Tsitska grapes are native to the country of Georgia and are known for their use in the production of high-quality white wines.
Based on its agricultural features, Tsitska is classified as a Kolkhetian grape variety. According to famous Georgian historian Ivane Javakhishvili, the name of the grape originates from the villages of Tsitskhe and Tsitskiuri. In select villages in Imereti Region, this grape is also known as Shanti, Tsitsko and Mamal Tsitska.
Tsitska grows best in elevated, mountainous terrain and is thus found mainly in the viticultural areas of western Georgia and across much of Upper and Middle Imereti Region. In eastern Georgia, small quantities of Tsitska can also be found in the villages of Lagodekhi District. Outside of Georgia, the grapes are now also grown in Ukraine and Moldova.
The length of the Tsitska grape’s vegetation period varies considerably based on the ecology of the area and the meteorological conditions of any given year. The grapes give the first sign of harvest in the second year after planting and present a full harvest in the fourth year.
Tsitska is known for its late ripening, which generally occurs in mid-October. Its sugar content may be anywhere from 18 to 25 percent.
Wines produced from Tsitska grapes have a light beige color, a gentle and harmonious taste and an aroma of pear, quince and citrus.
Tsitska is often mixed with Tsolikouri and sometimes Krakhuna to produce a high-quality white dry wine called Sviri. This PDO wine (Protected Designation of Origin) is characterized by its dark straw color, its harmonious, cheerful taste and its fruity aroma.