Forbes Features “Unique” Georgian Wines

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 251

Forbes published an article this week by contributor Lana Bortolot titled ”Why Georgian wines are Among the Most Unique on the Planet”.

Bortolot is a wine, food, and travel reporter who holds the Advanced Wine & Spirits Education Trust certificate and has covered wine regions in more than 16 countries.

In the article, Bortolot explores Georgian wine culture, the role of wine in modern Georgian society, and the technical side of Georgian wine. The piece is peppered with quotes from Georgian wine lovers:

“Even where we think a culture like France or Italy is so wine-centric, Georgians just take it to a whole different level—much deeper than what we’re exposed,” – Taylor Parsons

“There’s something very particular about how Georgians love wine,” he said. “It’s a little eccentric but then you start looking into it and once you do, you’re truly amazed—it’s such an integral part of the culture and everyday life.” – Noel Brockett

“One of the most important things about Georgian wines is that it’s a window into a culture that most of us as Westerners simply don’t have,” – Simon J. Woolf

Bortolot goes on to focus on orange or amber wines, a style growing in popularity worldwide that has long been part of Georgia’s tradition. She also recounts a legend, which said that, in ancient times, “soldiers wove a piece of grapevine into the chain mail protecting their chests, so when they died in battle, a vine sprouted not just from their bodies, but their hearts.”

The article introduces readers to several Georgian wine makers – locals and expats, high end factories and garage operations – celebrating the varied, inclusive culture of Georgian wine.

The article ends with a wine sampler. Bortolot recommends Kisi, Mtsvane, Rkatsiteli, Saperavi, and Tsinandali for beginners.

 

 

By Samantha Guthrie, Source: Georgiatoday.ge

Why is Saperavi a unique variety of vine and is it only found in Georgia?

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 313

Georgia is one of the main hubs for forming various classical vines. An important book called, “Georgian Amphelography”, was published in 1960, where Georgian grape varieties were discussed. The complete amphelographic included a description of 57 standard and perspective varieties. The book contains in total 525 varieties of vines.

After final verification, 414 varieties of Georgian vine description were included in the amphelographic book.

Among them is Saperavi, a unique grape variety that originates in Georgia. Biological features and morphological signs of this breed identify Saperavi as the oldest breed. None of the Georgian varieties have the same number of additional names as Saperavi. This can be explained by the fact that Saperavi is an old breed. The most famous and varied types of Saperavi are Budeshuri, Otskhanuri Sapere, Meskhi Saperavi, Ateni Saperavi, Saperavi Pachkha, and many more.

Information about the time and place of the origin of Saperavi have not been preserved, but based on different data it can be determined by approximation. According to Ivane Javakhishvili, primarily the Saperavi vine originated in the old Georgian province of Shavshet-klarjeti, from which it then spread to Eastern Georgia via Kartli (discovered seeds in Uplistsikhe and Samtavro, dated around 9th-10th Century and also patterns on old cellars in Kaspi).This took place in the vineyards of Kakheti by the end of the 17th century.

The growing of the Saperavi vines spread from Georgia to almost all neighbouring countries: Azerbaidjan – from Saingilo, mostly in the regions such as Kakhi, Zakatala, Shamkori, Ghanja; Armenia – in the districts of Alaverdi, Shamshadin and Ijevani. However, the Saperavi vine is less common in Armenia. Since 1927, Saperavi cultivation has been extensive in the former Soviet farm at Ararat. Saperavi was introduced in Dagestan from the region of Kakheti, mostly in the districts of Darubandi and Makhachkala.

In the Middle Asian countries Saperavi was brought together with European varieties by 1860, and in France it is fetched by French habitant of Kutaiasi Longale, who was sending Georgian breeds to ampheliographist Pule.

The reason why Saperavi is widely grown and cultivated in different countries is down to its high agricultural and technological properties (productivity, quality, frost-resistant). According to the chemical analysis, Saperavi belongs to a saint wine vines’ group. It is among the world’s best red wines. The high quality of Saperavi Wine is often acknowledged by official tasting commissions. Director of Nikitin Garden, Hartvis, G. Tsabel and others give it a high rating. The prominent French amphelographist Odari wrote: “Everything gives me the right to think that Saperavi is the best of all grapes to make red wine.”

The best Saperavi wine is made from grapes, harvested in the middle of the Kakheti region, especially in Kvareli and Mukuzani. These are truly the pride of Georgian wine. The most popular wines made from Saperavi grapes are “Saperavi”, “Kindzmarauli”, “Kvareli”, and “Mukuzani. The best dessert wines from Saperavi grapes are seen in the Crimea and Uzbekistan. In some places the wine is a dark ruby-colour, a pomegranate colour, or can even be a blackcurrant colour. But in every case it is accompanied with a strong flavor and a harmonious sensation of its components. According to the Ukrainian winemaker, Okhremenko, the “softness of the wine is integral with the the character of wine its originality and integrity.”

Source: www.allwine.ge