Grape species in georgia
Today, more than 70% of wine is produced in Kakheti, making it Georgia’s primary wine making region. Although approximately 80 different grape varieties are recorded in Kakheti, perhaps the two most important are Saperavi and Rkatsiteli.
Saperavi comes from its premier region Kakheti East Georgia. Deep in fruit character, yet brisk with acidity, this gutsy grape presents a unique alternative to everyday reds. The leading red variety in Georgia, Saperavi (sah-per-ah-vee) is indigenous to the country. Translated literally as “the place of color”, Saperavi reflects a deep, inky and often fully opaque color. It is one of the few teinturier—red skin and red flesh—grape varieties in the world. This varietal has aromas and flavors of dark berries, licorice, grilled meat, tobacco, chocolate and spices.
an ancient pale-skinned grape variety from the Republic of Georgia – one of the oldest (if not the oldest) wine-producing regions on earth. Thought to have been cultivated there for several millennia, the variety remains Georgia’s most popular white-wine grape variety even today, and complements the most popular red-wine grape, Saperavi. Although found all over Georgia, the variety is used to make wines in greater quantity (and of arguably greater quality) in Kakheti East Georgia than in any other region. Though it can now be found growing throughout Georgia as well as abroad, this white grape variety is believed to have first appeared during the 1st century A.D. Rkatsiteli makes noticeably acidic but balanced white wines with a full flavor profile and good body. Restrained and refreshing, with crisp green-apple flavors and hints of quince and white peach, Rkatsiteli yields a more complex and fortified wine when made using the traditional Georgian method. Many high-quality table wines, regional wines, and appellation-controlled wines are produced from Rkatsiteli grapes, using both European (classical) and Georgian (traditional qvevri) methods. Rkatsiteli grapes are frequently mixed with the Mtsvane Kakhuri variety.
This variety originates and continues to thrive exclusively on the sunny, southern, calcareous slopes of the Caucasus Mountains in the region of
Racha-Lechkhumi in western Georgia. The grape requires a longer growing seasons as it ripens later than average. Wines produced from Aleksandrouli grapes can be dry to or semi-sweet and are typically low in tannin amazingly soft, with aromas of raspberry and black cherry.
Believed to be one of Georgia’s most ancient varieties, Dzelshavi mostly grows in the regions of Racha and Imereti. Wines made from this thin-skinned variety can range from soft and elegant to lively and precise. Often used as a supporting grape in a blend, Dzelshavi is equally suited for rosé and light-bodied red wines.
This variety of red grape grows exclusively in the smallest part of western Georgia Racha – Lechkhumi region. It is a dark-skinned grape variety, used almost exclusively in the production of Khvanchkara wine. Khvanchkara is a semi-sweet red wine that is usually a blend of Aleksandrouli. ripens later than average and has an exceptional capacity to accumulate sugars. Frequently blended with Aleksandrouli, these grapes can be made into a classical dry red, as well as naturally semi-sweet wines from Racha – a style known as Khvanchkara.
Ojaleshi is considered as a very dark skinned the rarest variety of grape that is mostly grown in the region of Lechkumi along the Tskhenis Tskali and Rioni river valleys. This grape variety has been prevailing in this particular region from a very long time and this area where the plantation and cultivation of this red wine grape. This grape variety is referred to as one of the finest red wine grape varieties that is offered by the country. Ojaleshi grape bunches are medium as to their size. They usually range from twelve to fourteen centimeters respectively. The berries of this red wine grape variety are also medium as to their size and they entertain a very dark violet color as to their appearance. The color and appearance of the red wine may refer it to be heavier as to its taste; however the wines prepared out of this grape variety are very light-bodied as to their nature.
Widespread throughout the western region of Imereti, grape genealogy suggests this red grape is a transitional variety between a cultivated and wild vine. It ripens between mid- and late-October. Similar to Saperavi, Otskhanuri Sapere is a teinturier grape, producing wines of a deep, opaque ruby color. In their youth, wines are grippy and structured with high tannin and acidity. Exhibiting flavors of forest fruits, red berries and herbs, these wines have great potential for aging. Otkshanuri sapere is considered to Imereti’s best variety of red grape, and is said to have great potential as the region matures and winemakers develop a deeper understanding of the grape’s nuances.
One of the native varieties of the Karlian family of grapes, widespread in the region of Shida (Inner) Kartli. Shavkapito has a shorter growing season, and can be very reflective of the terroir in which it is grown whether produced in traditional Qvevri or by European techniques. When grown at lower altitudes and in flatter vineyards, wines tend to be more full-bodied and intense; when cultivated on mountainous slopes, the grapes produce wines with high acidity, bright fruit characteristics and delicate aromas. With notes of cherry and herbs, the grape can produce red wines, but also rosé and sparkling wines.
A red grape from the region of Kartli, and was once widespread across much of Eastern Georgia, Tavkvri does well in both clay and sandy soils. This grape is a high-yielding and tends to ripen mid-September. Extremely versatile, Tavkveri can be made into sparkling, rosé, red or even sweet wines. Made by modern or traditional vilification techniques, the grape produces a medium-bodied red wine with tones of cherry, earth and herbs.
The rarest Georgian red grape variety spread in Tsageri district of the region of Lechkhumi in western Georgia and produces optimally on loamy, calcareous slopes. A late-season variety with thin skins, the grape has a tendency to develop very high sugars while maintaining a high degree of natural acidity. Produced by traditional and modern methods, the resulting wines from European methods are lightly-colored with bright acidity and with high-toned notes of violets, mint and pepper.
WHITE GRAPE VARIETIES
is a s a wight wine grape variety of high acidity. It is grown in Kartli, Eastern Georgia. reaching full maturity by late October. Chinuri is commonly used for both still and sparkling wines, by blending with Goruli Mtsvane. Chinuri variety is abundant and ripens late in the season. Characterized by hints of wild mint and forest pear with notes of vegetation and fruit. Chinuri grapes are most suited to the production of sparkling wines. Green or straw-colored wines distinguished by their softness are also made from Chinuri grapes, with Atenuri being particularly well known.
Goruli Mtsvane (Green of Gori) is one of the famous and exclusive ones. The name itself makes it evident that this type is mainly cultivated in Shida Kartli region’s Gori Municipality. However, you can find it in other parts of the country as well, namely in Racha, Meskheti, Imereti and Kvemo Kartli. Characterized by aromas of lime, wild flowers, and spring honey. Goruli Mtsvane is frequently mixed with Chinuri grapes to yield a sparkling wine with distinctive flavor. Goruli Mtsvane Chinuri blends are frequently left to ferment with Tavkveri grapes to produce Khidistauri red wine, which is well known for its delicate flavor.
One of the most widespread varieties of white grape in Kakheti during the early 19th century, Kakhuri Mtsvivani became increasingly rare due to diseases such as powdery mildew. Early to ripen compared to other varieties of grape, Kakhuri mtsvivani is light-bodied, but full of character and boasts distinctive aromas. Amazing traditional (Qvevri) wines are produced from the Kakhuri Mtsvivani grape. And it is well suited for coupage.
It grows widely in eastern Georgia, especially in Kakheti it originated. Most plantings are on the East-Southeast reach. The vine sports large leaves, which are three-lobed, circular and almost round. Its medium-sized bunches are conical, winged, and somewhat loose, with medium-sized, greenish-yellow, thin-skinned berries. Budburst occurs in the first half of April and matures in September. An early ripened, it is recommended for higher-altitude, cooler mountain plantings. Along with Mtsvane Kakhuri , Khikhvi is the other Georgian variety most susceptible to powdery mildew, though it is resistant to spider mites. While the Khikhvi vine produces a relatively small amount of grapes, they have great potential to accumulate sugar.
Very distinguished classical (European) wines are produced from the Khikhvi grape, releasing the aroma of exotic plants such as box tree. High quality traditional (Qvevri) wines are also produced from Khikhvi grapes, imparting tones reminiscent of ripe fruit or yellow dried fruit.
Some scientists believe the Kisi grape is a hybrid of the Mtsvane and Rkatsiteli varieties. Kisi vines produce a relatively small amount of grapes, which ripen neither early nor late in the season.
While both classical (European) and traditional Qvevri wines produced from Kisi grapes have unforgettable aromas and flavors, Qvevri wines made from Kisi grapes are characterized by aromas of ripe pear, marigold, tobacco, and walnut.
This grape variety is a local white vine variety, made for high quality alcoholic table white wine and also for the preparation of dessert wine. Krakhuna is most cultivated in Imereti. There is no extensive information about the time and place of its origin, only some descriptions from literature sources and folklore which assists in the painting of an approximate picture of the variety’s past.
A late-blooming white grape variety that produces full bodied, straw-colored white wines with apricot, banana, and honey aromas—and a high alcoholic content.
Krakhuna wine is an exceptional candidate for aging—and becomes deeper and more complex after just a few years.
This grape is a standard grapevine variety of Kakheti East Georgia, providing European and Kakheti type high quality table wine. It was named so to express the yellowish-green coloring of ripened berries.
One of Georgia’s most ancient varieties of grapes for wine, this white grape peaks during the second half of September.
High-quality table wines, regional wines, and appellation controlled wines are produced from the Mtsvane Kakhuri grape, which is characterized by hints of vineyard peach, fruit trees in bloom, and mineral overtones. it is frequently blend with Rkatsiteli grape.
RACHULI (TSULUKIDZIS) TETRA
is grown predominantly in Ambrolauri, region Racha western part of the country. Its high levels of sugar mean it is often made into a semi-sweet varietal wine with flavors of peach. Soft, fruit-driven dry styles are also made. The variety is possibly related to northwestern Spain’s Albillo grape variety, although the link is unproven. Rachuli tetra is a white grape that ripens neither early nor late, and from which soft wines with aromas of linden honey are produced
Once was widespread throughout the region, this variety of grape now only survives in a few locations. Sakmiela grapes yield impressive wines with a pleasant greenish straw-colored tint, and exotic aromas.
Believed to be among the oldest white grape varieties in Western Georgia, Tsitska ripens late and yields light, straw-colored wines with greenish tones.
Tsitska grapes are considered superior for producing sparkling wines. Characterized by aromas of vegetation and hints of pear, lemon, honey and melon, Tsitska wines tend to be quite acidic and lively.
It is a white-wine grape found predominantly in the western wine-growing regions of Georgia. The combination of Georgia’s warm climate and generous sunshine hours cause Tsolikouri grapes to reach naturally high sugar levels and the resulting wines are considerably sweeter than their western European counterparts. Tsolikouri often in blends with other grape varieties such as Tetra and Titska These wines tend to be crisp, yet full bodied. Tsolikouri ripens late and yields full-bodied, light straw-colored wines with citrus and yellow fruit, white plum, and floral aromas. Wines made from Tsolikouri grapes are well suited for aging, and the variety is also used to produce sparkling wine.