Consorzio Collio 2024 (175x100)

Georgian wine relaunches its native grape varieties, with a project from Italian “know-how”

Riccardo Cotarella and his team, and Vivai Rauscedo, called to work in the “cradle of world viticulture”, by companies and universities

In recent years, Georgia, historically considered the true cradle of world viticulture, has been pushing hard on the promotion and enhancement of its peculiarities, its wine history, but also its ability to be modern. And now, the country of the former Soviet Union, where grapevines have been cultivated since the Neolithic period, raises the bar again by calling on Italian wine, with some of its most famous representatives. That is, Riccardo Cotarella, president of Assoenologi, and his team, starting with Pier Paolo Chiasso, director of the firm “Cotarella & Chiasso”, and the Cooperativa Vivai Rauscedo, absolute excellence in the world of nursery and rooted vine nursery. Ready for a new, fascinating challenge, thanks to the will of two Georgian entrepreneurs, Bacho Bugdiashvili and Vato Otkhmezuri.
The project will consist of new experimentation on typical local grape varieties, chief among them Saperavi and Rhatsiteli, white and red grapes, respectively. But other varieties such as Kisi, Mtsvane and Khikhvi for white grapes, and Alexandrouli, Mugiuretuli and Ojaleshi N for reds will also be part of the project. This will also be carried out with the cooperation of the University of Tbilisi.
The new plantings are located 40 km from the capital of Georgia, specifically in the Khashmi area (Sagarejo province, Kakheti region), where in addition to the vineyards a modern winery is being built. The experimentation will begin on 10 hectares already planted and to follow on another 100 hectares always within the area on which the winery is being built. The vine cuttings have been selected by the Cooperativa Vivai Rauscedo.
“I am honored and excited to be involved in this fascinating project that brings me in connection with the motherland of world viticulture, which is Georgia, and with its protagonists who are the producers”, said Riccardo Cotarella. “In so many years of my profession never before had I tried my hand in this wonderful country. Now I have the opportunity to work starting from the origins of the vine, a complex challenge, made of research and study, unique and unrepeatable in its own way. But I am sure that, together with my collaborators, we will succeed in giving a new impetus to Georgian wine, which is then what they are asking us to do by raising the quality level of the products. The goal is precisely to give wines and thus Georgian grape varieties the importance of the history they can boast. We will succeed because our wealth of knowledge, our know-how, will match perfectly with the passion and love Georgians have for wine and winemaking. We will start with a production of half a million bottles between red, white and sparkling wines”, Cotarella further explained, “our first harvest will be in 2024, although we are already working on the project for planting the vine cuttings of new vineyards and building the winery”.

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