Tbilvino Saperavi 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A Eurasian country bordered by Russia to its north, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan to its south and the Black Sea along its western border, The Country of Georgia is one of the world’s oldest winemaking countries. Archaeological evidence in the Caucasas region (the area covered by the countries listed above, where the European and Asian continents merge) shows wine production dating back 6,000 to 8,000 years ago but exactly which country can lay claim to the birthplace of winemaking remains undetermined.
Though some modern movements have been made, Georgia remains committed to ancient winemaking techniques, namely the use of qvevri, or clay vessels for fermentation and storage of both its red and white wines. Like ampohorae, these are typically buried underground or set into the floor of a cellar in an effort to regulate temperature. Saperavi, one of the few red-fleshed, dark-skinned varieties, produces an intense red wine. Rkatsiteli, Georgia’s key pale-skinned variety, is popular for its versatility. It is capable of producing wines of various styles from fresh, dry whites and complex, amber-colored skin-contact wine, to sparkling, sweet and fortified wines.
Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of red grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal and Italy are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.