When archaeologists found traces of Georgia’s wine-making on eight thousand-year-old pottery shards, the country claimed the title of the oldest wine producer in the world.
According to a certain report from Forbes, this was a confirmation for most long-standing fans of Georgia, along with its traditional wine-making method.
The greatest secret lies in using Georgia qvevri wine-making methods and high-quality endemic varieties of grapes. To date, viticulturists in Georgia have bred more than 500 varieties of grapes.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Georgia, the country, produces and exports a large number of wines, including amber, rose, white, and red varieties, and some champagne. Most of these wines are commonly known for their unique hints and aromas of fresh grapes.
Types of Georgian Wines
Georgia, the country, remains the birthplace of producing one of the best wines in the world. Vineyards in the country include endangered varieties of grapes, which you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
Today, several vineyards in the country have a library of live vines where you can taste Georgian wine from a rare variety of grapes. Some of the wines you can taste are:
Tsolikouri – These wines are usually full-bodied with strong minerality, a floral lift, and a good mouthfeel.
Tsitska – They have the flavor of pear, peach, and melon, with some notes of high acidity and honey.
Rkatsiteli – This is the number one white wine in Georgia. Rkatisiteli grapes are popular for their gentle aromatics, soft spice, and bright citrus flavors.
Mtsavane Kakhuri – They are high-quality dry wines used in the Manavi appellation. You can also blend it with Rkasiteli grapes.
Chkhaveri – The Chkhaveri grapes are usually vinified into pale red wines with strong spice notes and subtle fruit flavors.
Shavkapito –Shavkapito grapes are usually pressed and fermented to produce a full-bodied wine with a delicate aroma.
Ojaleshi – These wines are semi-sweet with peppery notes and red fruit flavor.
Aladasturi – They are notable for their delicate tannins, pale ruby color, low alcohol level, and soft body.
The names of Georgian grapes always describe their flavor and appearance, reflecting the country's history.
The country has more than 500 native grape varieties. But most of them were wiped out during the Soviet era when efficiency and consolidation replaced individualistic, regional, and diverse Georgian wine culture.
These days, more than 45 grape varieties are produced commercially. However, the Georgian government is trying to reintroduce and save the old grapes. Some of these are:
This is a native grape variety primarily linked with Kakheti. Like most Georgian’s grapes, this type of grape is used for traditional Georgian amber wines as well as classic dry styles made in qvevri, a large clay vessel.
This grape variety grows specifically in a western part of Georgia, Racha-Lechkhumi. It is used to produce Khvanchkara wine. This is a semi-sweet red wine, which is normally a blend of Aleksandrouli.
As you’ve seen, there is a lot to learn about Georgian grape varieties and wines. For sure, most of them are interesting, but they have the most difficult pronunciations.