Khvanchkara PDO is located in Racha’s Ambrolauri municipality in Western Georgia. The vineyards occupy the southern slopes of the Lechkhumi mountain range, stretching along mainly the right bank of the Rioni river, mostly planted at an altitude of 450-750 meters above sea level.
It’s quite a humid zone, with mild winters and hot, moderately dry summers.
There are a number of grape varieties permitted in the appellation – Aleksandrouli, Mujuretuli, Rachuli Tetra, Dzelshavi, Tsolikouri and Saperavi.
Wines have been produced under the PDO label since 1932. In the nineteenth century the region was famous for its ‘Kipiani’ Khvanchkara wine – which is nowadays produced by blending the Aleksandrouli and Mujuretuli grapes. Prince Kipiani’s wine was, at the time, considered to be the best in the whole region, and nineteenth-century experts compared the velvety character of Kipiani wines to the wines of Burgundy. Khvanchkara is still popular today, domestically and internationally, though today around 20 different kinds of wine are produced under the PDO.