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29 September, 2021

Must-Try Wines in Georgia

Category: Information Culture

Georgian wine has a longer history than many countries on the current world map. With time, approaches have changed, and as a result, we got many types of wines made with different technologies. Each tells a different story about the place where it matured and its winemaker magicians who created a unique taste. These stories are scattered in the regions of Georgia and are waiting for us to taste delicious wines.

What is even more remarkable is that in addition to the well-known brands and wines, it is quite possible to find unique tastes in any family, by chance. Every winemaker has an individual approach, and who knows, you may find your perfect wine with them. Before you decide to look for the unique one, we will briefly tell you about the must-try wines that make Georgia such an attractive country.


Usakhelouri

Usakhelouri is one of the most distinguished Georgian creatures on earth. It can be said that this grape variety is the rarest among Georgian grape varieties. It is grown only in a few villages of Lechkhumi, and despite the small yield, the number of its customers is increasing daily. According to legend, the history of naming a remarkable name begins in Tbilisi in the 1940s, when winemakers from Lechkhumi sent nameless wine for sale in the capital. In Tbilisi, wine became very popular and due to the necessity of the name, it was accidentally named "usakhelo" "usakhelouri" (nameless).

The period from planting the seedlings to making the wine is one big adventure and each stage requires delicacy. This variety of vine is cultivated in relatively sloping sites of Lechkhumi. This way the grapes have more frequent contact with the sun, which has a positive effect on their taste. In some places, the vineyard is on such slopes that it is practically impossible to maintain it without special equipment. The vineyard is sprayed 7-8 times in total. Despite the biotechnology tests, Usakheluri retains its unique taste only under natural care. Harvesting begins in late autumn and the hand-picked grapes for wine are pressed.

Tasting Usakhelouri in its hometown is the best choice, but now you can buy it in almost every liquor store. If you ask people in Lechkhumi where to taste the best Usakhelouri, the locals will tell you the families that create a special taste. Due to its premium quality, the price is the highest among Georgian wines, but you should taste Usakhelouri once in a lifetime to know the taste of Georgian wine. The classic Usakhelouri is semi-sweet, but you will also come across its variations. The ideal combination of acidity and sweetness creates a well-balanced taste. Before you taste it, its gentle scent will surely mesmerize you. It is recommended to drink it at a temperature of 13-15 degrees.

Good seedling, well-chosen place, good care, and professional winemaking - the ideal combination of these stages create a unique Georgian red wine - Usakhelouri.


Chelti

Premium quality drink - Chelti is among the list of must-try wines. The vineyards at the bottom of the Caucasus Mountains turned out to be an ideal place for the growth of grapes. The grapes are grown on soil soaked in minerals. Early, here was the bed of the river Chelti. Cool air blows from the Caucasus Mountains causing the natural cooling of the grapes. It helps to accumulate acidity, while a hot climate accumulates sugar. These two combinations create an opportunity to get premium quality.

Making a unique Georgian red wine from the Saperavi grape is accompanied by several processes. Each stage is strictly controlled, which creates high quality. In August, immature grapes are harvested in the Chelti vineyards, reaping only 5-6 tons of grapes per hectare. Chelti distinguishes by its pungent taste and harmonious aromas specific to its variety. The bunches of grapes are so soft that they are pressed within 15 minutes after picking. The dark purple color emphasizes its quality and makes people want to taste it again. Along with tastes of black currant and cherry, you will also feel the taste of wild berries. It should be noted that the wine does not lose its unique properties within a few days after its opening.

Underground wine cellar "Chelti" is located at a 7 meters depth. It is the reason why the wine naturally retains 14-17 °C heat throughout the year, which is the ideal temperature for its storage and aging.

Chelti wine has several international achievements. In 2019, it won 11 gold medals at international competitions and exhibitions. Chelti Saperavi was named among the 20 best wines in the world by the jury of the Decanter. In 2018, The Saperavi of Qvevri from Chelti winery was presented to Prince Harry and Megan Markle as a gift for their wedding.

You can buy Chelti wine in almost all supermarkets and liquor stores in Georgia. Considering the fact, that Chelti is gradually becoming popular around the world, you will find it in 20 countries with different packaging.


Kindzmarauli

Kindzmarauli is known as the most delicious semi-sweet red wine in the country. If you taste it at least once, you will never forget its strange, unique taste. There is a special climate and soil in the micro-zone where grapes ripen for Kindzmarauli wine. That is why it has an amazing aroma and light-red color that we love so much. You will be fascinated by the fruit tones, that blend so nicely. It is remarkable, that the wine tastes different for the first time and afterward. At first, you will feel the taste of blackberry and cherry jam more, and then you will feel the mixed taste of light acidity and fruit aromas.

The grapes are harvested by hand when they are almost ripe. The wine-making process is calm, cautious, and well-timed. After pressing, the grapes are boiled in stainless steel tanks at 23-28 degrees. After about a week the sugar level is regulated and the fermentation is replaced by filtration, thus the grape sweetness and freshness are maintained. Then it is placed in bottles and stored at a temperature adjusted to it.

You can taste Kindzmarauli almost everywhere in Georgia. However, if you decide to drink it in its hometown, Kakheti, this will be the best voyage in your life. The local climate matches with the emotion of the wine so well it will be difficult to leave or forget it. Kindzmarauli is drunk with meat mostly, although just wine can also be consumed to awaken the taste.


Akhasheni

Kakheti distinguishes by an abundance of good and precious wines. Akhasheni Saperavi land is considered to be the best in this region. The vineyard is cultivated in such an appropriate place that each cluster is guaranteed to be soaked in natural minerals. The grapes ripen slowly. Hereby the levels of acidity and sweetness are perfectly balanced. With a harvest grown in this environment, a wine is made, which will fill you with positive energy and emotions. Among the semi-sweet wines of Kakheti, Akhasheni is one of the firmest, and with sweetness - balanced one.

For wine, only the best clusters are picked and concentrated with 23-25% sugar. Then the stalk is removed and grapes are moved to a boiling reservoir. Fermentation takes place at 18-22 degrees temperature, and as soon as the sugar level drops to 5-7%, the liquid is cooled. After filtering, it is stored at -3 degrees.

Mtsvadi and Akhasheni wine in Kakhetian air gives us the perfect combination. It's hard to handle a mix of two deliciousness. If you want to buy it in an urban environment, it will not be difficult for you. At least one bottle is available in almost every market. So, great pleasure awaits you ahead.


Tsinandali

A unique wine - Tsinandali - is made by mixing Rkatsiteli and Kakhuri Mtsvane. You may have heard this name many times. There are even legends about its taste. It is also called flagship white wine because of its place of origin. Tsinandali has been produced for almost two centuries to this day. The wine style has changed many times during this time. Despite everything, the white dry wine still retained a pale straw-colored look, which has floral and white fruit aromas. The taste is very complex. In the beginning, the aroma of tropical fruits is felt, which is perfectly balanced with oak and citrus aromas. The ideal temperature for tasting the wine is 12-14 degrees.

Selected bunches of grapes are concentrated with 18-22% sugar content and 7.5-8 acidity. After pressing, it is transferred to a reservoir where it is kept at a low temperature for 15-18 hours. Then It is transferred to boiling reservoirs. Fermentation takes place at a low temperature - 12-15 ° C.

You will not need to travel long distances to taste Tsinandali. It can be purchased in almost all markets and supermarkets in Georgia. You can even find it in the store in your district. Still, tasting the wine at the place where it was made is more delicious. There you can experience more intense emotions.


Khvantchkara

The history of one of the rarest wines of Georgia begins in the first half of the XX century. Khvanchkara was admired by wine lovers since the first bottling. Production of Rachvelian wine is associated with the name of Dimitri Kipiani. Thanks to him, Khvanchkara was brought to Belgium, to the European Wine Festival, where it became the winner of the Golden Grand Prix. Today the reward is kept in the Georgian National Museum. This is a great success for Khvanchkara, Dimitri, and Georgian winemaking in general.

Aleksandrouli and Mujuretuli grapes grown in the Racha microzone go well with each other. After the magical preparatory processes, Khvanchkara is made. It has eye-catching, cherry color. The sweet, light tannin-saturated flavor has a perfectly balanced sweetness and acidity. The aroma of red fruits, berries, and flowering plants can also be noticed. 13 degrees is ideal for tasting it. Eating meat with wine will be the right decision, although only wine can also be drunk.

Khvanchkara's growing and bottling range is expanding day by day. Today you can find it everywhere, it is even exported. That's why you do not have to travel many miles or climb a cliff. All you need is the desire to test it.


Krakhuna

Imeretian wine is associated with a different kind of warmth and love. Krakhuna is one of the premium quality wines of Georgia. It is produced in a limited edition, though tasting this white dry wine is a real pleasure. In addition to the standard wine aroma, you will also notice the honey flavor. Over time, Krakhuna wine is becoming full-bodied and acquiring a strong taste. Notes of ripe yellow fruits and plants make its golden straw-colored look even more beautiful.

To prepare Krakhuna wine, only the finest clusters are collected and every stage of production is gone with great precision. After picking grapes with 18% sugar, the crop is transferred to a reservoir, where it is kept for 15 hours. After that, Imeretian Krakhuna is transferred to the boiling reservoirs and starts boiling at 12 C degrees temperature. Finally, it is stored and aged. 14 C degrees is ideal for drinking it.

Where can you taste it? Due to the fact, that it is a relatively rare grape variety, it is less produced and can be purchased in liquor stores. However, you will find a family in its homeland, Imereti, who will be happy to host you and serve you Imeretian Krakhuna with hot Mchadi and Imeretian cheese.



Tags: #Wine #Wine festival #Georgian Wine #Grape #უსახელოური #ჩელთი #ქინძმარაული #ახაშენი #წინანდალი #ხვანჭკარა #კრახუნა
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