Shavkapito grapes are a red grape variety from Kartli, Georgia whose name translates as “vine with a black cane”. They occupy a leading place among Georgian grapes and are used to make red table wines according to both the classic and qvevri methods.
Shavkapito is one of the oldest Georgian grape varieties in Kartli Region. In viticulture literature, the variety is also known as Shavi Kapito and Shavkapita. Shavkaptio mainly grows in the Shida Kartli and Tskhinvali Regions, but nowadays can also be found in Gori, Kaspi, Mtskheta, Akhaltsikhe, Aspindza and the suburbs of Tbilisi.
High quality table wine can be obtained from Shavkapito grapes found in the villages of Kvemo Kartli, including Achabeti, Kurta, Didi Dzartsemi and Beruli. In addition to table wines, during the Soviet era Shavkapito grapes from these villages were also used to make sparkling wine.
The vegetation period of Shavkapito is 176-177 days from the first bud opening to the full ripening of the grapes, and 216-226 days before the final leaf fall. It gives the first signs of harvest in the second year after planting and a full harvest in the fourth year.
Shavkapito grapes are used for making fine quality red table wines which are distinguished by a dark ruby color, rich aroma and taste of ripe plum and cherry. Wines produced from Shavkapito may be made according to the classic method as well as the traditional Georgian qvevri method.
It should be noted that Shavkapito is a terroir-reflective grape variety which is very sensitive to a soil’s mineralization content and proximity to mountain terrain: The closer to the mountains it grows, the lighter the wines produced from the grape.