Climate and geography: Racha and Lechkhumi

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Racha and Lechkhumi, comprise Georgia’s smallest wine region but one of the country’s most important winemaking centres. Vineyards are mainly in the Rioni and Tskhenistskali Valleys. Moderate rainfall (1,000 to 1,300 mm (50 in) a year), southern exposed soils, and the assortment of local vine varieties such as Tsulukidzis Tetra and Tsolikouri for whites and Aleksandrouli, Mujuretuli, Usakhelouri, and Ojaleshi for reds encourage grapes with a sugar content as high as 30%. The region is famous for its natural semi-sweet wines such as the reds of the Khvanchkara appellation. Demand for these wines is so high that Aleksandrouli and Mujuretuli grapes fetch some of the highest prices in the country.