Mtsvane grapes are a Georgian variety that create high-quality classic and Kakhetian white table wines. “Mtsvane” means “green” in Georgian and is derived from the grape’s pale emerald color, yet the grape is also noted for its fine quality and generous harvests.
Mtsvane is a distinctly Georgian grape variety, yet due to a dearth of historical evidence it is difficult to pinpoint the precise date of its origin. As a rule, the older the grape variety the more it is impacted by environmental conditions which effect changes in the grape over the centuries, and thus the biological features of the Mtsvane Georgian grape suggest it to be an antique green variety. Today there are more than six variations of Mtsvane grapes, the most prevalent being Manavi Mtsvane, Goruli Mtsvane and Kakhuri Mtsvane.
The Mtsvane grape thrives at higher altitudes in mild, temperate climates, and as a result is widespread only in certain areas of Georgia’s Kakheti Region (specifically Telavi, Sagarejo and in parts of Akhmeta and Gurjaani). It also grows in very select areas in the districts of Sighnaghi and Tsiteltskaro but is almost non-existent in Lagodekhi and Kvareli.
Like most Kakhetian vine varieties, Mtsvane gives its first harvest quite early, usually in the third year after planting. These Georgian grapes are characterized by their fine quality and relatively high yields.
Based on the appearance of the bunch, the mechanical composition of the grapes and the chemical variability of the juice, Mtsvane is classified as a pure wine grape variety. In Telavi Region, the sugar content of the grapes reaches 22% during the harvest period, while in southeast Kakheti it can surpass 24%.
Compared to other Kakhetian grape varieties, Mtsvane requires special environmental conditions and timely, quality care. Yet provided it has a suitable climate, good soil and appropriate cultivation, it promises a bountiful and quality harvest.
Mtsvane grapes produce a high-quality product suitable for delicate and aromatic table wines. Many classic and Kakhetian wines are made from Mtsvane, with Akhmeta, Manavi, Ikalto, Ruispiri, Napareuli, Sanior, Tsinandali and Vazisubani among the most distinguished.
Classic wines made from Mtsvane grapes have a light green color, a strong, fruity aroma and a gentle yet cheerful, harmonious taste. Its strong aroma and tenderness have led winemakers to dub this Caucasus wine as “Georgian Riesling”.
Kakhetian-style Mtsvane wines are made on full-skin contact in 5-6 months before being fermented and aged in qvevri vessels according to the traditional Kakhetian method. These iconic Georgian wines have a darker color and a harmoniously pleasant taste which creates a gentle bouquet with a distinctly fruity aroma.