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Delhi Wine Club
Sapprize is Prize for Best Saperavi in World

Posted: Monday, 24 July 2017 15:50


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Sapprize is Prize for Best Saperavi in World

July 24: The success of Georgia’s most internationally recognised signature grape Saperavi is to be celebrated with the founding of annual ‘Saperavi World Prize’ for the best Saperavi, now officially titled as ‘SapPrize’, writes Subhash Arora President of Delhi Wine Club, who has tasted several of these wines in Georgia and promoted in India and feels the grape has a great potential in India

At one of the wine tasting events of the Delhi Wine Club (DWC), I slipped in a bottle of Tbilvino Saperavi 2010 amongst about 20 different labels. I was not surprised when the members loved it and kept on asking for more when it was polished off. This red wine from the recognized Georgian producer based in the Capital city of Tblisi, is ideal for kebabs and pizzas, meaty snacks and a few vegetarian foods as well. The Retail price then of Rs. 800-1000 for this award winning Saperavi wine was one of the lowest and so affordable that I recommended for my readers in Delhi- NCR in the ‘We Recommend’ column in delWine  514 in its 14 August Edition.

The Tbilvino Saperavi was then available in Delhi at Nature’s Basket and a few hotels as well. It was also available in Mumbai and Goa where it used to rock where the Russians loved it since this Georgian signature wine had been imported into Russia in big numbers before the split of the USSR. 

Encouraged by the response at that Tasting at DWC, I added two wines from Georgia in the line-up of 11 wines at the 200th wine Dinner and 10th year celebrations of DWC at the Hyatt Regency in September 2012 a couple of months later; one of them was the same Saperavi 2010 from Tbilvino. Once again, the sit down dinner of over 250 members and their guests loved the wine without knowing the grape (Saperavi) or the country of origin (Georgia).

Tasting Saperavi in Georgia

It’s when I visited Georgia later in 2014 that I observed that Saperavi the most loved and grown red grape variety in the Kakheti region and practically everywhere else in Georgia where wine is made in quevris (Georgian amphoras) and tanks and matured with or without oak.

Saperavi is a versatile grape variety that can produce dry to semi-sweet, to sweet wines, including Rose. They take well to oak and have good aging potential. Fruity character with milder tannins makes them very palatable for Indians too. It also blends well with several lesser grapes as the minority partners.

Due to practical problems faced by small importers, Saperavi and other Georgian wines had not so far made the inroads they so well deserve (a few members of the DWC still long for the wine-reasonable price was one of the factors). However, for Georgia it has not only become the calling card for their wines, it has encouraged several passionate producers in other countries to start producing locally from Saperavi grapes as the demand has been growing. Saperavi wines are now produced in Australia, USA, New Zealand, Central Europe, and former Soviet republics- besides Georgia, of course. Australia is where the variety has been most widespread.  

Saperavi World Prize by Georgia

Looking at the increasing interest in the world not only for this varietal from Georgia but also its local production in several countries around the world, Georgia has announced a world competition for Saperavi wines. For the first time the Saperavi wines produced in all these countries will be judged in Georgia by an international jury consisting of top experts in making Saperavi.

Click For Large ViewSaperavi World Prize is conceived to become not only a wine contest of Saperavi wines produced abroad, but a meeting point of international winemakers and Georgian traditional producers, backed by 8,000 year- old winemaking history of Georgia known as the cradle of wine, according to Hvino News

Officially supported by the National Wine Agency and National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia, the Award has been an initiative of the wine news publisher, Hvino News. The Saperavi World Prize has been christened as ‘Sapprize.’ Inge Olsson of Hvino News says, "It was not easy task to identify all the world's wineries which produce Saperavi. But once we contacted them, we were happy to see the enthusiasm of winemakers excited about our initiative.” She adds, ‘One of the winemakers shortened Saperavi World Prize to SapPrize and we decided to keep the catchy name".

A gold miniature of “Azarpesha” - ancient wine drinking vessel with ling handle, that used to be made of gold or silver, will become the award of Saperavi World Prize. Details are at Entry is closed for the local producers but still open for wineries abroad. Interestingly, participation in the contest is free for wine producers, thanks to the support of corporate sponsors – Georgian and international companies interested in raising awareness of their brands on international level.

Hvino News is the primary news and information resource on Georgian wine, published daily in English and Russian since 2012, with traffic over one million views and readers in 160 countries.

Subhash Arora

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