The grapes to produce Saperavi “Classical” Vachnadziani were carefully sorted upon arrival at the winery, to ensure the best quality fruit was vinified. The Saperavi “Classical” Vachnadziani fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, followed by malolactic fermentation to soften the palate. 8% of the wine was aged in new French oak barrels for eight months.
The grapes are grown in the Kakheti region in eastern Georgia, where the climate is moderately humid, with hot summers and cool winters. The vineyard is situated at an altitude of 320 metres above sea level, where the vines are trained according to the Vertical Shoot Position (VSP) method and are Double Guyot pruned. The soils are clay and loamy, which provide good water retention properties to sustain the vines during the hot summers. The vineyard is planted with cover grass between the vines to reduce weeds; the soil is mulched and treated with organic mineral fertilisers. The Saperavi (pronounced Sap-e-RAVEE) variety is an indigenous dark skinned, pink fleshed Georgian variety. Saperavi translates as ‘dye’ which is apt for this teinturier grape which produces richly coloured wines with marked acidity. The grapes were hand-harvested at optimal maturity.
Vachnadziani was established in 1953 and is one of the oldest wineries in Georgia that is considered to be the ‘cradle of wine’, as 8,000 year-old indigenous Rkatsiteli grape seeds have been found in clay vessels. During the Soviet years Vachnadziani fell into disrepair, but now the vineyards and cellars have received considerable investment. The aim is to preserve their ancient wine culture while combining it with cutting edge technology. With over 1,000 hectares of vineyard, covering the Kakheti region in eastern Georgia and the Imereti, Racha and Lechkhumi regions in western Georgia, Vachnadziani cultivates 25 vine varieties – the majority of which are indigenous. Their exciting and dynamic range reveals all the charm of this historic winemaking land.