The origins of Khikhvi’s name are unknown and not hypothesized, but it grows widely in eastern Georgia, especially in Kakheti it originated. Most plantings are on the East-Southeast reaches of the province, on the right bank of the Alazani River. The vine sports large leaves, which are three-lobed, circular and almost round. Its medium-sized bunches are conical, winged, and somewhat loose, with medium-sized, greenish-yellow, thin-skinned berries. Budburst occurs in the first half of April and matures in September. An early ripener, it is recommended for higher-altitude, cooler mountain plantings. Along with Mtsvane Kakhuri , Khikhvi is the other Georgian variety most susceptible to powdery mildew, though it is resistant to spider mites.

Khikhvi is relatively versatile, as it can be produced in light dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and, as in PDO Kardenakhi, fortified styles. Its aromatic signature is distinctive: floral notes of boxwood and wild flowers heighten broader flavors of ripe yellow fruits and apricot. The light wines appear both in European and qvevri versions; the latter wines accentuate the dried fruit and flower character. With moderate alcohol levels and soft acidity, Khikhvi may stand alone as a single varietal wine, or may contribute high-tones to enhance a blend. It is a grape that deserves greater attention.

Read more information about Georgian native grapes