What you need to know about Georgian wine: a brief introduction to the topicPictolic
Since ancient times, Georgian wine has been appreciated by connoisseurs not only in the Caucasus, but also throughout Europe and Asia. The unique microclimate of Georgia, fine grape varieties and ancient winemaking traditions give this famous product special qualities that are highly appreciated by both experts and amateurs.
More than one voluminous book has been written about Georgian wine, but no one has managed to cover all the nuances. We will only slightly open the curtain on the world of wine-making in the country of Sakartvelo, using the information kindly provided by sommelier Levan Khachidze.
These containers, which resemble ancient amphorae, are made of special clay. They have no handles and dig into the ground. This method is more than 8 thousand years old and it has no analogues in the world. Therefore, the wine technology is recognized by UNESCO as the intangible cultural heritage of Georgia.
An important feature of the preparation of Georgian wine is the preparation of raw materials. Grapes are not cleaned from pulp, that is, from the pulp, skin, seeds of grapes and ridges. This is a very important condition, since the fermentation process in kvevri begins thanks to the natural yeast that is contained on the skin of grape berries.
The size of the qvevri can be impressive
Thanks to this, the original Georgian wines are completely natural and as close as possible to the natural product. The pulp gives the drink richness, density and tannin, and in the case of white wines, it slightly tints them, giving an incomparable deep color. Such wines are valued especially highly in the world — gourmets call them orange.
The price of a good Georgian wine is an abstract concept. Every professional sets a price for their product and sometimes it can be amazing. This is the world practice of winemaking and real wine connoisseurs will not be surprised by the price of the product. In the company stores of Georgian companies, a bottle of good wine costs 1000-1500 Russian rubles. In wineries, the price is usually lower. In Russian stores, a bottle of this wine costs about 3000 rubles.
But if we are talking about an exclusive drink, then the upper limit of prices is very difficult to name. Many people notice that the cost of real Georgian wine is comparable to the cost of French wine. This is due to the fact that in France all wine-making processes are mechanized, and in Georgia, whose winemakers do not fundamentally deviate from thousands of years of tradition, is always hard manual labor.
The question is often asked — which Georgian region's wines are better? If you have set a goal to get acquainted with the drinks of this country, then you should try all the available options.
Racha-Lechkhumi makes excellent red semi-sweet wines without using sugar. It is there that the famous khvanchkara is born. There are regions that specialize only in dry wines, orange light or dense. They are mandatory for tasting the wines of Kakheti, where they produce tart and maximally saturated wines with a high content of tannin.
Tsolikauri wine is extremely delicate, almost weightless, but with a long aftertaste. Kisi gives the wine density, roughness and a strong aroma. The wine, made from the tsitska variety, has an indescribable caramel notes.
In general, about 500 varieties of grapes are grown in Georgia, so it would be more correct to try not them, but the result of the work of different winemakers. You can safely recommend such masters of their craft as Iago Bitarishvili, Kakha Chotiashvili, Erekle Glonti and Gia Dakishvili — all these winemakers produce natural, biodynamic drinks, adhering to old recipes.
If you want to become a true connoisseur of wine, then you should also get acquainted with drinks from other regions of the planet. For the uninitiated, it may be news that some countries that have never been associated with wine in our country are famous for their excellent products and have centuries - old traditions of winemaking.