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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, has been put on UNESCO’s list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Therefore, once here, tasting wine is a must-do activity at Tbilisi’s wine bars. The choice is so diverse, you might be confused as to what to try, so we have put together some of the best wines for you to taste.
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 color characterized by a rich fragrance and mixed flavors 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 color and light aromas. The whole process of winemaking – maceration, aging, and fermentation – is done in those clay jars without any additions, filtration, or sulfites.
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 color. 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.
Made in the European style, Winiveria’s Kisi is a dry white wine with a pale amber color 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 one of the rarest grape types of Georgia. Therefore, it is one of the most expensive ones as well. The vineyards of Usakhelauri grapes are characterized 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 color with aromas of red and white cherries. Therefore, the wine is a dessert wine and goes well with fruits and fruitcakes.
This rich ruby-colored wine has rich blackberry, black mulberry, and cherry flavors. Velvety tannins from the most delicate oak barrels provide the wine with a subtle structure.
Kindzmarauli is a red, naturally semi-sweet wine made from Saperavi grapes grown in the Kindzmarauli micro-zone. With a deep garnet color, velvety taste, and long finish, Kindzmarauli Original has intense aromas of raspberry and blackberry.
The color of Traditional Qvevri Mtsvane wine is amber with golden tints and is defined by ripe and dry fruit flavors 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.
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 color and is mild and complex in taste.
Made in qvevri with traditional methods, the wine is a dark straw color with amber tones. It has rich fruit flavors of peach and apricot together with honey.
This white wine is amber in color 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’s Saperavi is a deep red, dark cherry color. The wine has berry flavors with hints of dry plum, pepper, and cherry.
This red wine is aged in barrel for 24 months, which results in flavors of strawberry, spice, and a definite hint of vanilla with licorice and subtle oak tones.
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.
Made from Saperavi grapes, Marani’s Reserve is a deep ruby red color infused with aromas of red fruit jam, cherry liquor, and spicy-smoky tones.