Legend has it that Rkatsiteli was the first vine planted by Noah after the flood. True or not, this grape is definitely at least a couple of thousands years old, being one of the most ancient varieties in Georgia and in the whole world. In fact, traces of Rkatsiteli grape were discovered on ancient Georgian qvevri (amphorae) which date back to 3,000 BC. Rkatsiteli originates from Kakheti, a south-eastern region of Georgia.
Nowadays Rkatsiteli has multiple clones, including a pink-skinned mutation. Moreover, it is the most cultivated variety in Georgia. Around 43% of all vineyards in the country are under this grape. In addition, Rkatsiteli’s resistance to extreme cold temperatures, made it one of the favourite grapes in Eastern Europe.
Aromas And Styles
Rkatsiteli is the main grape in most Kakhetian white wines. This versatile variety changes faces effortlessly, depending on how the wine is made. When Rkatsiteli is vinified in European style, it is light and crisp, fresh and summery, with notes of apple, citruses, quince and a vibrant acidity. When it is made in traditional Georgian style, it tells a completely different wine story. Specifically, Rkatsiteli wine fermented on skins in qvevri (Georgian clay amphorae), obtains a beautiful amber colour and becomes deep, complex and full bodied, displaying an array of ‘qvevri’ flavours: orange peel, apricot, honey, dried fruit, spices. If you are into skin-contact stuff, you won’t be disappointed. For PDO Tsinandali wine, Rkatsiteli is blended with another indigenous grape, Mtsvane Kakhuri, creating fresh and crisp white wines.
Mildiani Rkatsiteli Unfiltered 2021
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Makashvili Musaiphy Limited Edition Qvevri 2017
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