Aladasturi grapes are a popular red grape variety hailing from Guria in western Georgia. No other Georgian grape variety has been mentioned in so many poems, songs, folk sayings and proverbs as Aladasturi, which are known for their abundant harvest and use in the production of red and rose wines.
While precise facts on the origin of Aladasturi have not been preserved, its botanical features indicate it to be a typical Colchis grape variety. Aladasturi grapes are mainly spread throughout Guria and Imereti Regions, and in lesser quantity in the mountains of Samegrelo and Adjara.
In Tbilisi and the villages near Mtskheta there is also a grape known as Aladasturi, which in actuality is a completely separate variety with no relation to the original Aladasturi grapes from Guria.
The name Aladasturi sounds like “Allah Dastur” in Arabic, which means "Allah's Consent". According to historian Giorgi Malkhazishvili, the name was possibly coined when Arab conquerors invaded Georgia and, despite religious prohibitions, fell in love with the wine made from Aladasturi grapes (which likely had a completely different name originally). The Arabs justified drinking the wine by saying that it was so heavenly that even Allah would approve.
The vegetation period of Aladasturi, from bud opening to full ripening, is 201-205 days. Flowering begins in early June and ends on June 15. The grapes begin to ripen in late August or early September and fully ripen in late October, so they are usually picked in late October or early November. The sugar content does not exceed 21.5% and is more often around 19.9-20%, while the total acidity is 8.5-9.4%.
Aladasturi grapes give the first signs of harvest in the second or third year after planting, with the full harvest coming in the fifth year. They are known for their very abundant harvest.
Aladasturi are used to produce red wines distinguished by their low acidity and alcohol content. They typically have a light body, pleasant aroma and hints of black cherry and tobacco. Overripe Aladasturi grapes are used to make a high-quality, semisweet wine of the same name, and in Imereti Region a rose wine characterized by aromas of early apple and red currant is also made from this grape variety.