The Secret of the Saperavi Grape
The Republic of Georgia in the former Soviet Union is known as one of the oldest winemaking regions in the world, there proof of wine having been made there 8,000 years ago. It is also the home of an amazing red grape called Saperavi (literally meaning paint or dye). Saperavi is very dark skinned and makes an intensely deep colored, high acid and strong flavored wine. It is one of the few grape varieties which actually have red anthocyanin (color pigment) in the pulp as well as the skin.
Saperavi wines are very long lived, with 50+ year old examples from the Soviet era being occasionally uncovered. The variety is extremely hardy, able to withstand the severe cold of its native region as well withstanding the rudimentary care & handling that it endured for most of the last century under the restrictions of communist rule.
These attributes made Saperavi the most popular red in the various grape growing regions of the former Soviet Union as well as Georgia.