Did you know that there are over 10,000 grape varieties in the world and Georgia is home to over 500 of those different grape varieties. 500! in Georgia alone! Let's look at the most popular wine-making grapes in Georgia today!
Types of grapes used in wine
Saperavi Grape: The King of Georgian Grapes
Indigenous to the country, Saperavi is one of the top Georgian grapes used for wine making. Saperavi is the leading red grape in its class and has deep fruit character. This grape is called a teinturier grape, meaning it is one of the few grapes in the world whose flesh and skin are both red in color. Most red grapes are red on the outside but carry clear insides. This and its historical significance is what makes this grape so special and perfect for wine making!
Rkatsiteli Grape: The White Pride of Georgia
This indigenous Georgian grape though ancient, remains the most popular white-wine grape of its variety in the country to this day! Rkatsiteli is one of Georgia’s most weather resistant grapes. Specifically in the cold, this grape variety can withstand sub-zero temperature in cold winters showing its great resistance. Even in the summer, this grape is able to retain good acidity. Rkatsiteli also has great versatility, having a great balance of sugars and acids. All of these things combined makes it great for table wines, sweet wines, fortified wines, sparkling wines, and even brandy!
Kisi Grape: The Extinct
Though this grape doesn’t grow in numbers, it’s still a point of pride for the Kakheti region of Georgia. Having qualities of both Mtsvani and Rkatsiteli, scientist believe that the Kisi grape is actually a hybrid creation that came about from these two Georgian grape powerhouses in ancient times. More evidence has been found to prove this theory! Botanical and viticulture characteristics strongly suggest that the Kiwi grape dates back to 500 AD, while Mtsvani and Rkatsiteli are older than that! This grade variety became nearly extinct due to a phylloxera disaster that struct in the late 19th century and early 20th century. It became extremely vulnerable to powdery mildew and black rot making it yield about 25-30% less than other varieties. For this reason, by the year 2000 it was rarely grown in exclusive vineyards. However, its numbers are growing slowly but surely, making its entrance in the modern world!
Journey: Revival of Georgian Grapes and Wine
Certainly, Georgia and its winemaking traditions have faced many obstacles and challenges since its discovery of winemaking techniques. However, the country has managed to keep the tradition not only alive, but spread it all over the world! Success stories of initiatives supporting Georgian grape biodiversity has help the country tremendously in getting back to its roots, its glory and most importantly, getting back the culture it almost lost! Consumers have also played an important role in helping Georgia get back to where it needed to be… where it needs to be!
With this, we want to thank you for reading and contributing to Georgia’s steady rise in wine-making prominence. Without all of you loyal wine enthusiasts, none of us would be able to cater to the mllliosn of taste buds longing for delicate and delicious wine.
Now, use this information and go to our store and purchase some of our delectable wines!