Saperavi red wine variety

Saperavi is a red wine grape variety that is a native of Georgia in the former Soviet Union.

It was the most popular grape variety planted in many of the wine producing republics in the former Soviet Union.

The characteristic of the grapes of this exciting variety is the dark pink flesh and very dark skins, hence wines made from this variety are deeply coloured.  In fact the name of the variety means 'dyer' in the Georgian language.

Another notable characteristic of wines made from this variety is the high acid levels which makes it suitable for blending.

Saperavi is also used to make semi-sweet wiines and port-style fortified wines.

As you might expect, the variety is also capable of surviving extremely cold winters, hence it has attracted the attention of winegrowers in high altitude locations and inland regions.

There are reports of the wine having great aging potential.

Saperavi in Australia

A few Australian wineries are now using the variety.  It has been around for a decade or so and there are still only twenty or so producers.  This shows a lack of interest in the variety by growers and probably consumers as well.

  • Alex Russell Wines Riverland
  • Anderson Winery Rutherglen
  • Ballandeen Estate Granite Belt
  • Bassham Riverland
  • Billy Button Alpine Valleys
  • Boyntons Feathertop Alpine Valleys
  • Chateau Mildura Murray Darling
  • Cirami Estate Riverland
  • Clovely Estate South Burnett
  • Domain Day Barossa Valley
  • G Pattriti & Co McLaren Vale
  • Gapsted Alpine Valleys
  • Hugh Hamilton McLaren Vale
  • King River Estate King Valley
  • La Cantina King Valley King Valley
  • Massena Wines Barossa Valley
  • Oak Works Riverland
  • Ridgemill Estate Granite Belt
  • Rolf Binder Barossa Valley
  • Rookery Wines Kangaroo Island
  • Symphonia King Valley
  • Ten Miles East Adelaide Hills
  • Two Hands Barossa Valley
Barossa Saperavi from PatrittiPatritti Saperavi from the Barossa Valley

Saperavi wines and food

Wines made from Saperavi can be paired with a variety of foods.

The strong flavour and and firm texture suggests that it would be suitable with game dishes or hearty winter fare.

The classic Georgian meat dish mtsvadi would make an ideal accompaniment to Saperavi wine.

[Photograph: Courtesy of Georgian National Tourism Administration]

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