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:
Kartli (Georgian: qarTli) is a historical region in central-to-eastern Georgia traversed by the river Mtkvari , on which Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, is situated. Known to the Classical authors as Iberia, Kartli played a crucial role in the ethnic and political consolidation of the Georgians in the middle Ages. The Kartli Region starts from the outskirts of Tbilisi and spreads up to Imereti.
Kvemo / Shida / Zemo Kartli
Lower Kartli has many different climates, but the most prevalent ones are Dfb, Cfa. The climate is transitional from moderately warm steppe to moderately humid. Summer is usually hot. The average annual temperature is 10.6 °C (51.1 °F), minimal in January (-1.0 °C or 30.2 °F) and maximal in July and August (21.4 °C or 70.5 °F). The maximum precipitation falls in May (76 mm or 3.0 in) and minimum in February (34 mm or 1.3 in).
Alluvial-carbonaceous, brown meadow, carbonaceous humus, gravel, loess, etc.
VITICULTURE & Winemaking
Kartli is one more notable wine making region in Georgia. It is known for its classic modern style and high-quality sparkling wines. The vineyards are cultivated in extensive basins of the rivers – Mtkvari and its tributaries, Liakhvi and Ksani. In this part of the country, vineyards are grown at 750-800 m. above sea level.
Like in Kakheti both traditional and Classical wine-making techniques are common in Kartli.
Atenuri is only one Kartlian PDO wine made from Chinuri and Goruli Mtsvane grape varieties. Also we can meet rare varieties: Jvari, Andreuli, Aragvispiruli, Grdzelmtevana, Melikuda, Chrogha, Kharistvala, Danakharuli, Buza. Besides local varieties foreign varieties are also common in Kartli: Aligote, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon White, Pinot Blanc, Merlot.
The appellation of Atenuri was already well known in the Middle Ages, in which two sorts of grapes – Chinuri, Goruli Mstvane are used. Atenuri is also considered to be a natural sparkling wine. For Atenuri, grape were harvested later. The must was taken to Ateni gorge to a highland location and stored in a specially prepared ceramic wine jar. This place was chosen for its natural cold. The must continue to ferment gently and then, as soon as winter started, the natural cold was replaced by warmth and therefore sometimes Atenians had to bring ice from the river to cool down the wine. As a result, they got amazingly exquisite, transparent and airy wine.
The Key Grape Varieties of the Region: