Wines made from the same variety
Rachuli Mtsvivani is a local white grapevine variety mostly cultivated in Racha and used for making quality table wine.
Among native viticulturists, this grapevine variety is also known by the name Mtsvivana. No other synonyms have been found in agricultural literature sources.
Rachuli Mtsvivani is a local grapevine variety arisen from the family of local domesticated grapevine varieties; with its morphological and agricultural features it stands close to the grapevine variety of Western Georgia and, together with them, belongs to the eco-geographical group prol pontica sub prol. georgica Negr. (12).
It should be noted that there are several grapevine varieties known by the name Mtsvivani in the viticulture regions of Georgia, whith significantly differ from each other in their botanical and agricultural characteristics. For example, Kakhuri Mtsvivan is a hermaphroditic vine, consisting of middle-sized, dense bunches and round white berries, whereas Rachuli Mtsvivani has female flowers, middle-sized, thin and rounded or sometimes slightly oval white berries. Imeruli Mtsvivani is a red grapevine variety the berries of which in the ripening period become dry and fall. Therefore, these four grapevine varieties, linked by name are considerably different grapevine varieties for which reason they need to be independently named, particularly– “Mtsvivani Rachuli”, “Mtsvivani Kakhuri”, “Mtsvivani Guruli” and “Mtsvivani Imeruli”.
The name Mtsvivani must have been taken not because of a real meaning to the word (it means ‘easily falling’ in Georgian)- which expresses the weakness of the attachment of berries to the pedicel resulting in their easy fall -but because this grapevine variety is tended to extensive flower-fall, especially in rainy weather and in the case of inappropriate pollination, after which, the vine generates thin bunches. The main reason for this phenomenon is having the female flower and bad pollination. By artificial pollination, the development of quite dense and full bunches can be achieved.
Mtsvivani is an early ripening grapevine variety, therefore it is cultivated in relatively high and cooler districts, namely, in the district of Oni.
Rachuli Mtsvivani is less a cultivated grapevine variety, which can be found only in the viticulture districts of Racha-Lechkhumi, mostly in Oni (district), particularly in the villages Ghari and Shoubani. According to 1940 descriptive data of vineyards, about 16.15 hectares is dedicated to it, out of which 2.15 hectares is situated in Tsageri, 12.20 hectares – in Oni, while 1.8 hectares are cultivated throughout other regions of Georgia.
Based on the more precise description of vineyards of 1947, the land scope dedicated to Mtsvivani totals 15.01 hectares: the largest area from this being taken in Oni district – 9.25 hectares in total, 5.67 hectares in Tsageri district, while the remaining 0.09 hectares – in other regions of Georgia.
This grapevine variety was described in the village of Ghari, where the vineyard is cultivated on a slope consisting of sub-clay soil, formed by Georgian rule, grafted on Rupestri Dulo. The further exploration of this grapevine variety continued in the village of Kurdghelauri, in a vineyard situated on the eastern slope of the Tsiv-Gombori Mountain at 562.3m above sea level, formed by Georgian rule, at two-neki and two opposite hangers, on a 3m2 (2 x 1.5m) feeding area, with the height of vines at 50cm.
The young shoot. The crown and first closed leaves of the young (10 - 15cm long) sprouts are coated with quite thick web-like down and are colored grayish-white with wide pinkish circles around the crown and leaves. The leaves of the second row (third and fourth) are covered with thin web on the topside and are yellowish wine-colored, while on the underside are coated with quite thick thick-felt like down that gives it a grayish-white coloring except on the lower leaves which are lightly coated on the topsides and are green. The shoot near to the crown is downy and grayish-white while on the underside is uncoated and grayish green.
The one year sprout. The mature one year sprout is dark red in the autumn, with dark brown axils. The lines between the axils are slightly depicted. The axils are distanced by 5 - 10cm (with the average distance being 7 - 8cm) from each other.
The leaf. Well-developed leaves of the middle row (9 - 12) are moderate in size, about 16 x 17cm, round and wide-oval, as so the width is larger than the length. The leaf is five rarely three-lobed. Its middle incision is an obtuse-angle. The surface of the leaf is often smooth, rarely covered with small blisters, and is dark green. Leaves are symmetrical in shape or funnel-like.
The incisions are quite deep, often closed and having an egg-like eye, rarely, wide elliptical or narrow-eyed incisions can be found. The open incisions are cut-angular with parallel sides or rounded basis, that can also be lyre-like.
The lower incisions are usually slightly depicted, superficial, with cut with sharp angular basis.
The incision of the petiole is always open, arch-like with rounded or sharp basis, rarely, lyre-like – with flat or rounded basis.
The underside of the leaf is coated with quite thick, web-like down growing over a thick bristle-like layer that can be removed easily by touch.
The major veins end with sharp narrow triangular teeth. The lateral teeth are narrow triangular sometimes standing upward or being bent down like the teeth of a saw.
The length of the petiole is equal of the major vein or slightly shorter; and is lightly covered with bristle-like green down with reddish lines.
The flower. The flower is physiologically female and consists of 5 or 6 stamens that are shorter (0.8) than the pistil or rarely equal, placed horizontally or slightly bent. The pistil is cone-shaped, with a well-depicted column and nose.
The bunch. The bunch is middle-sized, from 12 to 17cm long and 6 - 12cm wide, with an average size of 13 x 7cm, mostly cone-shaped or cone-cylindrical. It often has an arm about half of its length. Bunches are quite dense, not characterized with small berries but the excessive fall of flowers can occur in the case of bad pollination. The pedicel of the bunch is grass-like, to the pedicel becoming woody and yellowish. The pedicel is 3 - 7cm long (the average – 4 - 4.5cm). The pedicel of the berry is green, from 3 to 6mm long; is smooth or slightly rough, narrow cone-shaped and the berries are firmly attached to them.
The grain. The berry is middle-sized, about 1.38 - 1.68cm long and 1.28 - 1.58cm wide, with the average size being 1.45 x 1.36 cm. Grains are rounded in shape, rarely concave, wider in the middle with rounded ends and are amber-colored, yellow, covered with wax-like spots. The skin is thin, transparent, easily separating from flesh that is firm and solid, with a tender, pleasant sweet taste.
The seed. There are 2-3, rarely 1 or 4 seeds in a berry (with the average being 2.6). The seed is oval, narrowed to the beak; is brown, while to the beak becoming yellow. The seed is 5 - 6mm long and 3.5 - 4mm wide. The basis is placed in the upper area of the body, is roundish, and concave in the middle. The channel from near the top is deep and wide, separating the top of the seed into two. The seed is bumpy. The channels on the inside are deep and parallel running to the beak. The beak is yellowish, cylindrical, narrowed to the tip; and is about 1.2 - 1.4mm long and 1.1 - 1.2mm wide, sometimes being wrinkled.
The vegetation period and course of phases. The observations of the course of vegetative phases were conducted in the collective vineyard of the Institute of Viticulture and Enology, in the village of Kurdghelauri. This vineyard is cultivated on the north-eastern slope of the Tsiv-Gombori Mountain, formed on stake-wire and pruned by Georgian guidlelines at two-neki and two opposite fruiting buds, on a (2 x 1.5m) 3m2 feeding area. The course of vegetative phases is related with the data of the adjacent meteorological station. The results are presented in Table 1.
In Ghari village (Oni district) the ripening of Mtsvivani begins from 20 August, while full ripening at the end of September or beginning of October, while in Kakheti it reaches ripening much earlier and better. Its vegetation period lasts from 126 to 176 days, with the average being 146. In 1956, this grapevine variety ripened early- on 2 September, with the vegetation period lasting 133 days. Based on the given data, Mtsvivani belongs to the second or rarely third period of ripening.
The one year sprouts of Mtsvivani can ripen and become well matured and ready for winter frosts in all districts of Georgia (Racha, Imereti, and Kakheti) in nearly all meteorological conditions.
The strength of growth. The strength of growing varies significantly depending on soils and climate variations. Based on the observations conducted in the collective vineyard of the Institute of Viticulture and Enology, the strength of growth of Mstvivani is considered as average in comparison with other local grapevine varieties, so estimated in the villages of upper Racha: in Ghari, Shoubani, Maidani and others.
The productivity. The productivity of Mtsvivani is strongly dependent on the meteorological conditions of the year, the condition of the vines and the soil types. If the weather is suitable during the blossom period, the productivity is higher than average. The local population considers this as quite a productive grapevine variety. Based on research conducted in 1936 by Al. Mirotadze, the average productivity in upper Racha was 1.35kg per vine, sometime 2kg, meaning 60, sometimes 98 centners per hectare. In Kakheti, its productivity was relatively lower, varying from 36 to 82.3 centners per hectare. For example, in 1949, 2.467kg of grape was obtained from a vine, while in the following year – 1.069kg. Mtsvivani is characterized with good productivity, by having the productivity coefficient from 1 to 2 in upper Rach, with the average being 1.3. Here, the average weight of a bunch is 112g. In Telavi, the coefficient of productivity equaled 1.64 – in 1949, while the weight of a bunch – 110g. Based on this data, the increase of its productivity up to 70-80 centners per hectare can be anticipated.
The relationship/adaptability to rootstocks. Mtsvivani is characterized with good adaptability to rootstocks of grapevine varieties, especially to Rupestri Dulo, followed by Riparia X Rupestri hybrids and lastly to Berlandieri X Riparia hybrids. In clay soils and soils consisting of less lime, it is more successful when grafted on Riparia Rupestri 3309 and 101/14, in dry stony soils it is better grafted on Rupestri Dulo, while on lime consisting soils – on Berlandieri X Riparia 5bb or 420 a.
Resistance to fungal diseases and pests. The observations conducted in upper Racha and Kakheti indicated that Mtsvivani is more resistant to powdery mildew but quite vulnerable to dowry mildew and is characterized with low resistance to phylloxera. According to local viticulturists, phylloxera destroys Mtsvivani vines rapidly. Negative impact caused by other pests and diseases have not been revealed.
Response to the environment. Mtsvivani is well adapted to the environment of Racha, and is quite enduring of severe winters. According to local viticulturists, Mtsvivani becomes damaged by frosts less and more rarely than other grapevine varieties.
Mtsvivani develops successfully on nearly all types of soils in upper Racha and provides distinctly high quality production from vineyards cultivated on lime soils.
During specifically rainy autumns, Mtsvivani can experience berry rot.
With the visual appearance of bunches and chemical structure of juice, Mtsvivani decidedly belongs to the wine producing grapevine varieties. In industry it is used mostly for making table wine, also by some degree it is used as a table grape. Its bunch is thin and the berries, juicy.
Chemical structure of juice. As much in Racha as in Kakheti, Mtsvivani accumulates quite a good amount of sugar and at the same time holds a good level of acidity. The proportion of sugar and acidity is truly suitable for quality table wine (by conducting the harvest at the appropriate time) and for champagne. It is noticeable also that, even in relatively highland areas (situated at 840-1000m above sea level), in Racha, full ripening can arive successfully and provide quality wine material. To characterize the capacity of sugar accumulation and acidity, below are presented the findings of the chemical analysis of grape juice taken from upper Racha (Al. Mirotadze, 1936 and P. Jafaridze, 1951-53) and in Kakheti (see Table 2).
By the illustrated consistency of sugar and acidity, Mtsvivani satisfies all requirements that are stated for table wine and has a proportion exactly desirable for making quality table wines. The slightly high concentration of acidity in Oni district, and during some years in Kakheti too, is a positive influence on the wine, making it more cheerful and fresher- useful for champagne. The investigation conducted by the agricultural branch of the Academy of Science of Georgia resulted in positive findings: the wine of Mtsvivani made in upper Racha revealed completely satisfactory for making champagne.
The processing of grape and wine quality. The grape of Mtsvivani is mostly used for making table white wines, rarely, table grape. The wine of Mtsvivani is cheerful, quite full, aromatic and pleasant in taste. In upper Racha, the wine of Mtsvivanis is the highest quality. Local residents Vl. Fofkhadze and S. Tomadze describe Mtsvivani as characterized with thin bunches, moderate productivity, but high outcome of juice to make wine that is not inferior to Tsulukidze Tetra in quality. The wine of Mtsvivani is clear during the winter, but in spring becomes yellow. It is stealthy, and makes one drunk quickly, like champagne (Iv. Javakhishvili, 7). In order to make table wine, Mtsvivani should be picked in the first half of October, when berries contain 18 - 19.5% sugar and 8 - 10% acidity. The harvest and processing of the grape in upper Racha, occurs in the following way: the picked grape is taken to the wine-shed and put into a winepress. The grape is pressed, then the juice is poured into clean pitchers, without pomace, to be fermented (on some farms a small amount of pomace is added). The wine processed without pomace is called “Chkefi,” and is more tender, lighter and clear; after the wine is made, the pitchers are filled and left to be filtrated, then the wine is taken and the sediment left. By the management of the agricultural branch of the Academy of Science of Georgia, in 1939, the wine of Mtsvivani was prepared by the old method, and the resulting wine was high quality and valuable. In the same year, material for champagne wine was prepared by a special method that was tasted on 18 August 1943 at a prestigious session of the Degustation Commission, where it was awarded 7.2 points and characterized as “a very unique tasting and interesting wine.”
According to the members of the Degustation Commission, high quality champagne can made in Georgia from certain grapevine varieties, cultivated in appropriate districts, namely: from Tetri Kapistoni, Tsitska, Chinuri, Rachuli Mtsvivani and Dzelshavi. One representative of the Degustation Commission, Prof. S. Cholokashvili (6), who appreciates the wine of Mtsvivani quite highly, considers it as the best wine among the wines of upper Racha and characterizes it as “cheerful, sparkling and aromatic.” To characterize the chemical structure of the wine, below are presented the results of the chemical analysis of Mtsvivani wine, according to P. Jafaridze. The wine of the 1952 yield from Ghari village (Oni district) consisted of 10.9% - alcohol, 9.5% - general acidity, while the wine of the 1953 yield consisted of 10.3 % - alcohol, 7.2% - general acidity; volatile acidity – 0.68 and 1.0; tanning acidity – 8.65 and 5.92; the wine acidity – 1.97 and 1.76; extract – 17.3; glycerin 8.91; sugar – 3.93 and 3.89; tannin – 0.37 and 0.12 respectively.
Mtsvivani in upper Racha is used for making quality white table wine. It also provides good material for champagne.
The positive characteristics of this grapevine variety include relatively high productivity, quality of production- useful as much for table as for champagne wine; and another positive characteristics such as early ripening, which is especially important for the environment of upper Racha.
Of negative characteristics can be indicated its functionally female flower, for which it requires additional pollination; the grapes’ tendency to rot during rainy autumns; and also its low resistance to downy mildew.
Consequently, because of mentioned negative characteristics, this grapevine variety is not included in the standard assortment of grapevine varieties. However, because of its positive characteristics, as it is well-adapted to the environment of upper Racha, is early ripening and provides high quality wine, it should be recommended for cultivation in upper Racha with a quality grapevine variety for mutual pollination. In addition, selective work should be conducted by the employment of advanced agro-biological methods in order to turn the female flower hermaphroditic or to create a new and better early-ripening grapevine variety.
Mtsvivani as it is early ripening, relatively high productive and quality grapevine variety which can be recommended for cultivation in the southern, eastern and high mountainous districts of the Soviet Union, for extensive exploration and selection.
Wines made from the same variety