The wine regions of Georgia
Georgia’s diverse natural conditions create the best environment for the development of high quality viticulture-winemaking according to the peculiarities of which the country’s territory is divided into the following viticulture zones and micro-zones:
Abkhazeti / Black sea coastal zone
Abkhazeti covers an area of about 8,660 square km at the western end of Georgia, on the north shore of the Black Sea. To the east, the region is bordered by Svaneti. To the southeast, Apkhazeti is bounded by Samegrelo; and on the south and southwest by the Black Sea. The topography is varied as it ranges from the lowlands around the black Sea to the high peaks in the north. The region is extremely mountainous (nearly 75% is classified as mountains or foothills) and settlement is largely confined to the coast and a number of deep, well-watered valleys.
Because of Apkhazeti’s proximity to the Black Sea, its climate is very mild, considering the northern latitude. The Caucasus Mountains are greatly responsible for moderating the region’s climate, as they shield Apkhazeti from cold northerly winds.
The soil in Apkhazeti is largely carbonaceous humus and ash-grey forest soil; that of the region’s most northerly end, however, tends to be yellow earth and carbonaceous humus, whereas among the foothills around Ochamchire and Gali to the south most of the soil is red or yellow earth as well as carbonaceous humus. The soil of Apkhazeti’s river valleys is mostly alluvial.
VITICULTURE & Winemaking
Apkhazeti is considered the historical region of winemaking. The region is situated on the seashore , but its mountainous part and river gorges are good for viticulture. Vines in Apkhazeti were trained to grow up trees until the XXth century. Vine here grows best of all up to the height of 400 to 800 meters. Earlier the winemaking here was developed quite at a high level, but powdery mildew and gray mold damaged this region very much including whole Western Georgia. Unfortunately, local varieties of grape no longer receive the attention they deserve.
Besides the local varieties Tsolikouri / Ojaleshi / Chkhaveri / Krakhuna are spread and give good results in Apkhazeti.
The Key Grape Varieties of the Region: