One of the most exciting Georgian indigenous white grapes, Tsolikouri makes rich, creamy, full-bodied dry whites, as well as lush semi-sweet wines and excellent, complex orange wines.
Unlike Rkatsiteli, the acclaimed white grape of Georgia, Tsolikouri is relatively unknown to the western consumer. However, wine experts name it amongst Georgia’s most promising varieties, so Tsolikouri is definitely a grape to watch and a wine worth trying.
Tsolikouri comes from western Georgia, specifically from the regions of Imereti and Guria. With constantly high humidity, local climate is rather challenging for grape growing. Nevertheless, Tsolikouri’s thick skin makes it resistant to fungal diseases and thus, for many centuries, it has been the main white grape of the western part of the country.
Tsolikouri makes full-bodied, textural wines with layers of fruity and floral flavours. It comes in a dazzling variety of styles: fresh dry whites, complex orange wines vinified in qvevri and rich naturally sweet wines are all wonderful expressions of Tsolikouri.
Aromas And Styles
If you like fuller-bodied, creamy, textured oaked Chardonnays, Tsolikouri might become your new favourite. This wine has plenty of weight, a pleasant, slightly oily texture and a moderate, well-balanced acidity. In addition, to accentuate these characteristics, Tsolikouri is often fermented or matured in oak, which is quite unusual for the Georgian white varieties, but works wonders for this wine. A well-crafted Tsolikouri wine is mellow and lingering on the palate. It smells of all kinds of sweet fruits: apricot, quince, pear, melon, plus lovely floral hints.
In the Georgian appellation of Tvishi, Tsolikouri is used to make outstanding, rich, semi-sweet wines. These are made from late-harvested grapes; the naturally high sugar levels are preserved in wine.
Orange wine made of Tsolikouri is absolutely fantastic. It is produced using the traditional Georgian qvevri method, when the grapes are fermented on skins in clay amphorae. Orange Tsolikouri wine is fuller-bodied, with complex aromas of citrus fruits, candied fruits and dried apricots.