Sunday, April 15, 2007

Saperavi Grapes

Saperavi grapes are known for their dark pink flesh and very dark skins, from which they get their name (from the Georgian საფერავი, literally "paint" or "dye"). These grapes are the most important for Georgian wine culture and produce deep red wines which are suitable for extended periods of aging, up to 50 years. There are three main kinds of wine made from saperavi grapes: kindzmarauli, which is aged for two years, mukuzani, aged for three years or more, and a variety aged for only one year, known simply as saperavi.

Saperavi grapes originated in the Kakheti region of Georgia, but are now grown throught the country, with Australian growers recenty trying the variety as well. These grapes are capable of surviving extremely cold winters, and are thus popular in high altitudes and inland regions.

Wines made from saperavi grapes have a strong flavor and texture, which makes them a natural pairing for a variety of Georgian cuisine, including game dishes or hearty winter foods.

A Georgian drinking from a traditional drinking horn, a khantsi.

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