Georgia, one of the oldest wine regions in the world, produces a great diversity of wines, including sparkling wines. You may know that Georgia is well known for its long tradition of producing qvevri wines. You may also know of Sarajishvili Winery's famous brandies. But, did you know that Georgia's Bagrationi Wines has been producing sparkling wines since 1882. The best known of Georgian sparkling wines is Bagrationi 1882. Bagrationi produces sparkling wines from Georgian indigenous grape varieties, such as Chinuri, Mtsvane, Tavkeri, Tsiska and Saperavi. This makes Bagrationi’s sparkling wines exotic.
While Bagrationi has been producing sparkling wines since 1882 it has been relatively unknown in the US until recently. Don Winkler talks about the introduction of Bagrationi wines into the US in 2009. During a recent #EWBC post-conference trip sponsored by the Georgian Wine Association I had the opportunity to visit and do a sparkling wine tasting at Bagrationi Wines in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Our visit to Bagrationi Wines began with a tour of their sparkling wine cellar. Bagrationi sparkling wines are produced using the traditional method. During our visit to Bagrationi I tasted five of their sparkling wines, ranging from semi-sweet to bone dry. The wines tasted were Bagrationi Rose Brut, Bagrationi Rouge Semi-sweet, Bagrationi Classic Dry, Bagrationi Reserve Brut and Bagrationi Finest Brut. Amongst my favorites was Bagrationi's Reserve Brut. Typically sparkling wines are labeled based on their sugar content as “sweet” (more than 50g/L), “semisweet” (32-50 g/L), "dry" (17-32g/L), "extra dry" (12-17g/L) and "brut" (less then 12g/L).
Even with the recent introduction of Bagrationi's sparkling wines in the US Market, I found no shortage of reviews of Bagrationi’s sparkling wines. For tasting notes and reviews check out articles by Scott Greenberg at Examiner, Don Winkler at i-winereview, Christopher Null at Drinkhacker, Richard Auffrey at The passionate Foodie and Roy Tebeau at Fringe Wines. If you are looking for a sparkling wine made from exotic grapes, like Chinuri, Mtsvane, Tavkeri, Tsiska and Saperavi, then give Bagrationi sparkling wine a try. One of the best sources for Georgian wines in US is Georgian Wine House.
© Sharon Parsons
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