Climate and geography: Kartli

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Kartli is the heart of Georgia, inspired the original name for the country Sakartvelo, and occupies a vast territory in the Mtkvari Valley, including the Mukhrani Lowlands and Gori. These wines are the most European and the region produces the fruit for 15% of Georgia’s sparkling wines and brandy production. The zone is moderately warm, with hot and dry summers; vineyards have to be irrigated because of the low rainfall (350 to 500 mm (19 in) per year). Main grape varieties are Chinuri and Goruli Mtsvane for whites and Tavkveri for reds. The capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, where wineries making mainly sparkling wines and brandy are located, is in this zone. Tbilisi’s oldest winery, founded in 1897, has a unique collection of ancient wines.