Chkhaveri grapes are one of the oldest grape varieties in Georgia. Dark and rosy-pink, they are used to produce table and sparkling wines with a floral aroma and are one of the only varieties in the country from which natural rose wines are made.
The Chkhaveri grape originated in western Guria Region and shares many agricultural features with the Ponto grape variety. Today Chkhaveri is still primarily found in Guria but is also cultivated in villages in Adjara and Imereti Regions and, to a lesser extent, in Samegrelo and Abkhazia. In select villages in Guria a grape variety known as Vani Chkhaveri is grown, which some believe to be a separate variety altogether.
Initial signs of harvest of the Chkhaveri grape appear in the third year after planting, with a full harvest beginning in the fourth or fifth year.
To make sparkling wine, Chkhaveri grapes should be harvested in the first half of October, but to produce table wine they should be picked in early or mid-November. The ideal ratio of sugar and acidity in the Chkhaveri grape is not reached until the beginning of November, which is why the harvest is often carried out this late in the season. Its sugar content can easily reach 20-21%.
Chkhaveri is one of the only Georgian grape varieties from which natural rose wines are made, although it is also commonly used to make table and sparkling wines. Additionally, Georgia has been producing a Chkhaveri semi-sweet wine since 1934 for which it has won several gold, silver and bronze medals at various competitions.
Wine made from Chkhaveri grapes is characterized by its light pink color, a gentle, harmonious tropical fruit taste and an ideal balance of alcohol and acidity.