Grapes Varieties in the Country of Georgia

Georgia has nearly 50,000 hectares of grapes, with 75 percentage planted in white grapes and 25 percentage in red grapes.  By far the largest portion of the nation’s vineyards are planted in the Kakheti region of eastern Georgia, the country’s primary winemaking area.  Although Kakheti boasts roughly 80 grape varieties, the two most prominent are Rkatsiteli (white) and Saperavi (red).

Rkatsiteli

Though it is now grown throughout Georgia as well as abroad, the Rkatsiteli white grape variety is believed to have first emerged in eastern Georgia in the first century.  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 wines are more complex when produced using the traditional Georgian qvevri method.  Rkatsiteli grapes result in high-quality table wines, regional wines, and appellation-controlled wines.  Rkatsiteli grapes are frequently mixed with the Mtsvane Kakhuri variety.

Rkatsiteli

Though it is now grown throughout Georgia as well as abroad, the Rkatsiteli white grape variety is believed to have first emerged in eastern Georgia in the first century.  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 wines are more complex when produced using the traditional Georgian qvevri method.  Rkatsiteli grapes result in high-quality table wines, regional wines, and appellation-controlled wines.  Rkatsiteli grapes are frequently mixed with the Mtsvane Kakhuri variety.

Saperavi

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 is indigenous to the country. Its name means “the place of color.”  It is one of the few teinturier grape varieties in the world—a grape with red flesh as well as red skin.  Saperavi wine reflects a deep, inky, and often fully opaque color.  It has aromas and flavors of dark berries, licorice, grilled meat, tobacco, chocolate, and spices.

Saperavi

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 is indigenous to the country. Its name means “the place of color.”  It is one of the few teinturier grape varieties in the world—a grape with red flesh as well as red skin.  Saperavi wine reflects a deep, inky, and often fully opaque color.  It has aromas and flavors of dark berries, licorice, grilled meat, tobacco, chocolate, and spices.

Kisi

Some scientists believe the Kisi white grape is a hybrid of the Mtsvane and Rkatsiteli varieties.  Kisi vines produce a relatively small number of grapes, which ripen mid-season.  While both classical European and traditional Georgian wines produced from Kisi grapes have unforgettable aromas and flavors, the wines made in qvevri are characterized by aromas of ripe pear, marigold, tobacco, and walnut.

Kisi

Some scientists believe the Kisi white grape is a hybrid of the Mtsvane and Rkatsiteli varieties.  Kisi vines produce a relatively small number of grapes, which ripen mid-season.  While both classical European and traditional Georgian wines produced from Kisi grapes have unforgettable aromas and flavors, the wines made in qvevri are characterized by aromas of ripe pear, marigold, tobacco, and walnut.

Mtsvane Kakhuri

One of Georgia’s oldest varieties of wine grapes, 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 tree blossoms, and mineral overtones.

Mtsvane Kakhuri

One of Georgia’s oldest varieties of wine grapes, 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 tree blossoms, and mineral overtones.

Tsolikouri

A defining variety of white grape since the 19th century, Tsolikouri ripens late and yields full-bodied, light straw-colored wines with citrus, 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.

Tsolikouri

A defining variety of white grape since the 19th century, Tsolikouri ripens late and yields full-bodied, light straw-colored wines with citrus, 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.

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