- The Meskheti Cooperative, under Galina Inasaridze’s leadership, makes Meskhetian tenili, a unique cheese variety. Even though the cooperative’s representatives admit not being thoroughly familiar with cheese-related studies, their products are becoming increasingly popular and demanded by the minute. They also plan to roll out new varieties this coming summer. Still, tenili is their unchallenged calling card.
The Meskheti Cooperative’s tenili cheese is delivered to various restaurants. It is also manufactured on demand and sold at the Cheese House at 7 Z. Paliashvili Street. The cheese is made using an ancient Georgian technology, the cheesemakers claim, and it is not at all influenced by European methods.
You can also visit Galina’s ancestral village of Andriatsminda – a mysteriously enticing destination – and witness this sophisticated and impressive process called tenili cheesemaking. Galina Inasaridze also owns an authentic Meskhetian oven to bake elaborate Meskheti-style bread and khachapuri cheese bread, telling the tales of Meskheti – Georgia’s best-kept secret – all the while.
Tsivis Kveli Enterprise
- This company produces sulguni, Imeretian cheese, cowmilk guda, sulgunella, pressed cheese, and many others – almost 200 varieties in all. All these products are sold by Carrefour, Goodwill, Europroduct, and Nikora chains, as well as at Duty Free. As for export, smaller amounts have already been supplied to the US and Dubai.
The company attaches special importance to studying cheese consumption habits and monitoring the compliance of cheese with food safety standards at sales outlets. Tsivi’s products are labeled to inform you about their contents, storage conditions, and expiration dates. The company also has a certification mark for Georgian raw milk and a Georgian quality mark, a decisive aspect in winning over consumer trust. Tsivi’s production brings together technologies studied in Holland, France, and Italy. The company prides itself on keeping its finger on the pulse of the latest trends and converting theoretical knowledge into practice. For example, sulguni using Italian technologies is known as sulgunella at Tsivi.
Tsivi is a high mountain along the Gombori Range, where the grass is especially green. The Tsivi pastures are used to graze the cows providing milk for Tsivi production.
Marleta Cheese Farm
- The Marleta Cheese Farm has been making several cheese varieties from cow and goat milk since 2010. Marleta’s cheeses do not use traditional Georgian technologies. At first glance, they come across as European, but this is how cheesemaker Levan Tsaguria explains this resemblance: Russian and then Soviet occupation dealt a devastating blow to the diversity of Georgian cheeses, causing many of them to sink into oblivion. Marleta makes mostly aged blue cheeses. The necessary molds exist in nature around us, and they are not only French or Italian in origin, you just need to set up the necessary environment and conditions to make these amazingly flavorful and aromatic goods. Marleta’s operations take place in the village of Shalauri, Telavi Municipality, and the enterprise’s farm is also nearby. The farm and manufacturing plant hosts scores of visitors, enabling them to familiarize themselves with the process of cheesemaking and enjoy Maleta’s cheese.
Irma Ansiani’s Family Farm
- Irma Ansiani’s Family Farm is located in the village of Lakhamula, Svaneti. She learned cheesemaking from her ancestors, later to establish her own family-run enterprise. She produces traditional Svanetian narchvi cheese, also sulguni and a flakey type of cheese closely resembling Swiss Mutschli. Her expertise builds on not just the knowledge passed down from her ancestors, but also from professional cheesemaking literature. Though her cheeses use Swiss cheesemaking technologies, it wasn’t until she mastered the European methods that she decided to make changes to the traditional production of narchvi and sulguni, this way significantly improving the product’s quality. According to Irma Ansiani, a lack of organic milk is the main obstacle hindering large-scale cheese production. The farm’s products are sold mainly in Tbilisi at the Cheese House at 7 Z. Paliashvili Street. On the other hand, visiting Svaneti and enjoying tours facilitated by Irma Ansiani’s family is an unforgettable experience.
the Santa company
- The Santa Company was established in 1997 in the village of Santa, Tsalka Municipality. Since 2009, various types of cheeses have been produced here with the brand name of Alpia, such as traditional Georgian cheese, Imereti-style cheese, sulguni, Armenian lori cheese, and Dutch gouda. These products can be purchased in the Goodwill chain. Although the company’s cheesemakers constantly monitor and conduct studies on Georgian cheese, they believe that there are many problems in this area, mainly because of the lack of organic milk, which cripples the process and results in poor-quality products sold to customers.
Cheesemaker Darejan Kanteladze says that all cheeses made by Santa show signs of European influence in that they meet the highest European standards. In terms of cheesemaking technology, however, gouda is the only purely European cheese on the company’s list.