Friday, February 17, 2012

A Georgian Peach of a Different Colour

Now, this is going to be a bit of different post for me. The next bottle to be added to The List is from Georgia - and I'm not talking the southern US state (although that would be novel enough in itself). To be honest, I knew that Georgia was in Eastern Europe and was part of the old Soviet Union, but I wouldn't be able to point it out to you on a map without some research.

You add the fact that I know anything about a wine culture in Georgia either. The Marani winery website is surprisingly extensive and interesting. Their pages point out that the region has a long history when it comes to wine. Archaeological digs have unearthed cultivated vinifera grape seeds from 6000-7000 years B.C. and three to four thousand year old clay wine amphoras as well. The generic word "wine" is even thought by some to have been derived from the ancient Georgian word "gvino."

There are apparently 500 different Georgian grape varieties, 38 of which are used for commercial wine production. It was reading a brief review of tonight's wine in one of the local wine columns that prompted me to go out and look for it. I'd never heard of the Mtsvane grape before and you know I'm always on the lookout for new varietals to add to my Wine Century Club "curriculum vinum."

1066. 2009 Marani Mtsvane (Georgia)

"Mtsvane" is apparently translated from the Georgian language into "new, young, green" and that is the primary descriptor used for this 100% varietal wine. Boo and I both found a resemblance to either Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris - and we were both pleasantly intrigued by the wine. At $15 in our government liquor stores, it's priced so that I'm not opposed to grabbing it to try something new and "out there." I'd have wanted a taste before I picked up a bottle if it came in at twice that price.

The Marani winery was founded almost a century ago in 1915 in Kakheti - Georgia's largest wine growing region - and it produces up to 40 wines under the Marani brand.
Marani vineyards grow both indigenous grapes - like Mtsvane - and an assortment of better known international varietials.

Due to Soviet practices through much of the last century, Georgian winemaking suffered from lack of investment and modernization. Foreign investment is currently helping to bring about a new era for Georgian wines. With such an illustrious history and wine culture already existing, I'll be intrigued to see if this new outlook sees further results hitting Vancouver wine shelves. I'd certainly be willing to give the wines a chance.

1 comment:

  1. I would suggest to check Vancouver Magazine International Wine Awards 2013 published at

    MARANI Mtsvane is among the winners together with another Georgian wine - red WINEMAN Mukuzani 2008.