What do sharks and wine have in common? Not much! Though this grape is nicknamed after one the ocean’s most elusive predators: Hammerheads. These red grapes are evocatively nicknamed for the unusual flat top of each bunch.
Tavkveri is highly unusual in that it is a female vine. Most cultivated grape vines are hermaphroditic, which means that their flowers are both male and female, otherwise known as ‘perfect’ flowers. Tavkveri vines therefore have to be interplanted with hermaphroditic or male vines so it can pollinate and produce fruit to make into delicious wine!
Other than this genetic quirk, Tavkveri has much in common with other Georgian red grapes. An old variety, it hails from the primary wine region of Kartli and is most commonly used in red and rosé blends. No matter the style in which it is made – and it is vilified in both modern European and Qvevri styles – Tavkveri always has bright cherry and herby flavours up front, with earthier flavours lingering on the palate.
Tavkveri is highly acidic with a light body which means it’s a very refreshing drink which will get your mouth watering. Young single-varietal Tavkveri is deliciously fresh, juicy and easy-drinking. Try lightly chilled.
Tavkveri is still relatively unknown in the UK, but a delicious example of Tavkveri rosé is available via Christopher Keiller Fine Wine Services. Made by John Okruashvili, whose cellars are located in the centre of picturesque Sighnaghi, a stunning hilltop town in prime wine country.