Rkatsiteli

Rkatsiteli means “red stem”, and is the sturdy workhorse of white grapes in Georgia. It is cultivated throughout its native Kakheti, and in Kartli. Rkatsiteli is disease resistant, and ripens reliably. It is responsible for high-volume, good value whites, but also for high quality examples, especially in skin-fermented Qvevri wines. In key sites Rkatsiteli produces…

Saperavi

Saperavi means “something to colour with,” or “to dye”. A very old variety, Saperavi is Georgia’s most widely planted red grape, with 10% of all plantings throughout the country (over 4000 ha). Saperavi can be dry, semi-sweet, full-on sweet, or fortified. Both traditional and European methods are used, and it may be aged in French,…

Tavkveri

This red grape, evocatively named “hammerhead,” for the flat top of the berry itself, is indigenous to Kartli but also grown in Kakheti. Tavkveri grows well in deep clay and sandy soils. Tavkveri can bud the end of March through middle April, and matures between the end of August through to the middle of September.…

Mtsvane Kakhuri

This name means “green Kakheti,” and is usually called simply “Mtsvane” (Green). Mtsvane Kakhuri is one of six different Mtsvane that grow throughout Georgia, each with a different DNA fingerprint, and each named for the origin of its growth. Older than Rkatsiteli, Mtsvane Kakhuri’s five-lobed leaves are dark green and funneled; the medium-sized bunches can…

Shavkapito

Meaning “vine with a black cane,” Shavkapito originated in Kartli, in eastern Georgia. Its medium-sized, conical bunches typically have wings and moderate density. The round, medium-sized berries are round and dark blue. Shavkapito tends toward a bud-burst in the last third of April and ripens in the second third of September (mid-season). It has average…

Goruli Mtsvane

Not to be confused with the Mtsvane Kakheti, this “Green Gori” has a variety of alternative names and synonyms. Commercially, however, it is labelled consistently as Goruli Mtsvane. The variety is mostly planted in the alluvial soils along the Mtkvari River including the Ateni Valley. Goruli Mtsvane exhibits considerable intra-variety variability; some can be low-yielding…

Chinuri

Iv. Javakhishvili, an early 20th Century historian, argued that Chinuri’s name derives the old Georgian word “chini” (reddish-green), but commentators now contend it comes the Georgian word “chinebuli” meaning “excellent” or “the best” in this instance referring to the grapes superb appearance, colour, and flavour. Indeed, some producers even call the variety “Chinebuli.” Regardless, when…

Chkhaveri

A western Georgian variety, Chkhaveri is mostly planted near the Black Sea coast in Adjara and especially in Guria, but also in Imereti. Chkhaveri originally was a “maghlari” wine, a vine trained to grow up trees. This pinkish-violet variety is sensitive to site and needs careful attention to give quality fruit. It grows particularly well…

Khikhvi

The origins of Khikhvi’s name are unknown, but it grows widely in eastern Georgia, especially in Kakheti it originated. Most plantings are on the East-Southeast reaches of the province, on the right bank of the Alazani River, and there are some plantings in Kartli. The vine sports large leaves, which are three-lobed, circular and almost…

Ojaleshi

One of Georgia’s oldest vine varieties, Ojaleshi, means “growing on a tree” in the Megrelian dialect of Georgian (ja=tree). It was the dominant variety in the mountainous district of Samegrelo in north-western Georgia, it was trained as a maghlari vine up persimmon or alder trees. Ojaleshi was widely cultivated in this manner throughout Guria’s central…