Otskhanuri Sapere

Otskhanuri Sapere Otskhanuri Sapere is linked to Otskhana, a village in western Georgia hence meaning “Otskhana’s colorful.” Considered to be one of the oldest Georgian varieties, Otskhanuri Sapere grows only in the western part of the country, mostly in Racha-Lechkhumi and Imereti.

Otskhanuri Sapere has medium size leaves with three or five lobes; the teeth are triangular with sharp tips. Its medium-sized bunches are cylindrical-conical, composed of various-sized small and medium round berries. The berries themselves are dark blue. Budburst occurs in mid-April, with ripening in early October. It is susceptible to millerandage, hence uneven ripening and a problem with shot berries, or “hens and chicks.” It has average resistance toward most fungal diseases but is comparatively resistant toward grey rot (Botrytis cinerea), allowing it to remain on the vine even if it is a humid and rainy autumn – an advantage in western Georgia’s humid climate.

Otskhanuri Sapere wines are of an intense ruby color, and a distinctive flavor profile. Firmly structured and tannic, with high acidity, when young it exhibits bright flavors of cherries, forest fruits, plums and herbs. Grippy and toothsome when young, the wines peak after 10-15 years of aging, but can age for an additional 20-30 years. There were but 5 hectares in production reported in 2004, all family holdings in Imereti.

Read more information about Georgian native grapes here.