The leading white grape of western Georgia, Tsolikouri originates in Kolkheti (ancient Colchis, the land of the Golden Fleece). The origins of its name are uncertain. The vine has medium-sized, conical bunches. The round, yellow-green berry itself is relatively thick-skinned, and thus is resistant to the primary fungal diseases, making it suitable for the more humid climate in western Georgia. It is not, however, frost resistant. A late bloomer (late May) and generous yielder, Tsolikouri matures in the mid-season, usually in the middle of October. Most Tsolikouri plantings are in Imereti and Guria, but it is also planted in Racha-Lechkhumi, Samegrelo, and Adjara.)
When made in the European style, Tsolikouri wines are medium- to full-bodied, slightly oily, with soft acidity and a broad texture, with subtle notes of yellow fruits, melon, mineral, and a light floral lift. It is quite often fermented and/or matured in oak, with great success. Tsolikouri may be blended with the lighter-bodied Tsitska, and sometimes Krakhuna, for PDO Sviri wines. In PDO Tvishi, a semi-sweet wine Lechkhumi with 30-40g/l residual sugar, Tsolikouri is a solo act. Tsolikouri wines have the potential for considerable longevity if properly crafted.