Varieties and Regions
12 November, 2018

Varieties and Regions

Idiosyncrasy and diversity are the main features of the wine regions of Georgia. All of them differ from each other in soils and climate. While one region has coastal subtropical climate, the other tends to have dry, continental type of weather. There are both humus-carbonate soils and forest and meadow black or brown lands in wine regions, along with alluvial soils, river sands, rocky and loamy soils, and those with high concentration of lime.

Georgia practices both highland and lowland viticulture and winemaking. Some regions make highly acid and light wines, while others are happy to offer powerful and high-alcohol wines.

There are 10 major viticulture and winemaking regions in Georgia, which are distinguished by local varieties, methods and oenological and gastronomic traditions. Georgia has up to 530 wine varieties. This allows all its regions to have their own varieties and their different wines.

Kakheti is undoubtedly the country's most important wine region, with the largest number of Protected Designations of Origin(14). Kakheti has the largest share of wines made in Georgia. Kakhetian Rkatsiteli, Saperavi, Mtsvane Kakhuri, Kisi, Khikhvi, Kakhuri Mtsvivaniand other varieties are truly one of the best specimens of our country's wine culture. Despite the fact that the Qvevri wine is made everywhere in Georgia, the Kakhetian Qvevriamber wine plays a completely different role, in terms of methodology and taste.

Kakhetian Protected Designations of Origin: Tsinandali, Mukuzani, Kindzmarauli, Akhasheni, Kvareli, Napareuli, Manavi, Gurjaani, Vazisubani, Teliani, Kardanakhi, Tibaani, Kakheti, Kotekhi.

Imereti is primarily known for white wines. The Imeretian Tsitska, Tsolikouri and Krakhunabecame widely known abroad, redrawing the future of Georgian white wines. Wine in Imereti is made in both classic way and in Qvevri. The Imeretian variety of Tsitskais considered to be the best Georgian variety for making sparkling wine. Kvishkhuri (Goruli Mtskvane)grown in Sachkhere, Imereti, deserves a special mention, too. Excellent red wines in Imereti are made from Otskhanuri Sapere, Dzelshavi and Aladasturi. Sviriis only one Protected Designation of Originof Imereti.

Kartli can be surely called the region for white wines. Chinuri and Goruli Mtsvaneare the classics of the Kartli wines. The Kartli winemakers grow these two to make wine in both classic way and in Qvevri. Most importantly, these two varieties are best for making sparkling wines. The place (Shida Kartli and Kvemo Kartli) is also famous for its red varieties - Tavkveri and Shavkapito.Ateni only one Protected Designation of Originof Kartli.

Racha joins the large family of Georgian varieties with its Alexandrouli and Mujuretuli. These two are used for making Khvanchkara, the Racha Protected Designation of Originwine. Rachuli (Tsulukidze) Tetra and Tsolikouritop the white wine list.

Lechkhumi is famous for Tsolikouri and Usakhlelouri. Tsolikourimakes excellent Tvishi, the LechkhumiProtected Designation of Originwine, while Usakhelourihas long established itself as the most valuable and rare wine of our country. Orbeluri Ojaleshideserves a special mention, too, grown in the village of Orbeli.

Guria and Chkhaveri are inseparable. This variety symbolizes the region. The amber and rosé wines made from it bring the Georgian viticulture and winemaking to a whole new level.

Samegrelo, just as the Georgian wine, is hard to imagine without Ojaleshi. The mountainous and foothill villages of Samegrelo are the best places for growing Ojaleshi. Here, in this area, just as in Guria, wine growers practiced rambling vine over the centuries. Their vine grew on the trees.

Meskhet-Javakhetiis one of the oldest hearths of viticulture and winemaking in Georgia. Many of the Kakhetian or Kartli varieties presumably originate from Meskheti. The peculiarity of Meskhetian viticulture deserves particular emphasis, as it entails the terrace vine growing, being the unique phenomenon for our wine culture. The Meskhet-Javakheti original varieties of Samariobo, Tskhenisdzudzu (white and black), Shavi Aspindzura, Akhaltsikhe Tetriare very promising.

Adjara says its important word in the subtropical zone with local Chkhaveriand vineyards built in mountainous regions. The old valleys of Adjara cherish the ancient Adjarian varieties - Chodi, Satsuravi, Brola, Khopaturi.            

Abkhazia has unique varieties (Avasirkhva, Amlakhu, Kachichi, Agbishi) and some other West Georgian varieties, too, such as Tsolikouri, Chkhaveriand others.