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

Only a few Australian wineries are now using the variety.  It has been around for a decade or so and there are still only thirty or so producers.  While Saperavi has its enthusiasts, the rather slow uptake shows a lack of interest in the variety by growers and probably consumers as well.

  • Alejandro Riverland
  • Anderson Winery Rutherglen
  • Arila Gardens Barossa Valley
  • Bassham Wines Riverland
  • Bent Road Granite Belt
  • Berg Herring McLaren Vale
  • Billy Button Alpine Valleys
  • Calico Town Rutherglen
  • Chateau Mildura Murray Darling
  • Cirami Estate Riverland
  • Clay Pot Wines Alpine Valleys
  • Clovely Estate South Burnett
  • Dell'uva Wines  Barossa Valley
  • Domain Day Barossa Valley
  • Eaglerange Wines Alpine Valleys
  • Fairbrossen Perth Hills
  • Gapsted Wines Alpine Valleys
  • Glenbosch Estate Rutherglen
  • Hugh Hamilton McLaren Vale
  • King River Estate King Valley
  • La Cantina King Valley King Valley
  • Lino Ramble McLaren Vale
  • Massena Wines Barossa Valley
  • Monak Wine Co Murray Darling
  • New Era Adelaide Hills
  • Oak Works Riverland
  • Patritti Wines McLaren Vale
  • Peter Drayton Wines Hunter Valley
  • Ridgemill Estate Granite Belt
  • Rolf Binder Barossa Valley
  • Serrena Que Estate Granite Belt
  • Sirromet Granite Belt
  • Smidge Wines McLaren Vale
  • Spook Hill Wines Riverland
  • Symphonia King Valley
  • Ten Miles East Adelaide Hills
  • Trentham Estate Murray Darling
  • Trimboli Riverina
  • Two Hands Barossa Valley
edited 18 May 2024

At the 2023 Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show eleven Saperavi wines were judged.  Arila Gardens 2022 Gardens of Moppa was awarded a gold medal and nine other wines received bronze medals

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Saperavi wines and food

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

The strong flavour 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 a robust flavourful Saperavi wine.

[Photograph: Courtesy of Georgian National Tourism Administration]
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