It’s been a while since I tried a wine from Georgia. Quite a while, infact, and the wine in question was Teliani Valley. I had the chance to try producer Tbilvino’s “Mukuzani” red made from the Saperavi grape varietal.

First a brief bit of history, Georgian wine production of some sort or another goes back to between 9000 and 7000 BC. There’s

not a lot else I could find of the history apart from a sweet to semi sweet red being Stalin’s favourite wine, not really something you might want to market. Stalin was himself Georgian, something that the Georgian’s may not be too willing to market either, particularly as relations with Russia have been a little cool over the years.

Much of Georgia’s wine exports would have gone to Russia, particularly in soviet times, but since the Iron Curtain was drawn back, new markets had to be found, and one of them being little old Ireland.

Mukuzani is the area or AOC within the Kakheti region which is home to the native Saperavi grape which Tbilvino’s wine is made from. So, what’s it actually like?

In a word, gorgeous. Lots of fresh bright red berries, a little bit of warming spice and vanilla. Grippy, but velvety tannins, nicely integrated oak and a nice fresh acidity throughout. Real quality throughout. Could be easily mistaken for a really good Chianti or perhaps a Primitivo from Puglia in the south of Italy.

My recommendation? Seek it out which won’t be too hard – it’s stocked by some leading wine shops.

For more information on Georgia’s wines, visit, a rather smart website.