The Georgian wine owes its diversity and uniqueness to the grapevine varieties that are cultivated in the country. Despite the fact that Georgia has been feeling European for years now, it still manages to prevent the domination of commercial grapevine varieties. According to NWA, there are as many as 525 varieties of grapes in Georgia, of which 38 are permitted for trade as distinct types.
One of the most important and popular varieties in the production of Georgian red wines is Saperavi. The name itself may be translated as a “dye” or “to dye”. It has been cultivated for ages. At present, one tenth of grapevines in Georgia (over 4 thou. ha) is the Saperavi variety. It is ideal for producing dry wine, medium sweet wine, sweet wine and fortified wine. Grapes of this variety usually ripen mid-September. Their peel turns navy blue, and the juice lightly reddish. It is assumed that the darker the color, the stronger the wine will be.