Tsolikouri

Tsolikouri

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The leading white grape of western Georgia, Tsolikouri originates in Kolkheti (ancient Colchis, the land of the Golden Fleece). The origins of its name remain debated and uncertain. The vine has medium-sized, conical bunches, which may have wings, and is of average density. The round, yellow-green berry itself is relatively thick-skinned, and thus is resistant to the primary fungal diseases, making it suitable for the more humid climate in western Georgia. It is not, however, frost resistant. A late bloomer (late May) and generous yielder, Tsolikouri matures in the mid-season, usually in the middle of October. Most Tsolikouri plantings are in Imereti and Guria, but it is also planted in Racha-Lechkhumi, Samegrelo, and Adjara.)

When made in the European style, Tsolikouri wines are medium- to full-bodied, slightly oily, with soft acidity and a broad texture, with subtle notes of yellow fruits, melon, mineral, and a light floral lift It may be fermented and/or matured in oak. Tsolikouri may be blended with the lighter-bodied Tsitska, and sometimes Krakhuna, for PDO Sviri wines. In PDO Tvishi, a semi-sweet wine Lechkhumi with 30-40g/l residual sugar, Tsolikouri is a solo act. Tsolikouri wines have the potential for considerable longevity if properly crafted. With 15% of total plantings there were 6161 hectares in production as of 2004.