On the scale of obscure indigenous Georgian grape varieties, Shavkapito takes the biscuit. Though once the favoured grape of kings, Shavkapito was only recently rediscovered. Indeed, it’s so rare that there’s no more than an estimated 24 hectares planted in the Kartli valley. The region is itself undergoing a winemaking renaissance making Shavkapito and Kartli a very good match!
Shavkapito has naturally low alcohol levels, especially for a red grape. This makes it a great option for those who prefer wines with moderate alcohol – combined with the lush soft texture, it makes for a eminently quaffable drink.
Given the very small amount of Shavkapito vines planted, it’s no surprise that Shavkapito is currently only made by two producers. Château Muhkrani has done a lot to promote the rejuvenation of the Kartli winemaking scene and is a prolific producer of Shavkapito. However, their Shavkapito is currently not available in the UK. Pheasant’s Tears is the only Shavkapito available for purchase in the UK and is well worth a try. Pheasant’s Tears was established in 2007 with the explicit aim of reviving traditional Georgian winemaking techniques and varieties, so it’s no surprise that their Shavkapito was fermented in Qvevri.