Wine is always a good starter to a conversation, whether it’s a good topic or catalyst to get the nerves going for a discussion. The typical wine connoisseurs always have their choices to pick from the list, with a number of bottles bearing their own titles and awards too.
Enter saperavi wine. Saperavi (Dry Red) 2019, the right inbetween of Merlot or Shiraz. Reigning from the Kakheti region of Georgia. A deep hue of inky purple which it gets its name from - named literally ‘paint dye’. Saperavi is one of the most sought after wines with its few varieties in the world.
Sweet, semi-sweet, dry, or fortified red wine, cultivated and grown from one of the oldest wine regions in the world. Georgian red wine has had a history and continues to only evolve in both beauty and taste, with UNESCO even adding the ancient traditional Georgian wine making method as an intangible cultural heritage.
The richness of Georgian saperavi is only one of the country’s long-running cultivation of wine and grapes, but it doesn’t shy away even among its siblings. with the aromas of plums, blackberry and prunes that are sure to allure any connoisseur or even the simplest lover of wine.
Saperavi withstands very cold climates giving its natural acidity, made from grapes reaching their full ripeness at the nearing months of the cold of September and October. Making it an ideal drink for the holidays or even the breaking dawn of the New Year - a celebration and drink to enjoy with others you care for.
Ideal pair to sip
If you are looking for something to pair with the grilled taste of meat or spice-filled stews, georgian saperavi has the strong flavour and texture that makes it an ideal pair. Perfect with a rich palate, spicy with hints of fresh grapes, cherry and vanilla flavours. Who wouldn’t want to clink this over a barbie after a “Cheers, mate”?
Even beyond the barbie grill, Saperavi continues to catch the eyes of the trained eye. To the point it’s even found a spot as the best red wine around the world during the International Wine Challenge in 2020. Being the first time in history for a purely georgian saperavi produced to be the champion of the most influential wine competition in the world.
After such an achievement, it continues to be the saperavi wine favourite a year later with awards all across London, China, Hong Kong, and other areas of Asia. A clear favourite even outside its country.
So if you’re looking for the best sip to have for the holidays or to greet the new year, treating one’s self to an award-winning saperavi wine such as Saperavi (Dry Red) 2019 is the well-deserved award with a barbie to boot.
Nothing tells you more about the spirit and culture of a country than its native food and wine. And Georgia’s food and wine is amongst the best in the world. It may surprise you to know that Georgia has the oldest continuous unbroken tradition of wine making in the world, stretching back over 8,000 years and today, there are more than 500 indigenous grape varieties still cultivated here.
A quick look at its geographical position and its landscape shows you why it is the perfect place to grow grapes. Georgian cuisine offers a variety of dishes, with liberal use of various tasty herbs and spices. Each historical province of Georgia has its own distinct culinary tradition, such as Megrelian, Kakhetian, and Imeretian cuisines. And while meat plays an important part in Georgian cuisine, very close attention is also paid to the locally produced salads, vegetables, fruit and greens. Many people come to Georgia and marvel at the sweet tasting produce and wonder how such flavour can be grown here. Again, the secret is in our history, location and soil type.
Georgia is the Cradle of Wine – Many discoveries have left historians inno doubt that Georgia is the birthplace of wine. Ancient wine vessels made of clay, bronze and silver; gold cups for drinking wine; wine barrels dated to the 2nd or even 3rd millennium BC; and vine seeds found in the ancient tombs of the Bronze age all leave a continuous story of the history of Georgian wine. White grape varieties Today, over 500 varieties of grape grow in this small country and Georgian wines are well known for their unique properties and characteristics. The warm climate and moist air from the Black Sea provides perfect conditions to produce superb wine. The diverse landscape and numerous climate zones enable the production of far more varieties of grapes than virtually any other country in the world.
The main grape types include: White grapes: Rkatsiteli, Mtsvane Kakhuri, Khikhvi, Kisi, Kakhuri Mtsvane, Chinuri, Goruli Mtsvane, Tsolikouri, Tsitska, Krakhuna, Rachuli Tetra, Sakmiela, Avasirkhva. Red grapes: Saperavi, Tavkveri, Otskhanuri Sapere, Shavkapito, Alekhandrouli, Mujuretuli, Dzelshavi, Usakhelouri, Orbeluri Ojaleshi, Ojaleshi, Chkhaveri. The Rkatsiteli grape creates a robust white wine full of character, with many varieties and brands. The increasingly famous red Saperavi grapes provide powerful and fiery wines with an aroma of plums, spices and almonds. In the Kakheti region you will also discover the delicious naturally formed semi-sweet wines of Kindzmarauli and Akhasheni.
Wine Regions of Georgia – The history of wine in the Kakheti region can be traced back to the sixth millennium BC. Wine has been produced using the unique and traditional style of Qvevri – clay pots submerged into the ground which are used to ferment and create delicious, unfiltered, organic wines. Driving through the region you cannot fail to be impressed with the number of vines and vineyards, but wine production is not only restricted to the Kakheti region. The famous semi-sweet wine of Khvanchkara is found up in the foothills of the high Caucasus in the beautiful Racha region. And you can add Shida Kartli, Kvemo Kartli, Imereti, Samegrelo, Guria, Samtskhe-Javakheti and Adjara; every region can surprise you with different tastes of their wines, colours and aromas.
Georgian Traditional Winemaking – Among red wines the barrique method of barrel fermentation and storage is now virtually standard practice. However the old Caucasian method of wine production is still widely practiced in Georgia, mostly in the eastern part of Georgia, particularly Kakheti in which grapes are placed in large, earthenware vessels called Qvevri, buried in the ground, sealed and left for several months to reach a natural and delicious maturity. An early type of Qvevri was found on Mount Khrami and is believed to date back to the 6th millennia BC and many qvevri from this and later periods have been found in both Eastern and Western Georgia. Despite similarities in their use, however, Western and Eastern Georgian i.e Colchian and Iberian Qvevri – called Churi in Western Georgia – differed from one another in terms of shape, manufacture, colour and decoration.
RTVELI – Wines from Georgia Tasting at The important and magical time of Rtveli or grape harvesting, is held in autumn, once the grain crops are gathered in and in every home there are baskets full of locally produced pomegranates, pears, apples and peaches. In the fine early mornings during Rtveli, the vineyards fill up with cheerful calls, the Rtveli merry songs. The grapes are harvested using a Godori – a large basket made of branches from a cherry tree. This is the time of year to prepare the famous and delicious Churchkhelas. You start to prepare it far in advance by stringing together as many walnuts as possible and placing them into Tatara, a mixture of grape juice and flour which is cooked in a pot. The walnuts are removed from the Tatara and dried, placed into the Tatara again and dried once more. The Churchkhelas are then ready.
Georgian Cuisine and the “Supra” – Original and very specific to the country, Georgian cuisine is the natural extension of a fertile, mineral-rich landscape fed by the pure waters of the Caucasus Mountains. The cuisine offers a variety of dishes, high in herbs and spices, and a mix of vegetarian and meat dishes: organic fresh meats like pork or lamb, chicken or fish, hazelnuts and walnuts,various sorts of cheese, pickles and pungent seasonings; eggplants, plums, corn, pomegranates, kidney beans, wild herbs, coriander, scallions, hot peppers, mint, basil, garlic and much, much more fill homes and restaurants all around the country every day. Sounds great, doesn’t it? We look forward to welcoming you to Georgia!
By Christina Brandalise
If you think about where in the world wine was first produced, you will most likely pinpoint (and thank) the Greeks or the Romans. However, a recent study of modern grapes showed that they all descended from a wild grape variety native to the Caucasus Mountains. Where are the Caucasus Mountains you ask? This lush green fertile region is located in Georgia, at the crossroad of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. And it is here that wine was “invented”, with not a grape crushing Roman in sight.
Introducing Georgian Wines, a selection of the very best Georgia has to offer from renowned producer, exporter and winner of several prestigious wine awards, Tbilvino. Brought to you by Tamada P/L, the only importers of Georgian wines into Australia, the Georgians have had over 8000 years of practice, with evidence of wine making dating back 6000BC. That’s a hell of a lot of wine making experience. Currently exported to over 30 countries word wide, I am surprised these fine wines haven’t made it to our shores sooner. Wine connoisseurs and wine lovers will appreciate the unique flavour and aroma derived from the native Georgian grapes.
A premium range is now available in Australia, comprising of 12 varieties online and at selected stores. With a sleek bottle and exotic looking label, these wines are a dinner party must, being both a crowd pleaser and conversation starter. Who wouldn’t want to try some wine from “where it all began?”.
WHERE CAN I BUY IT
Selected lines are currently available at, Liquor and Wattle, Strathfield Cellars, Bourke St Wine Shop, Liquor on Oxford, Darlinghurst Cellars and Glebe Liquor with prices starting around $20. The list of stockists is growing so please check the website for new additions. Alternatively, you can order from the full range via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and enjoy the discounted pricing that comes from ordering direct from the importer.
WHERE CAN I TRY IT
1. The Good Food & Wine Show
Don’t miss the opportunity to try these wines at The Good Food and Wine Show at Sydney Olympic Park. Held over 3 days, August 7, 8 & 9, you will be able to taste all their wonderful wines here by visiting their Stand, M29 in the second pavilion. I’m sure you will come home with more than a few bottles.
2. Wahroonga Food and Wine Festival
Get into the Georgian spirit by heading down to the Wahroonga Food and Wine Festival to try these wines and stock up for summer. It will be held on 25th October at Wahroonga Park from 11am – 5 pm.
BOTTLE SHOP TASTINGS
You can find out the latest store location for scheduled tastings via their Facebook Page
ORGANISE YOUR OWN TASTING
Private tasting sessions can be organised via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org