Tbilvino Rkatsiteli 2021
Opening with bright aromas of orchard fruit and white flowers, the palate goes on to reveal elegant flavours of yellow plums and melons. The finish is crisp and fresh, with an appealing mineral note.
Tbilvino was established nearly sixty years ago, and over this period they have become one of Georgia’s leading producers. Almost dormant at the end of the Soviet era, the winery was acquired by the enterprising Margvelashvili brothers, who set about restoring the facilities, and moving the focus from volume to quality. In the last decade they have made considerable investments, beginning in 2008 with the refurbishment of their original winery in the capital city, Tbilisi. This was followed in 2012 by the construction of a second winery in Kvareli, close to Russia’s southern border, where they produce their qvevri wines. Taking full advantage of the technology at their disposal, they favour a clean, bright style, whilst still employing the traditional production methods and indigenous grape varieties that make Georgian wines so unique.
Rkatsiteli is an ancient pale-skinned grape variety from the Republic of Georgia, the oldest wine-producing region on earth. Thought to have been cultivated there for several millennia, the variety remains Georgia's most popular white-wine grape variety even today. The typical Rkatsiteli wine is best described as restrained and refreshing, with crisp green-apple flavors and hints of quince and white peach. It might be compared to good-quality Petit Chablis, or perhaps Pinot Grigio from northern Italy. Recently, it has been employed with great success in orange wines, where the grapes are left to macerate on their skins for longer, giving more complexity and texture to the wine.
Kakheti is the most important wine region in Georgia in quantitative, qualitative and even historic terms. Almost three-quarters of the country's wine grapes are grown here, on land that has been used for viticulture for thousands of years. Viniculturally speaking, the area is unofficially divided into several sub-regions, and even a number of microregions. This creates a huge variety of mesoclimates for viticulture with an equally large variety of grape varieties found throughout. The most significant of these center around the villages of Tsinandali, Telavi, Gurajaani, Kvareli, Sagarejo and Sighnahi, which dot the banks of the Alazani River as it flows from the Caucasus Mountains to the Mingecevir reservoir in western Azerbaijan.
Tbilvino owns two big wineries that allow the company to produce 7.5 million bottles of wine annually. Tbilvino also owns 405 hectares of vineyards in Mukuzani and Kindzmarauli micro-zones, equipped with drip irrigation system. Vineyard cultivation process started with the consultation of Italian wine-makers in 2013, and the company was able to receive its very first harvest in 2017.
Gently pressed off the skis, the juice is fermented in stainless steel tank with temperature control.