Saperavi is a red grape variety that is native to the country of Georgia in Eastern Europe. It is considered to be Georgia’s signature grape and is grown extensively throughout the region. The name “Saperavi” translates to “dye” or “paint” in Georgian, which is fitting because the grape produces deeply colored wines with intense flavors.
The Characteristics of Saperavi
Saperavi is known for its high acidity and strong tannins, which give the wines made from this grape a firm structure and aging potential. The wines are typically dark and full-bodied, with flavors of blackberries, cherries, and spices. Saperavi wines often have a long finish and can develop complex flavors over time.
Saperavi in Georgia
In Georgia, Saperavi is used to make both dry red wines and traditional Qvevri wines. Qvevri wines are made using an ancient winemaking technique where the grapes, including the skin, stems, and seeds, are fermented and aged in large clay vessels called qvevris, buried underground. This method allows the wines to develop unique flavors and textures.
The Rise of Saperavi in International Markets
In recent years, Saperavi has gained international recognition and popularity. The distinct flavor profile and unique winemaking techniques used in Georgia have attracted wine enthusiasts from around the world. Saperavi wines are now being exported to various countries, where they are highly regarded for their quality and authenticity.
Food Pairings with Saperavi
Saperavi wines pair well with a range of foods, particularly those with rich and bold flavors. The high acidity and tannins of Saperavi can cut through fatty dishes and complement grilled meats and game. Some recommended food pairings include roasted lamb, beef stew, smoked sausages, and aged cheeses.
Visiting Georgia for Saperavi
If you are a wine enthusiast, a visit to Georgia is a must. The country offers a unique wine tourism experience, with stunning vineyard landscapes and a rich winemaking heritage. You can explore the traditional winemaking methods, taste a variety of Saperavi wines, and immerse yourself in Georgian culture.
Saperavi is a grape variety that truly represents the essence of Georgian winemaking. Its deep color, intense flavors, and unique winemaking techniques have captivated wine lovers worldwide. Whether you enjoy it with a hearty meal or savor it on its own, Saperavi is a wine that should be on every wine enthusiast’s radar.