Georgia has a long history of winemaking, dating back more than 8,000 years. The country is known for its unique grape varieties that are used to make distinctively flavored wines. In this post, we will explore the unique relationship between Georgian grapes and wines and how they contribute to the country's rich winemaking traditions.
One of the most distinctive aspects of Georgian winemaking is the use of the qvevri, a large clay vessel that is buried underground and used to ferment and age wine. This traditional method is well-suited to the unique grape varieties grown in Georgia. For instance, the Saperavi grape is a popular variety used to make red wines. Saperavi has a thick skin and produces full-bodied wines that are accentuated by the qvevri fermentation process.
Rkatsiteli is another grape variety used to produce unique Georgian wines, such as Amber Wine. Amber Wine is made by fermenting white grapes with the skins and seeds, resulting in a rich amber color and complex flavor profile. Rkatsiteli grapes have high acidity and a unique flavor profile that includes green apple, pear, and quince notes, which contribute to the distinctive taste of Amber Wine.
Mtsvane is another grape variety used in Georgian winemaking, particularly in the Kartli region. The name Mtsvane means "green" in Georgian, and the grape variety is known for its greenish-yellow color and delicate flavor profile. Mtsvane grapes have high acidity and a complex flavor profile that includes citrus, honey, and herbal notes. Mtsvane is often used to produce white wines, such as dry and semi-sweet wines.
Georgia is also home to rare and unique grape varieties such as Kisi and Khikhvi. Kisi grapes, grown in the Kartli region, have a delicate flavor profile with hints of honey and apricot. Kisi is often used to produce semi-sweet and sweet wines, as well as sparkling wines. Khikhvi grapes, on the other hand, are grown in the Kakheti region and have a unique flavor profile that includes peach, apricot, and orange blossom notes.
In summary, Georgian grapes and wines have a unique and interconnected relationship that contributes to the country's rich winemaking traditions. Traditional winemaking techniques, such as the qvevri method, and unique grape varieties, including Saperavi, Rkatsiteli, Mtsvane, Kisi, and Khikhvi, have helped to create some of the world's most distinctively flavored wines. If you're a wine enthusiast looking to try something new and exciting, Georgian wines and grapes are definitely worth exploring. With their unique and complex flavors, they are sure to leave a lasting impression on your palate.