The most popular Georgian wines are Kindzmarauli, Alazani Valley and Saperavi, all of which are made from the red Saperavi grape variety. However, the basis of the Georgian vineyard is a white variety called Rkatsiteli. It is the white wine that the locals choose for their feasts, as it is much easier to drink. For the same reason, more Rkatsiteli is harvested in vineyards than Saperavi.
Red wine is mainly exported. However, Georgia's own raw material base may not be enough for this. It is possible that wine is also made there from raw materials supplied from Moldova - there are abundant red grape varieties. Moreover, in 2020, more than half of Georgian wine exports to Russia were table wines, the raw materials for the production of which are not tied to the region of origin. That is, when buying it, one cannot be sure that the grapes for wine grew in the territory of Georgia.
Another popular myth is that Georgian wine "Kindzmarauli" is naturally semi-sweet. In Roskachestvo, they say that in practice, a label with this name can only indicate that a winery is located in this zone, where grapes are brought from all the surrounding lands. “Most of these wines are semi-sweet by adding concentrated grape juice (vacuum must). Is it harmful? No”, - they noted there.
It is also a delusion that Saperavi grapes grow only in Georgia. This variety grows in other countries, including Russia. Moreover, sometimes the taste of Russian wine is not inferior to Georgian wine and is cheaper.
Experts from Roskachestvo advise you to fall in love with dry Georgian wines, since they don't drink semi-sweet in the producing country itself, and wines of far from the best quality go to Russia. In addition, when buying, you need to choose bottles with a label in Georgian or English, but not in Russian. “Prepare to pay for quality. Good Georgian wines are expensive. If the budget is limited, look at the wines of other countries”, - the experts add.
By the way, under the guise of Georgian wine in Russian economy-class supermarkets, as a rule, Moldovan red wine is sold, which is bought in huge quantities by Georgian wineries.
In order to satisfy the demand for red wines, Georgia's own raw material base may not be enough. Georgian officials assure that the country has no grapes other than its own. The data of the National Agency for Vine and Wine of the Republic of Moldova, according to which in 2020, 17.8 million liters of wine material were supplied to Georgia, do not match this. Obviously, we are talking about red varieties, which are abundant in Moldova.
Artur Sargsyan, chairman of the Roskachestvo expert commission, president of the Union of Sommeliers and Experts of Russia, says that there are worthy wines in Georgia, but they are little known in Russia. “The lack of normal information about Georgian wine, criteria for the consumer - how to distinguish wine of guaranteed quality from a semi-sweet product, creates a new, not very good myth about the winemaking of this country. Of course, we need to work with him, but without the desire of the Georgian side, hardly anything can be done about this”, - he concluded.