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…

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…

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…

Aleksandrouli

The indigenous “vine of Alexander,” Aleksandrouli has been nurtured for a long time in the mountainous hillsides of Racha-Lechkhumi in western Georgia. Long thought to be a completely distinct variety to Mujuretuli, they are now known to be separate varieties with a common ancestor. The most notable plantings of Aleksandrouli are in the Ambrolauri, Oni…

Mujuretuli

Mujuretuli is, with Aleksandrouli, best known as forming the other half of the cult partnership that is Khvanchkara. Like its relative, it is largely cultivated along the Rioni River in western Georgia, in the Ambrolauri and Tsageri districts. Monovarietal plantings of Mujuretuli are rare; it is mostly interplanted with Aleksandrouli in limestone and rocky soils.…

Usakhelouri

Literally, the “grape with no name,” Usakhelouri is indigenous to western Georgia. Early 20th century historian Javakhishvili noted it was name for a village of the same name that was located on the right bank of the Lakanuri River in Lechkhumi. It is also known by the name Okureshuli, for a different small village (also…

Aladasturi

Another vine named for its presumed origin (the village of Aladast, in Guria), Aladasturi vines were widespread throughout central Georgia but were largely wiped out by phylloxera. Originally trained to grow up trees, now it is mostly trained in a free-standing double-caned system developed in Georgia. Aladasturi does best in loose, well-aerated soils, with substantial…

Otskhanuri Sapere

Otskhanuri Sapere means “Otskhana’s colourful.” Otskhana is a village in western Georgia. One of the oldest Georgian varieties, Otskhanuri Sapere grows only in the western part of the country, mostly in Racha-Lechkhumi and Imereti. Otskhanuri Sapere has medium size leaves with three or five lobes; the teeth are triangular with sharp tips. Its medium-sized bunches…

Jani

The name means “powerful” and this high-quality grape was once the prize vine of Guria until plantings were lost to phylloxera. In the early 20th century, using a low training system and American rootstocks, farmers began to rebuild their vineyards, but these, too, were destroyed by various disruptions throughout the tumultuous century. At the beginning…