HAVE YOU EVER TRIED WINES FROM GEORGIA?
- History of Georgian Wine
- Viticulture in Georgia Today
- Growing Conditions
- Grape varieties in Georgia
- Georgian wine varieties
- Wine-producing Regions of Georgia with Map
- Climate of Georgia
- Major Wine Producer Companies
History of Georgian Wine
is the oldest wine producing region
, if not the world. Because of this, it is often referred to as "The birth place of wine" or "The cradle of wine making". The fertile valleys of the South Caucasus
, which Georgia straddles, are believed by many archaeologists to be the source of the world's first cultivated grapevines and Neolithic wine production, over 7000 years ago. Many also believe that the etymology of the word wine
comes from the Georgian word for wine - gvino
. Due to the many millennia of wine in Georgian history, the traditions of its viticulture are entwined and inseparable with the country's national identity.
It has been archaeologically proven that the roots of Georgian viticulture
are between 7000 and 5000 BC, when peoples of South Caucasus
discovered that wild grape juice turned into wine when it was left buried through the winter in a shallow pit. This knowledge was nourished by experience, and from 4000 BC Georgians were cultivating grapes and burying clay vessels, KVEVRI, in which to store their wine ready for serving at perfect ground temperature. When filled with the fermented juice of the harvest, the kvevris are topped with a wooden lid and then covered and sealed with earth. Some may remain entombed for up to 50 years.
This love affair with the grape was given further encouragement by the arrival of Saint Nino
in the 4th century. Fleeing Roman
persecution in Cappadocia
, in what is now central Turkey
, and bearing a cross made from vine wood and bound with her own hair. Saint Nino was swept up in the warm embrace of the Georgians, who became early converts to Christianity
(in 337 AD, or in 319 AD as recent research suggests.). Thus the cross and the vine became inextricably linked in the Georgian psyche, and the advent of the new faith served to sanction these ancient vinous practices. For centuries, Georgians drank, and in some areas still drink, their delicious wine from horns (called kantsi in Georgian) and skins specially treated for this purpose. These drinking implements came from their herd animals, as no part of the valued and respected beasts went to waste. The horns were cleaned, boiled and polished, creating a unique, durable and quite stylish drinking vessel. These horns were prized by the merchants and warriors that traveled the fertile valleys of the Caucasus. Today they are still a prized symbol of the historic eras.
Wine vessels of every shape, size and design account for the bulk of earthenware artifacts unearthed by Georgian archaeologists. The Georgian craft of pottery is millennia old. Ancient artifacts attest to the high skill of Georgian craftsmen in whose hands water, clay and fire turned into an object of an exceptional beauty much admired by people. The most impressive of all archaeological finds are kvevri, giant clay vessels in which wine was fermented and stored up. The old ones used to dig them into soil, just as we are doing now. Georgian museums have on display numerous clay vessels of all designations. Some were used to ferment grape juice and to store up wine, such as kvevri, chapi and satskhao, and others were used for drinking, such as khelada, doki, sura, chinchila, deda-khelada, dzhami and marani. For ages, artisans polished their skills to improve these vessels. The secrets of trade passed on from fathers to sons. Modern potters carefully study the ancient craft and decorative patterns and create their own pottery making extensive use of ancient national traditions and using the latest scientific and technological achievements to enrich ancient traditions.
Many of the unearthed silver, gold and bronze artifacts of the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC bare chased imprints of the vine, grape clusters and leaves. The State Museum of Georgia has on display a cup of high-carat gold set with gems, an ornamented silver pitcher and some other artifacts dated the 2nd millennium BC The museum of history has a cameo depicting Bacchus. Numerous sarcophagi with wine pitchers and ornamented wine cups, found in ancient tombs, are a proof that wine was nothing unusual for Georgians at all times. On the basis of this evidence it is safe to say that viticulture is a preeminent theme in the long record of Georgian history.
Viticulture in Georgia today
Georgia ranks 4th in grape production in the former Soviet Union behind Russia, Ukraine, and Moldova, though Georgian wines have always been the most highly prized and sought after. Unfortunately due to this, Georgian wines have recently begun to be widely imitated and counterfeited, exacerbated by the lax quality control and regulation standards of the nations within the CIS. Reportedly, as much as 90% of "Georgian" wines that were sold in Russia were from an indeterminate origin, as there is virtually no protection of Georgian wine names within Russia. This seems to be one of the main reasons that Georgian wines (along with Moldovan wines) were banned from Russia in March 2006. However, there also seems to be a heavy political dimension to the ban as well. Moscow markets have Georgian wines with names like Kindzmarauli produced in cities throughout Russia. Regrettably falsification occurs within Georgia as well, but has severally been clamped down upon by the Georgian government recently in order to mitigate the Russian ban claims, and to restore its prestige while expanding export opportunities to Western markets. The wine embargo has forced the Georgian government to officially recognize Georgia's role in falsification and many wineries have been closed. Despite these efforts, falsification remains a problem and buyers should confirm they are purchasing from an established, and reputable company. Reportedly recent exports to Germany were sent back to Georgia after they tested positive for falsification at German Customs.
However the authentic Georgian wine is winning praise, and it was announced as of June 18, 2007 that a three-year SIPPO - Swiss Import Promotion Program - (aimed at helping small and medium sized enterprises in emerging and transition markets, gain access to Swiss and EU markets), will promote Georgian wines in Europe. An agreement between SIPPO and the Georgian-Swiss Business Association was signed in which they promised to implement Georgian wine support projects undertaken by the Swiss Ministry of Economy. The three-year SIPPO program targets the promotion of Georgian wine in Europe and plans to develop the Georgian wine industry so that it will match European standards of marketing, winemaking, bottling, and branding. SIPPO also promises to promote Georgian wineries at fairs and exhibitions held across Europe, and to seek potential European partners after exhibitions. Trainings, seminars and workshops in marketing and branding are planned to be carried out during the six month preparatory period in the framework of the SIPPO program, and wine promotion at European exhibitions is scheduled for the spring of 2008.
A group of SIPPO experts went on a three-day monitoring visit to wine factories in the Georgian regions of Kakheti (considered to be the cradle of Georgian wine in east Georgia) and Racha (a highland region in west Georgia renowned for the Usakhelauri and Khvanchkara wine that is made there). The group looked through all wineries, checked their technology and equipment standards, tested all possible sorts of Georgian wines and came to the conclusion that Georgian wine is quite ready to be exported to Europe.
Dr. Otto Geiges, of Geiges Consulting (a food quality management consulting company), was surprised at the high quality of Georgian wines. He also found that most Georgian wineries were perfectly equipped and adjusted to Western standards. He predicts that Georgia has a good chance of making it in the Western market and says that, in order to succeed, Georgia must first learn the tastes of the Western market; begin using only the best of their grapes; and to keep away from the old type of low quality sweet wine they used to sell in large quantities to Russia. “These sorts of wines have little chance at Western market,” he told Georgian media.
However he also stated “I didn’t expect such high quality, we tested over 60 wines and many of them will have a good chance in Switzerland and other western markets.” He personally liked Mtsvane and Saperavi, and appears quite confident that the European market and particularly Switzerland is ready to accept Georgian wines.
Oliver Stern, the SIPPO Project Manager, explained that Georgian wines are the best from Eastern Europe, and that Georgia has great potential. “This is the reason SIPPO took an interest in Georgia,” he said. He personally liked Tetra but thinks that Saperavi is the most interesting variety due to the particular microsomes it contains. “Microsomes are the very things that wine-lovers in Switzerland are starting to demand,” he explained to Georgian media. “The best chance for impacting European markets falls to the wineries which still produce wines from the local varieties, and which also think of the quality, and are not focused on harvesting high volumes of grapes and producing high volumes of wine.
When it comes to wine-making, Georgia is blessed. Extremes of weather are unusual: summers tend to be short-sleeve sunny, and winters mild and frost-free. Natural springs abound, and the Caucasian Mountain streams drain mineral-rich water into the valleys. Georgia's moderate climate and moist air, influenced by the Black Sea
, provide the best conditions for vine cultivating.
Grape varieties in Georgia
Traditional Georgian grape varieties are little known in the West. Now that the wines of Eastern and Central Europe are coming to international awareness, grapes from this region are becoming better known. Although there are nearly 500 to choose from, only 38 varieties are officially grown for commercial viticulture in Georgia:
- Rkatsiteli (white) is a variety that is so widely grown in Eastern and Central Europe that it ranks third in the world in hectares grown. It is the most important grape varietiy used to make Georgian white wines. It is high in acidity and is capable of producing wines with fine character.
- Saperavi (red) produces substantial deep red wines that are suitable for extended aging, perhaps up to fifty years. Saperavi has the potential to produce high alcohol levels and is used extensively for blending with other lesser varieties. It is the most important grape variety used to make Georgian red wines.
- Mtsvani (or Mtsvane) (white) is also important in Georgian wines, and is often blended with Rkatsiteli to which it adds a fruity, aromatic balance. In the Georgian language Mtsvane means green.
- Alexandrouli (Alexandreuli,Alexsandrouli, red)
- Tsolikauri (white)
- Tetra (white)
- Mujuretuli (red)
- Ojaleshi (red) is cultivated on the mountain slopes overhanging the banks of the Tskhenis-Tskali river, particularly in the Orbeli village and Samegrelo district (Western Georgia).
- Usakhelauri (red) is cultivated mostly in the Zubi-Okureshi district in Western Georgia.
- Izabela (red)
- Tavkveri (red)
- Asuretuli (red)
- Cabernet Sauvignon (red)
- Aladasturi (red)
- Tsitska (white)
- Khikhvi (white) is grown in Kardanakhi.
Georgian wine varieties
Traditionally, Georgian wines carry the name of the source region, district, or village, much like French regional wines such as Bordeaux or Burgundy. As with these French wines, Georgian wines are usually a blend of two or more grapes. Georgian wines are classified as sweet, semi-sweet, semi-dry, dry, fortified and sparkling. The semi-sweet varieties are the most popular.
- Pirosmani is a semi-sweet white wine made from a 40% Tsolikauri, 60% Tsitska blend. It has won 3 gold medals and one silver medal at international competitions.
- Tsinandali is a blend of Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane grapes from the micro regions of Telavi and Kvareli in the Kakheti region.
- Tvishi is a natural semi-sweet white wine made from Tsolikauri in the Lechkhumi region. It has won one gold medal, two silver medals and one bronze medal in international competitions.
- Mtsvani is a dry white wine made from Mtsvani.
- Alaznis Veli is white semi-sweet wine made from the Rkatsiteii, Tetra, Tsolikauri and other industrial grape varieties cultivated in Western and Eastern Georgia. The wine of straw color has a characteristic aroma, a fine, fresh and a harmonious taste. It contains 9-11 % alcohol and has 6-7% titrated acidity.
- Anakopia is a white semi-dry table wine made from the Tsolikauri grape variety grown in the Sukhumi and Gudauta districts in Abkhazia. The color range is from light to dark-straw. It has a specific aroma and a subtle fresh taste. The alcohol content in the ready wine is 9-11%, sugar content 1-2 g/100 ml, titrated acidity 5-8 g/l. The wine has been produced since 1978.
- Tbilisuri is pink semi-dry wine produced since 1984. It is made from the Saperavi, Cabernet and Rkatsiteli grape varieties grown in East Georgia. The wine has a rich fruity taste. The alcohol content is 9-11.5%, sugar content 1-2%, titrated acidity 5-7 g/l.
- Khikkhvi is a vintage white dessert wine made from the Khikhvi grape variety grown in Kardanakhi. It has pleasant amber color, a characteristic aroma and a delicate taste. Its strength is 15 vol.%, sugar content 18-20%, titrated acidity 4-8 g/1. The wine has been produced since 1924. At international competitions it received 4 gold medals.
- Saamo is a vintage dessert white sweet wine is made from the Rkatsiteli grape variety cultivated in the Kardanakhi vineyards of the Gurjaani district in Kakheti. It takes the wine three years to mature. The golden-color wine has an original fine bouquet, a pleasant taste with a harmonious honey fragrance. When ready for use, the wine contains 17% alcohol, 13% sugar and has 4-6 g/1 titrated acidity. It has been manufactured since 1980. At international exhibitions Saamo was awarded 4 gold and 1 silver medal.
- Gelati is a white dry ordinary wine made of the Tsolikauri, Tsitska and Krakhuna grape varieties cultivated in Western Georgia. The wine of straw color has a characteristic savor with a fruity flavor and fresh harmonious taste. Its strength is 10.0-12.5 vol.% and titrated acidity 5-8%.
- Kakheti is a white table wine made of the Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane grape varieties cultivated in Kakheti. The amber-color wine has a fruity aroma with a vanillic flavor. It is characterized by an energetic, velvety and harmonious taste. Its strength is 10.5-13.0 vol.% and titrated acidity 4-6%. At international wine competitions the Kakheti wine was awarded one silver and one bronze medal. It has been produced since 1948.
- Bodbe is made from the Rkatsiteli grape variety in the village of Bodbe in the Magaro microdistrict, one of the most beautiful places of Kakheti. The wine has a light-straw color, a fine aroma of wild flowers and a pleasing tender taste which give the wine piquancy highly estimated by connoisseurs. The ready wine contains 10.5-11.5% alcohol and has 5-7% titrated acidity.
- Dimi is an Imeretian-type white ordinary wine. It is made from the Tsolikauri and Krakhuna grape varieties grown on small areas in Imereti (Western Georgia) by the old local technique consisting in fermenting the grapes pulp to which some quantity of grapes husks is added. The dark-straw color has a pleasant specific bouquet with a fruity flavor, a fresh harmonious taste and savory astringency. Its strength is 10.5-13.0 vol.% and titrated acidity 6.5-8.0%. The wine has been produced since 1977.
- Gareji is a white dry ordinary wine made of the Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane grape varieties cultivated in Kakheti. The wine has a color ranging from pale-straw to amber, a pleasing bouquet and a full harmonious taste. Its strength is 10.0-12.5 vol. % and titrated acidity 4-7%.
- Ereti is a white dry ordinary wine made from the Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane grape varieties. It has a straw color, a fine fruity bouquet and a full fresh and harmonious taste. Its strength is 10.0-12.5 vol.% and titrated acidity 5-8%.
- Shuamta is a dry wine produced since 1984. It is made from the Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane grape varieties according to the Kakhetian recipe. The wine is of amber or dark-amber color and has a moderately astringent harmonious taste with a fruity aroma. The alcohol content is 10-12%, titrated acidity 4-6 g/l, extractibility over 25 g/l.
- Alzani (white) is a mid-straw colored semi-sweet wine made from 100% Rkatsiteli. The name comes from one of the major river systems of Georgia that borders Georgia with Azerbaijan. The climate is slightly warmer than the rest of the Georgian Wine growing regions and gives rise to much sweeter grapes than those found elsewhere. It has won one silver and one gold metal in international competitions.
- Akhasheni is a naturally semi-sweet red wine made from the Saperavi grape variety grown in the Akhasheni vineyards of the Gurdzhaani district in Kakheti. The wine of dark-pomegranate color has a harmonious velvety taste with a chocolate flavor. It contains 10.5-12.0% alcohol, 3-5% sugar and has 5-7% titrated acidity. The wine has been manufactured since 1958. At international exhibitions it was awarded 6 gold and 5 silver medals.
- Khvanchkara is a fine naturally semi-sweet red wine made from the Alexandria & Mudzhuretuli grape varieties cultivated in the Khvanchkara vineyards in Western Georgia. The wine has a strong specific bouquet and a harmonious velvety taste with a raspberry flavor. It is of dark-ruby color. The Khvanchkara wine is one of the most popular Georgian semi-sweet wines. It contains 10.5-12.0% alcohol, 3-5% sugar and has 5.0-7.0% titrated acidity. The wine has been manufactured since 1907. For its excellent taste it was awarded 2 gold & 4 silver medals at international exhibitions.
- Kindzmarauli is a high quality naturally semi-sweet wine of dark-red color. It is made from the Saperavi grape variety cultivated on the slopes of the Caucasian mountains in the Kvareli district of Kakheti. It has a strong characteristic bouquet and aroma, a gentle harmonious and velvety taste. The wonderful taste and curative properties have won Kindzmarauli general recognition. The wine contains 10.5-12.0% alcohol, 3-5% sugar and has 5.0-7.0% titrated acidity. It has been manufactured since 1942. For its supreme qualities Kindzmarauli was 3 gold, 4 silver & 1 bronze medal at international wine competitions.
- Mukuzani is a dry red wine made from 100% Saperavi in Mukuzani, Kakheti. The wine is sourced from the very best wines of the vintage that have been fermented at controlled temperatures and with selected yeast strains. The wines are then matured for 3 years in oak to give the wine-added complexity and flavor. Mukuzani is considered to be the best of the Georgian Dry Red wines made from Saperavi. It has won 9 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 3 bronze medals in international competitions.
- Ojaleshi is one of the best red semi-sweet wines made from the grape variety of the same name cultivated on the mountain slopes overhanging the banks of the Tskhenis-Tskali river, particularly in the Orbeli village and Samegrelo district (Western Georgia). Odzhaleshi has dark-ruby colour, a gentle bouquet and aroma, a harmonious rich taste with a fruity flavor. It contains 10-12% alcohol, 3-5% sugar and has a titrated acidity of 5-6%.
- Pirosmani is a naturally semi-sweet red wine. It is made from the Saperavi grape variety cultivated in the Akhoebi vineyards of the Kardanakhi village in the Alazani Valley. The wine is fermented in clay jars buried in the ground, an ancient Kakhetian technology of wine-making. When ready for use, the wine contains 10.5-12% alcohol, 1.5-2.5% sugar and has 5-7% titrated acidity.
- Saperavi is a red wine made from the Saperavi grape variety grown in some areas of Kakheti. It is an extractive wine with a characteristic bouquet, a harmonious taste and pleasant astringency. Its strength is 10.5-12.5% and titrated acidity 5-7%. At the international wine competitions this wine received one gold and one silver medal. It has been produced since 1886.
- Usakhelauri is a naturally semi-sweet wine, which is superior to all other wines of this kind for its gentle and subtle qualities. It is produced from the excellent Usakhelauri grape variety cultivated mostly in the Zubi-Okureshi district in Western Georgia. Vineyards are arranged on the mountain slopes. The wine has attractive ruby color, harmonious sweetness with a wild strawberry flavor. It is noted for a pleasant velvety taste, a delicate bouquet and inimitable piquancy. The wine contains up to 10.5-12.0% alcohol, 3-5% sugar and has 5-7% titrated acidity. It has been manufactured since 1943. The word "Usakhelauri" means "nameless" in Georgia. The wine was so fine that it was hard to find an adequate name for it. At international exhibitions Usakhelauri was awarded 2 gold and 3 silver medals.
- Apsny is a naturally semi-sweet red wine made of red grape varieties cultivated in Abkhazia. The wine of pomegranate color has a pleasant aroma, a full and harmonious taste with gentle sweetness. When ready for use, the wine contains 9-10% alcohol, 3-5% sugar and has 5-7% titrated acidity. At an international exhibition the wine received one silver medal.
- Lykhny is a naturally semi-sweet pink wine made of the Izabela grape variety cultivated in Abkhazia. The wine has pink color, a specific aroma and a fresh harmonious taste. When ready for use, the wine contains 8-9% alcohol, 3-5% sugar and has 5-7% titrated acidity. At international exhibitions Lykhny was awarded one silver and one bronze medal.
- Mtatsminda is a pink table semi-dry wine produced since 1984. It is prepared by the original technology from the Saperavi, Tavkveri, Asuretuli, Rkatsiteli and other grape varieties grown in Tetritskaro, Kaspi, Gori and Khashuri districts. The wine is characterized by a harmonious taste with a fruity aroma and a beautiful color. The alcohol content is 9-11.5%, sugar content 1-2%, titrated acidity 5-7 g/l.
- Aguna is a pink semi-dry wine produced since 1984. It is made from the Saperavi, Cabernet and Rkatsiteli grape varieties grown in East Georgia. The wine has a rich fruity taste. The alcohol content is 9-11.5%, sugar content 1-2%, titrated acidity 5-7 g/l.
- Sachino is a pink semi-dry wine produced since 1984. It is made by the original method from the Aleksandreuli, Aladasturi, Odzhaleshi, Tsitska, Tsolikauri and other grape varieties cultivated in West Georgia. The wine is notable for a mild taste, a moderate extractibility, a pure aroma and a beautiful color. The alcohol content is 9-11.5%, sugar content 1-2%, titrated acidity 5-7 g/l.
- Barakoni is a naturally semi-dry red wine made from the unique Alexandreuli and Mudzhuretuli grape varieties cultivated in Western Georgia on the steep slopes of the Rioni gorge in the Caucasian mountains. This top quality wine of light-ruby color has a fine fragrance of violets, natural pleasant sweetness and a tender harmonious taste. When ready for use, Barakoni contains 10-12% alcohol, 1.5-2.5% sugar and has 5-7% titrated acidity. The wine has been manufactured since 1981.
- Salkhino is a liqueur-type of dessert wine made from the Izabella grape variety with an addition of the Dzvelshava, Tsolikauri and other grape varieties cultivated in the Mayakovski district (Western Georgia). It has characteristic ruby or pomegranate color. The alcohol content is 15%, sugar content 30%, titrated acidity 3-7 g/l. At international competitions the wine received 6 gold medals. It has been produced since 1928
- Alaverdi (White and Red)
- Alazani (Red) is a light red, semi-sweet wine made from a 60% Saperavi, 40% Rkatsiteli blend. It has won 3 mold medals and 3 silver medals at international competitions. The name comes from one of the major river systems of Georgia that borders Georgia with Azerbaijan. The climate is slightly warmer than the rest of the Georgian Wine growing regions and gives rise to much sweeter grapes than those found elseware.
- Kardanakhi is a fortified vintage white wine of the type. It is made from the Rkatsiteli grape variety cultivated in the Kardanakhi vineyards of the Gurdzhaani district. The wine matures in oak barrels for three years. The amber color wine has a pleasant specific bouquet with a typical port wine flavor and a fine honey fragrance. It contains 18% alcohol, 10% sugar and has 4-6% titrated acidity. It was awarded 8 gold and one silver international medals.
- Anaga is a madeira-type top-quality strong wine made from the Rkatsiteli, Khikhvi and Mtsvane grape varieties cultivated in the Gurjaani, Sighnaghi and Tsitel-Tskaro districts. The wine has light-golden to dark-amber color, a strong peculiar bouquet, an extractive harmonious taste with a clearly pronounced Madeira touch. The alcohol content is 19%, sugar content 4 g/ml, titrated acidity 3 - 7 g/l. The Anaga wine was awarded 1 international silver medal.
- Sighnaghi is an ordinary strong wine of the port type made from the Rkatsiteli grape variety grown in the Sighnaghi district in Kakheti. The amber-color wine has an extractive harmonious taste with a clearly pronounced fruity touch. The alcohol content 3 g/100 ml, titrated acidity 5 g/l.
- Veria is a fortified vintage white port made from the Rkatsiteli, Mtsvane, Chinuri and other commercial grape varieties grown in Eastern Georgia. The amber-color wine has a peculiar aroma and harmonious taste. Its strength is 18 vol.%, sugar content 7%, titrated acidity 3-7 g/1. At an international wine competition it received 1 gold medal. The wine has been produced since 1977.
- Lelo is a port-type wine made from the Tsitska and Tsolikauri grape varieties grown in Zestaphoni, Terjola, Baghdati and Vani districts. The wine has a rich harmonious taste with a fruity aroma and a beautiful golden color. The alcohol content is 19%, sugar content 5 %, titrated acidity 6 g/l.
- Marabda is is a port-type wine made from the Rkatsiteli grape variety grown in Marneuli and Bolnisi districts. It has a full harmonious taste with a fruity aroma & light-golden color. The alcohol content is 19%, sugar content 5%, titrated acidity 6 g/l.
- Kolkheti is a fortified vintage white port is made from Tsolikauri, Tsitska and other commercial white grape varieties grown in Western Georgia. The amber-color wine has a specific bouquet and harmonious taste. Its strength is 18 vol.%, sugar content 7 %, titrated acidity 3-7 g/l. At an international competition the wine received one silver medal. It has been produced since 1977.
- Taribana is a port-type wine made from the Rkatsiteli grape veriety cultivated in Kakheti. The wine has a mild oily taste, a low sugar content and a beautiful color. The alcohol content is 19%, sugar content 5%, titrated acidity 5 g/l.
Wine-producing Regions of Georgia
There are five main regions of viniculture, the principal region being Kakheti
, which produces seventy percent of Georgia's grapes. Traditionally, Georgian wines carry the name of the source region, district, or village, much like French regional wines such as Bordeaux
. As with these French wines
, Georgian wines are usually a blend of two or more grapes. For instance, one of the best-known white wines, Tsinandali, is a blend of Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane grapes from the micro regions of Telavi and Kvareli in the Kakheti region.
The local climate is excellent for wine-making and there are 500 different kinds of wine in Georgia
The climate of Georgia is extremely diverse, considering the nation's small size. There are two main climatic zones, roughly separating Eastern and Western parts of the country. The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range plays an important role in moderating Georgia's climate and protects the nation from the penetration of colder air masses from the north. The Lesser Caucasus Mountains partially protect the region from the influence of dry and hot air masses from the south as well.
Much of western Georgia lies within the northern periphery of the humid subtropical zone with annual precipitation ranging from 1000–4000 mm. (39–157 inches). The precipitation tends to be uniformly distributed throughout the year, although the rainfall can be particularly heavy during the Autumn months. The climate of the region varies significantly with elevation and while much of the lowland areas of western Georgia are relatively warm throughout the year, the foothills and mountainous areas (including both the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Mountains) experience cool, wet summers and snowy winters (snow cover often exceeds 2 meters in many regions). Ajaria
is the wettest region of the Caucasus
, where the Mt. Mtirala rainforest
, east of Kobuleti
receives around 4500 mm (177 inches) of precipitation per year.
Eastern Georgia has a transitional climate from humid subtropical to continental. The region's weather patterns are influenced both by dry, Central Asian/Caspian air masses from the east and humid, Black Sea air masses from the west. The penetration of humid air masses from the Black Sea is often blocked by several mountain ranges (Likhi
) that separate the eastern and western parts of the nation. Annual precipitation is considerably less than that of western Georgia and ranges from 400–1600 mm (16–63 inches). The wettest periods generally occur during Spring and Autumn while Winter and the Summer months tend to be the driest. Much of eastern Georgia experiences hot summers (especially in the low-lying areas) and relatively cold winters. As in the western parts of the nation, elevation plays an important role in eastern Georgia as well, and climatic conditions above 1500 metres (4920ft) above sea level are considerably cooler (even colder) than those of the low-lying areas. The regions that lie above 2000 meters (6560ft) above sea level frequently experience frost even during the summer months.
Major Wine Companies
Producer Company: TELAVI WINE CELLAR
Producer Company: TELIANY VALLEY
Producer Company: BADAGONI
- Address: 4, Freedom Square, 0105, Tbilisi, Georgia.
- Tel:+ (99532) 936243
- e-mail: email@example.com
Producer Company: TBILVINO
- Address: 2 sarajishvili ave 0153 Tbilisi, Georgia
- Tel: (995) 32 651625
- Fax: (995) 32 651461
Producer Company: TIFLISI MARANI LTD
Producer Company: SHUMI
- Address: 153, Agmashenebeli Ave., Tbilisi, Georgia
- Tel./Fax: (995 32) 94 14 91; (995 32) 94 18 28 (995 32) 95 16 52
- e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Producer Company: GWS
- Address: Achinebuli 2200 Telavi Georgia
- Or: P.O. Box 4, Tbilisi, Georgia, 0108
- Tel.: + (995 35) 07 60 51/ 07 42 79/ 07 41 24
- Fax: + (995 35) 05 00 65.
- e-mail: email@example.com