Georgia has been making wine for at least 8,000 years, and is considered to be the oldest winemaking country in the world. Its traditional winemaking method in qvevri, or clay jars, is on the Unesco list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Therefore, tasting wine is a must-do activity at Tbilisi’s wine bars. The choice is so diverse, you might not know where to start – so we’ve put together some of the best wines for you to taste.
Here at Culture Trip we believe food and drink embodies the heart of national culture. That’s why we’ve created a special food-and-drink-themed trip to Georgia for all you foodies out there, eager to discover the gastronomic character of this beautiful country. Led by a Local Insider, you’ll get to try all manners of local dishes – and even cook some for yourself.
Giuaani – Mtsvane Qvevri 2014
Mtsvane is a dry, white wine using the traditional method with clay jars – qvevri. The wine is fermented in qvevri for five months, then moved to oak barrels for four months to complete its maturity. The wine has a light golden colour characterised by a rich fragrance and mixed flavours of exotic fruits, cacao and cinnamon. The wine goes well with pork, meat and cheese.
This dry, unfiltered amber wine made in qvevri has a dark straw colour and light aromas. The whole process of winemaking – maceration, aging and fermentation – is done in the clay jars without any additions, filtration, or sulfites.
Orgo – Rkatsiteli 2014
Also made in qvevri, this amber-hued white wine is produced solely from Rkatsiteli grapes. The wine is aged in clay jars for at least six months, which determines its dark colour. Distinguished by aromas of dried apricot, truffle, almond and hay, the wine has velvety tannins and tastes more like a red wine rather than a white you might be used to.
Winiveria – Kisi 2015
Made in the European style, Winiveria’s Kisi is a dry white wine with a pale amber colour made from Kisi grapes. It has the aromas of sweet fruits and citrus, a well-balanced acidity and mild taste. The wine goes well with fish, cheese and mushrooms.
Usakhelauri Vineyard – Usakhelauri 2015
Usakhelauri one of the rarest grape types of Georgia – making it one of the most expensive ones as well. The vineyards of Usakhelauri grapes are characterised by a low harvest volume, and the cultivation is very difficult as well. This particular Usakhelauri grape is harvested from the best terrain and is ruby in colour, with aromas of red and white cherries. Therefore, the wine is a dessert wine and goes well with fruits and fruitcakes.
Orovela – Saperavi 2006
This rich, ruby-coloured wine has blackberry, black mulberry and cherry flavours. Velvety tannins from the most delicate oak barrels provide the wine with a subtle structure.
Kindzmarauli Marani – Kindzmarauli Original
Kindzmarauli is a red, naturally semi-sweet wine made from Saperavi grapes grown in the Kindzmarauli micro-zone. With a deep garnet colour, velvety taste and long finish, Kindzmarauli Original has intense aromas of raspberry and blackberry.
Mukado – Traditional Qvevri Mtsvane 2014
The colour of Traditional Qvevri Mtsvane wine is amber with golden tints, and is defined by ripe and dry fruit flavours of apricot and yellow plums, together with balancing honey and nutty overtones. The wine pairs perfectly with lighter meats such as turkey, pork and quail, as well as seafood and salads. It also goes well with Asian hot-sour flavors, spicy curries and pizza.
Tchotiashvili – Rcheuli Qvevri Khikhvi 2014
Under the label “Rcheuli Qvevri,” the company has put together the best examples of the vintage. This dry white wine is made from Khikhvi grapes with traditional methods in clay jars. It has a straw colour and is mild and complex in taste.
Mildiani – Kisi 2011
Made in qvevri with traditional methods, the wine is a dark straw colour with amber tones. It has rich fruit flavours of peach and apricot together with honey.
Alaverdi Monastery Cellar since 1011 – Rkatsiteli 2013
This white wine is amber in colour with a golden hue, and is identified with different aromas of fresh and dried fruits and hints of walnut. It has a long-lasting, velvety finish and a very slight off-dry taste.
Lagvinari – Saperavi 2011
Lagvinari’s Saperavi is a deep red, dark cherry colour. The wine has berry flavours with hints of dry plum, pepper and cherry.
Kakhuri – Saperavi Reserve 2005
This red wine is aged in barrel for 24 months, which results in flavours of strawberry, spice and a definite hint of vanilla with liquorice and subtle oak tones.
Chateau Mukhrani – Reserve Royale Goruli Mtsvane 2012
Goruli Mtsvane is an indigenous and unusual white varietal, which can create very different and aromatic wines. Reserve Royale Goruli Mtsvane has a rich bouquet of grapefruit flower, strengthened with pear and subtle oak aging. The wine goes best with fish, poultry or vegetable salads.
Marani – Reserve 2007
Made from Saperavi grapes, Marani’s Reserve is a deep ruby-red colour, and infused with aromas of red fruit jam, cherry liquor and spicy-smoky tones.
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