Winery”
First of all, please tell us about your success story, what stages have you gone through, what difficulties were there and what stage are you at now?
Years ago, in Kakheti, in a village house, unexpectedly, the discovery of more than a century old pitchers became the basis for the creation of my winery.
I bought vineyards in one of the most unique micro-zones of Kakheti and soon started making wine with my family. From this moment, a family farm – viticulture/winemaking, which was named Yas winemaking, was born.
This year we harvested the 5th harvest and our small family company has 5 types of wine, along with grape products we have also added agro-tourism destinations.
What was the biggest challenge on your career path, an obstacle that seemed insurmountable at first, but you still managed to overcome?
I started sales during the pandemic, and perhaps the most difficult thing was this closure, today I meet customers personally, I actively participate in exhibitions and try to make my product tangible.
What is your main motivation to keep moving forward?
Strength is unity for me, our whole family is involved in this work, and I can say that regardless of professions, age and experience, we work hard for our common cause. Starting with my children, husband, parents, ending with my husband’s parents who are 84 years old and are involved in this case.
Tell us about your current activities. As we know, you have your own wine enterprise – “Ia’s Winery”, how long have you been engaged in this business and what are your plans for the near future?
The plan for the next 5 years is to enter the leading wine export markets and produce quality grape products. In the agro-tourism direction, I aim to add a traditional craft, ceramics workshop. Wine and ceramics are our history, the discovery of Kvevri became the world recognition of the new history of the country as the homeland of 8000 years of uninterrupted wine, in my case, the discovery of Kvevri is the beginning and I want the guests who come to the place to have the opportunity to touch wine, clay and create their own memorable experiences.
Your activity is one of the very good examples of successful entrepreneurship. What is it like to be a successful female entrepreneur in Georgia and is there anything you would improve in this regard?
The work I was involved in was completely foreign to me, even though I grew up in the wine-growing region of Kakheti, I had my first vintage in my own vineyard, it was such a great emotion, I am actually still learning a lot in this direction with my family.
For me, as a woman, support, be it family, friends, organizations, is the most important. That’s why I want to be a big supporter and be able to give this support to those who need it as well.
Finally, limiting ourselves to the traditional question, what would you advise aspiring professionals and young people who are now taking their first career steps?
Through my experience, getting to know many interesting people, efforts in different directions have always enriched my views and allowed me to look at society’s life, professions, duties from different angles. I think a variety of experiences is the best way to enrich yourself and be able to analyze and better define your own abilities, values, and most importantly, less fear in case of both failure and success.
Photographer – Soplidan.ge