Winemaking in Georgia is considered to be one of the oldest in the world.
In fact, Georgia, amongst surrounded by non-winemaking regions and located in an area that has historically been associated to not making wines.
The political instability that has recently gripped the region around the Caucasus and Anatolia, Georgia, still happily produces unique and refreshing wines from its collection of indigenous grape varieties that are nowhere really found elsewhere.
The country’s overall continental Caucasian climate, filled with hills and mountains and being abundant in water content, Georgia for some 6000 years, have been producing some of the finest wines in the Caucasus-Eurasia region.
One such variety among a list of unique of Georgia is the Aladasturi grape, a dark skinned red variety that is typical of the Khakheti region’s red grapes.
A refreshing and a beautiful looking variety, Aladasturi is primarily used as a variety to develop semi-dry rose wines.
It is, however, produced in very limited quantities, given Georgia’s remote and confined wine industry that still mostly tends towards the traditional practices that take from months to years to develop even a fraction of the wine production.
Origins of Aladasturi
Like most other Georgian grape varieties, Aladasturi’s written evidence does not exist. Only brief and obscure note by E. Nakashidze and G. Sharashanidze have yet been found, and both authors give contrasting descriptions of the grape.
While the former author gives a negative review of it, categorising it as one of the worst, the latter author distinguishes the grape as one of the best six vines of Georgian origin.
It is, however, a well established fact that Aladasturi is an indigenous grape, like most other Georgian varieties, since genetic analysis and research does not really show a movement of the gape from outside.
Instead, being a cradle of winemaking, a lot of genetic history that is found in the rest of Europe and other ancient wine growing regions of the world, barring only a few like Iberia and the new world, traces itself back to Georgia.
Aladasturi, at some point of time, developed in the ecological conditions of the Kolkheti region and spread outwards to Guria and the adjacent territory of Imereti.
Excepting these facts that pretty much form everything about Aladastruri’s origins, the variety has remained unknown historically.
Also a simple fruit for anytime consumption, as a blending variety and of course as a varietal grape as well.
Being very widespread once upon a time, Aladasturi’s high yielding qualities and self reliance on nearly every soil or hill it can grow on, gave much profit and high quality red wine to the local populace.
The grape was once widespread and grew like a wild vine on the eastern part of Guria and Imereti as well.
Back then, the vines were cultivated on the hills and even when uncared for it was greatly harvested and valued for its natural tendency to provide high quality wines.
The grape was also once found widespread in the Imereti valley, where the Vani region used Aladasturi to produce some of the best and fine quality wines in whole of Georgia and all of Aladasturi’s cultivating regions.
Because of its old history and several purposes, the grape earned synonyms like Anadastouri and Anadassoullli Femelle that are non-Georgian in origin.
Characteristically, the grape is not very resistant to viticulture hazards despite its centuries old association to Georgian weather and soil.
It can develop easily, some of the worst fungal infections and mildews that are kept in check by traditional winemaking techniques.
The grape is relatively high yielding and remains comfortable when it comes to producing dangerously high yielding quantities.
Aladasturi can be enjoyed with almost all of Georgian cuisine. The Eurasian country’s food is characterised by the usage of vegetables and whole meals and very mild uses of spices and condiments.
A Georgian stuffed tomatoes and lentils with bacon are some of the starting points you could enjoy with Aladasturi.
Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂