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Some Georgia Grape Varieties

Georgia has the greatest diversity of wine grapes grown on the planet. No other wine region has over 500 different wine grape varieties. Most of these varietal grapes have very small plantings. About 40 varieties are widely planted and wines made are sold. Of the varieties that are not made into commercial wines, the wines made from the grapes are used by the home winemaker. Almost every family in Georgia makes wines.

Some of the white and black (Georgians prefer black over red) grapes are shown in the charts. These are the grapes we have encountered during a September 2013 visit to Georgia and several of the wine regions.

White Grape Varieties

Rkatsiteli

Rkatsiteli

Rkatsiteli is the most common and widely planted white grape variety. It is also planted in the United States.

Goruli Mtsvane

Goruli Mtsvane

A late ripening white grape from the Kartli region. This is a different varietal grape than Mtsvane Kakhetian (Mtsvane). Often used as a blending grape.

Kisi

Kisi

Kisi is grown in eastern Georgian wine regions. It ripens in mid-season and is often used to make traditional qvevri wines.

Mtsvane Kakhetian

Mtsvane Kakhetian

Also called Mtsvane, ripens early in the Kakheti region. Used to produce traditional Kakhetian wines aswell as European-styled wines.

Tsitska

Tsitska

Tsitska is widely planted in Imerety and used to make sparkling wine. The grape is also used to produce European and Imeretinian style wines.

Tsolikouri

Tsolikouri

Tsolikouri is one of the most widely planted white grape varieties, originating from Imerety but spreading throughout the whole country. The levels of sugar in the grape depends on where it is grown. The grape produces European and Imeretinian styled wines as well as a semi-sweet wine.

Utskveti

Utskveti

Information about this vitis vinifera wine grapes is scarce. We included its photo because of its unique shape and color.

Black Grape Varieties

Saperavi

Saperavi

Saperavi is the most widely planted black grape in Georgia. The grape has the potential to rival Cabernet Sauvignon. There are some plantings of this variety in the United States.

Tavkveri

Tavkveri

Grown mostly in the Kartli region with limited plantings in the Kakheti region. When produced as a rosé, the wine offers roses and red berry fruits notes.

Usakhelauri

Usakhelauri

There is limited plantings of this grape and few bottles of wine made. The word Usakhelauri means "nameless" in Georgian. Nameless is a reference to the grape being "beyond words" and "priceless." In a good year about 1,000 bottles are produced. The wine is expensive.

Alexandrouli

Aleksandrouli

The grape is mainly grown in the Racha region. It is used to produce both dry and semi-sweet wines.

Also spelled Alexandrouli

Mujuretuli

Mujuretuli

Grown mostly in the Racha region, this grape has high sugar levels. It is often blended with Alexandrouli to produce semi-sweet wines.

Shavkapito

Shavkapito

Shavkapito is indigenous to the Kartli wine region. It produces an abundant crop.

Chkhaveri

Chkhaveri

Chkhaveri is late ripening grape is usually harvested in November. It is widespread in the Guria region with limited planting in other regions. It is resistant to phylloxera but susceptible to mildew.

 

 

 

 


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