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Aleksandrouli

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                      ALEKSANDROULI

Aleksandrouli is the main industrial vine type of Racha. In the micro-district of Tolakhvachkara, it gives a naturally semi-sweet wine, which is widely known as Khvanchkara, and in other regions a qualitative table wine. 

Among local vine-growers and in Literature sources, Aleksandrouli is also known as Kabistoni and Kbistona. 

Aleksandouli is a local vine type. It is widespread in the villages of Upper Racha, particularly in Pirveli and Meore Chola, Khvanchkara, Chrebalo, Sadmeli, Lower and Upper Kvishari, Gviara, and Zrageuli. 

By its biological and morphological features, Aleksandrouli belongs to the ecological-geographical group of Black Sea vine types. 

References to its origins are given in the works of Professor Ivane Javakhishvili (8), Professor Cholokhashvili (7) and in the works of other writers. In one report it is said that the wine was imported from Greece by Aleksandre Batonishvili but this cannot be true as, first of all, in the past it was known as Kabistona or Kabistoni, and later called Aleksandrouli (supposedly it was named in honor of Alexander, who was the first to pay attention to it and use it to make a typical sweetish wine). In old times a large amount of this type of wine was made by the landlord Khipiani and sold as “Khipiani’s Wine.” And, indeed, Alexsandrouli, despite its non-abundant productivity, is more widespread in Racha than other types, mainly because it gives the typical naturally semi-sweet Khvanchkara-type pleasant wine. 

Notes about its place of origin and time, as well as about other ancient vine types, have not been kept. 

Comparison of the morphological and agricultural features of this type with other types, and their comparative study, confirms Aleksandrouli’s emergence from the Kolkheti region and its old age. 

Aleksandrouli is mainly spread in the viticulture districts of Racha- Lechkhumi and rarely goes outside its borders. Despite this, it can freely ripen in almost every viticulture region of Georgia. This can be explained by the settling of Georgian types in the regions of their primary emergence, which, in new conditions, cannot be considered advisable because demand for naturally semi-sweet wines is high and the area for their production is low. So we must spread our valuable vine types more boldly into new suitable regions. According to the observation materials of 1953, the area of Aleksandrouli vineyards is 637.50 hectare; from this 604.16 hectares are located in Racha-Lechkhumi. The table 1 shows the facts of the 1953 vineyard description to characterize the spread of Aleksandrouli in some regions.

In Racha-Lechkhumi, the largest area of Aleksandrouli vineyards is in the district of Ambrolauri (533.08 hectares) while in other districts its area is relatively small. According to the new plan of viticulture development, the area of Aleksandrouli must be increased. By 1965, the area of Aleksandrouli vineyards will reach 800-1000 hectares. 

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION 

This type was described botanically during an expeditionary observation in the village Joshkhashi, of the Ambrolauri district, in the vineyard of a collective farm, which is planted in lines on a south-east sloping foothill. To a lesser extent, this type has been described and studied on the collective farm of the Institute of Viticulture and Enology in Telavi, where almost all vine types of the Georgian regions are gathered. The vineyard is planted on the north-east sloping foothills of Tsiv-Gombori, at 562.3 meters above sea level, where the soil is non-carbonate clay. The vine is grown on stakewire and is formed, as per Georgian rule, of 2 by 2 on opposite sidse, in a feeding area of 3 sq m. 

The young sprout. The tips of young 10 - 15cm length sprouts with crown and first two newly expanded, still uncurled leaves are downy on all sides with thick spidery down and have a grayish-white color, with light pink tones lacing the crown and first two leaves. Down of the upper side leaves of the second tier gradually reduces, becoming thin and spidery and taking on green, orange, and yellowish colors. The underside of the first two leaves continues to have a thick spidery down and whitish color, and the down of lower leaves gradually reduces and becomes a green color. 

The one-year shoot. Well cultivated one-year shoots are light brown in autumn, with axils of a darker color than the inter-axil  

spaces. The average length of inter-axil spaces is 9 -10cm with narrow stripes showing lightly along the inter-axil spaces. 

The leaf. Middle-tier leaves have an average size (16 x 6cm) and are of a rounded shape, rarely oval. The leaf is a pale green, usually three-lobed, rarely five-lobed or almost undivided. The surface shows net-like wrinkles, yet sometimes it is smooth and occasionally curves in a different direction. The edges of leaves are slightly curled. The middle part of the leaf is most often obtuse-angled while the second incision is not apparent. The main incisions of the leaf are downy with thin spidery hairs and are of a greenish color. 

Upper incisions are often of average depth; rarely deeper than average. The shape of the incisions varies significantly- most often we meet open incisions like an intruding corner, or cleft-like, rarely lyre-like incisions with acute and one tooth basis. We also meet closed incisions, whose eye is more often rounded, rarely narrow and widely elliptical. 

Lower incisions are less defined and are often open, with the shape of an intruding-angle, or are cleft-like. Sometimes the lower incisions of the leaf are not defined or are barely noticeable. 

The incision shape of joins varies significantly. We meet open lyre-like shapes as well as closed elliptical. More often we see open lyre-like shaped incisions with rounded, acute and one tooth basis. Rarely, we also see closed elliptical incisions. 

The main incisions of leaf-ends are acute-pointed, triangular, or rarely acute-pointed with slightly triangular teeth. Lateral teeth are acute-pointed with a serrated curve or are straight-standing. 

The underside of leaves is downy with spidery hairs, under which is located short straight-standing bristle-like down which together make the undersides quite thickly downy. The intensity of leaf down intensifies from top to bottom. 

The axil is smooth, bare or with thin spidery hairs which are smoothly noticeable. The length of the axil is equal to the main vein, or slightly shorter. It is light green, with a light violet tone. 

The flower. Flowers are hermaphroditic with well developed pistils and stamens. In the flower there are most often five, rarely six, straight-standing stamens. Its thread-length ratio to the height of the pistil is 1.25, rarely 1.50 or more. Pistils have a rounded cone-like shape; the stem is short and thick with a well-developed large receptacle which is sometimes divided into two. 

The bunch. Bunches of Aleksandrouli are of average size with a length varying from 10 to 18cm, and a width from 6 to 10cm. The average bunch size is 15 x 7cm. with a cone-like, rarely cone-cylindrical or fan shape. Bunches have an average density- we can also see thin bunches. Within bunches there are 80-90 seeds and in large bunches 140-150. The length of the bunch-axil varies from 4 to 6cm- most often it is 4.5cm. Axils have a grass-like color, and at the connection place with the shoot, become rough and take on the shoot’s color. Often, the axil of the seed is a red color, with a length varying from 0.5 to 1.0cm. The receptacle of seeds often has a cone-like shape and is rugged. 

The grain. Berry has an average size and is of a rounded or oval shape. The length of berry varies from 14.2 to 17.5mm, width 12.4 to 15.0. The average length-width of the berry being 15x13.7mm. Berry is dark blue, almost black, with a thin but dense skin and a soft body that is slightly crunchy. The grain’s soft body thickens and does not freely separate from the receptacle. The skin of seeds is covered with quite thick wax-like flakes. The juice is colorless, sweet and has a pleasant taste. A specific kind aroma is faintly noticeable. 

The seed. The number of seeds in grapes is irregular; more often there are three seeds in a grape; rarely one or four. On average one berry contains two seeds. The seeds are oblong, narrowed to the tip, and have an orange color on the tip and abdomen. The length of seeds is 6.5 - 7mm, and width 3.5 - 3.8mm. The length of the tip is 1.8 - 2.0 mm. The kalaza has an oval shape, is located in the upper half of the seeds and is slightly convex. The upper cleft to the kalaza base is quite deep and divides the upper side of the seeds into two. The part from kalaza to the tip is well-defined. On the abdomen side, the clefts are quite deep. Scars are placed in front and well defined. The tip has an oblong cone-like shape and is of a yellowish-orange color. 

AGRO-BIOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION 

The vegetation period and course of phases Observations on the course of phenology phases took place in Ambrolauri, Tsageri, and Zestafoni at the Experimental Station of Sakare and in the collective vineyard of the Institute of Viticulture and Enology of Telavi. In order to characterize the course of some vegetation phases, there is data of a 1940 observation conducted in Ambrolauri, Zestafoni, Tsageri and Telavi; and to characterize the changeability of the course of some phases over years, there are the results of a many-year observation, which took place in the collective vineyards of Zestafoni and Telavi. 

As it is shown in Table 2, the terms of the beginning of vegetation phases are changeable. For example, to compare the observation of Ambrolauri, Tsageri, Zestafoni and Telavi of 1940, we do not see a great difference in terms of the beginning of the vegetation seasons. The initial bud-opening takes place within 11 days; the flowering within 12; the inception of maturity within 16; and the total ripening within five days. The influence of some year’s meteorological conditions makes a greater difference. In this case, the inception of bud opening varies over days: the flowering within 23; the inception of maturity, 25 days; and total ripening within 20 days. The great influence of some year’s meteorological conditions on the course of vine development phases is obvious. For example, in 1945, from the inception of bud opening to total ripening, in the conditions of Telavi and Aladasturi, the sum of active temperature needed was 2612, ending its vegetation phase after 127 days, while in Zestafoni, in 1940, from bud opening to total ripening, 178 days was needed and a sum of 3738 active temperature. From this comparison it becomes clear that in Kakheti and Kartli, Aleksandrouli can freely gain maturity and can be used to make semi-sweet wines.

Ripening quality of one-year shoot. In Georgia, the sprouts of Aleksandrouli freely manage to ripen before the fall of the leaves, except young tips of sprouts, if they were not removed during the “sky opening” process. Generally, the climate conditions of Imereti and Kakheti completely guarantee one-year shoot’s total maturity up to a 100 - 120cm length. 

The strength of growth. Aleksandrouli is characterized by an average growth of vine. It grows in deep, strong soils and productivity is greater than average. According to observations which took place in collective vineyards, in climate and soil conditions of these plots, and in comparison with local types, Aleksandrouli is characterized by an average growth of vine. 

The productivity. Like many other Georgian vine types, Aleksandrouli starts giving first sign and completes its harvest relatively early. According to observation, Aleksandrouli gives its first sign in the second to third year from planting and a complete harvest from three to six years from first planting. 

A. Mirotadze (3), according to the harvest registration which took place in Racha, considers Aleksandrouli as an average productive type; according to his calculation, the productivity of Aleksandrouli varies from 40 to 60 centners per hectare. Its productivity in Imereti is almost the same as in Racha. In Kakheti, in the collective vineyard of the Institute of Viticulture and Enology , and in an unsuitable feeding area for this type, its productivity is average and sometimes less than average. In choosing a suitable feeding area, loading productivity can be increased significantly. Indeed, during the last year, productivity of Aleksandrouli was increased significantly with good care-treatment and as a result of fertilizer. The grape harvest per hectare from every vine type reached 40 - 55 centners in the districts of Racha-Lechkhumi. In particular, the productivity of Aleksandrouli was significantly increased. 

It must be mentioned that we can freely take a large harvest from Aleksandrouli. On each vine, 70% of shoots are covered with two bunches, 25% of shoots by one bunch, and the number of three-bunched shoots sometimes reaches 4-5%. On average, on one shoot, Aleksandrouli bears one and a half bunches. The average weight, according to vineyard location and year, varies from 56 to 120g. If the harvest of one shoot is 150g, and by leaving 12 sprouts on the vine its harvest reaches 1500g per hectare (with a 2.25m feeding area); it can reach 70 centners. In conditions of well-cared for vines, we can freely take an even greater harvest from Aleksandrouli than that mentioned. 

However, Aleksandrouli, in unsuitable conditions, often develops thin bunches, so in order to increase its productivity before flowering, the tips of young sprouts must be pruned, which will guarantee a better Fruit set of berries, and encourage bunches of average density. 

Durability against pests and fungal diseases. Among diseases spread in Racha-Lechkhumi, the most damaging is mildew. In comparison with other local types, Aleksandrouli is characterized by average durability and in comparison with Imereti’s types- Kundzasa and Kolikouri -by weak durability. 

According to an observation which took place in Kakheti in a collective vineyard of the Institute of Viticulture and Enology, in comparison with other local types, it is sometimes characterized by good durability. Aleksandrouli has a high durability against iodium. Its durability, when compared with other local types, is higher than average. Bunches are relatively fewer and less damaged by pests. 

According to local wine-growers, Aleksandrouli- in comparison with other types -is also characterized by higher durability against phylloxera. In Racha-Lechkhumi, Aleksandrouli vines survive a phylloxera devastation better than other types. Presently, we can see Aleksandrouli vines on the personal plots of many collective farmers.

Aleksandrouli is not kindred to rootstock vine types. Among rootstock vine types spread in our territories, Aleksandrouli gives a better result with Rupestris du lot than with RipariaXRupestris 3309, and on limey soils with 5 bb of BerlandierXRiparia. As a result of low relations with rootstock vine types, it is necessary to have first rate, completely cicatrized and well-rooted engrafts planted in the vineyard. 

Peculiarity of varieties / agro-technics. One reason for the relatively low productivity of Aleksandrouli is its unforeseen peculiarities. Each type necessitates specific agro-arrangements, in which conditions it will be able to give a high qualitative harvest of grapes. Of these arrangements, first of all is the issue of vine loading and shaping. Aleksandrouli does not give high harvest because, in most cases, there are only 8-10 buds left, despite the fact that some- more loaded -vines are characterized by stronger growth and productivity. Hence, in the soil conditions of Racha-Lechkhumi, in conditions of the systematic spreading of organic and mineral fertilizers, vines must be given two neki, two support and must be loaded, according to strength of growing, with 18-20 or more buds. Such loading, in the case of well-cared for vines, will completely guarantee the normal growth of vines and abundant productivity. In all cases of abnormal flower fall, when bunches of Aleksandrouli are thinner than average, or very sparse, it is necessary to prune young sprouts before the inception of flowering in order to better Fruit set of yield. 

Response of varieties to different environmental conditions. 

Aleksandrouli has a relatively good durability against winter frosts. The strength of frosts in Racha-Lechkhumi often reaches 16 - 18°. Aleksandrouli, along with other local types, is resistant to winter frosts and suffers little or no damage from it. It also has relatively good durability against droughts. In its native land, it is spread on slightly sloping foothills, where it has good growth-development. On more sloping foothills, in dry, quite meager soils, although its growth-development is weak and productivity minor, the juice is sweeter and the wine higher qualitative. This type of vine does not have particular demands toward soils; it develops well in almost any type of soils, but only gives high qualitative wine when it is cultivated in limey sub-clay and stony soils. Aleksandrouli also develops well in heavy soils containing clay. The productivity and quality of Aleksandrouli, apart from the location of vineyards and soil conditions, depends on the meteorological conditions of the year; mainly on how warm the vegetation season will be and how equally sediments will be distributed during this period. 

AGRICULTURAL-TECHNOLOGICAL CHARACTERIZATION 

The external appearance of Aleksandrouli, the structure of its bunches, and the chemical structure of its juice, points to the necessity of using Aleksandrouli to make naturally semi-sweet Kvanchkara and dry table wine. In order to characterize the wine direction of the grape, below is shown the mechanical structure of grapes and the chemical structure of juice. 

Mechanical structure of grape. In order to characterize the mechanical structure, information from the Sakare Experimental Station is shown in Table 3.

As we can see from Table 3, the Aleksandrouli grape in laboratorial-revised conditions is characterized by a large amount of juice and a small output of waste. In industrial conditions, the output of juice is less than shown and is approximately 74 - 76%, and the output of pressed skins is 24 - 26%. 

Chemical structure of juice. Aleksandrouli is characterized by a great ability to accumulate sugar. An abundance of sugar accumulation depends on vine location. To make grapes consisting of abundant sugar, and high qualitative wines, it is better to plant vines on foothills, and in both quiet and tempestuous places. Such places can be found in many districts, especially in Upper Racha, particularly on the right side of the river Rioni and south-west sloping foothills, from which- particularly distinguished -is the micro-district of Tola-Khvanchkara with its south and south-west foothills of limey soils. On the left side there is less ability to make grapes consisting of abundant sugar, because vineyards there (on northern and north-west sloping foothills) are located on heavy clay soils. 

In order to characterize Aleksandrouli’s ability to accumulate sugar in different conditions, below is shown the results of an analysis which took place in Imereti and Kakheti. 

As we can see from Table 4, the grapes of Aleksandrouli, in the conditions of Racha, is characterized by high sugar content. Its sugar content reaches 27%, and by moving the times of harvest, its grape easily shrivels and the sugar content within it freely reaches 30%. In the conditions of Imereti, Aleksandrouli accumulates 26% sugar, but the humid climate of Imereti is not profitable for grape-ripening as it can be accompanied by grape rot, which significantly reduces the grape harvest. In the conditions of Kakheti, Aleksandrouli accumulates a large amount of sugar- almost 24% in ordinary-condition harvest terms, sometimes more, and earlier. In the conditions of Kakheti, by moving the times of harvest, its sugar content can be freely increased up to 26-28% and the high qualitative Kvanchkara wine type can be made by slight shrivling of the grapes. Aleksandrouli wine made in the Institute of Viticulture and Enology is confirmation of this. Finally, in order to characterize the course of grape-ripening, below is shown the results of an analysis made by Demetradze. Analysis took place in the village of Khvanchkara in the Ambrolauri district.

Use of grape and quality of wine. The Aleksandrouli grape is mainly used to make naturally semi-sweet Kvanchkara and table qualitative red wines. The widely-known Kvanchkara wine is made by Aleksandrouli in suitable locations and is a natural wine; its sweetness caused by incomplete fermentation, high sugar content of the sweet, and cold spells during fermentation. 

On the right side of the river Rioni- to the south of the village Kvanchkara; Tola, a micro-district of Chrebalo (on the ხირხატ, clay-limey soils of foothills sloping to the south-west) contains of all the necessary conditions for the over-ripening of the grape, when it easily shrivels and if, autumn is not an overly wet season, it freely accumulates 28 - 30% sugar. Such sweet, consisting of an abundance of sugar, is not completely fermented. Moreover, in the first half of October it is quite cold in Racha. So, when 13 - 14% alcohol accumulates in fermenting sweet, the fermentation is stopped, the wine is cleaned, and 5 - 7% unfermented sugar is left. Khvanchkara wine is characterized by a ratio of 12 - 14% alcohol and 5 - 8% sugar. 

So, as mentioned above, in Racha, Aleksandrouli is used to make mainly Khvanchkara and partly table qualitative red wine. In old times, Khvanchkara wine was made as follows: firstly, grapes were harvested when over-matured, when its sugar content reached 28 - 30% (this usually happens in Racha in the first half of October). Harvested grapes were then placed in a local boat known as Khorgo, or in a winepress, and pressed out by foot. 

During the process of a good wine-pressing, the sweet is separated and poured out into pitchers, and when pressing is over, the sweet and pressed skins are blended and left for fermentation in the winepress. Approximately seven to eight days later, when fermentation is complete, the sweet wine is poured into clean, washed pitchers for preservation. Since it is quite cold in Racha from the first half of October (when the harvest and fermentation of the sweet begins), and because fermentation is held in semi-open buildings; as a result of the temperature variation, the action of yeasts slows down and stops, creating a sweet that contains a high amount of sugar. Ordinary sweet is delayed and the wine is left unfermented. 

So, in the natural conditions of Upper Racha, Aleksandrouli’s ability to accumulate a large amount of sugar, with the rule of wine-making, creates the local wine type called Khvanchkara. In the past, Khanchkara was made from Aleksandrouli grapes, in which 15 - 10% of of Mujuretuli and Kabisto grapes were admixed. Presently, Khvanchkara is often made from Aleksandrouli, Mujuretuli and sometimes Shavi Kabisto. It is clear that the adding of such qualitative vine types such as Mujuretuli- and partly Shavi Kabistoni -guarantees productivity and stabilizes the quality of the wine for many years. 

In old times, Khvanchkara was known as Kipiani’s wine and despite the fact that its production was lower, it was widely popular and had a deservedly high reputation. Presently, Khvanchkara is as much sold in Georgia as abroad. Such extensive approval of this wine comes from its high taste features, as a result of which it is equally liked among wine consumers of all ages. The quality of this wine is expressed in the following description: it is an intensive dark ruby-color; its bouquet is well depicted; the wine is characterized by softness and a pleasant delicately sweet taste. 

With positive features we must mention negative ones, which are the following: Kvanchkara is not stable if it is made using old technology as it begins to repeat the fermentation process, breaks down and so loses its marketable properties. 

In order to avoid the above-mentioned, Professor Modebadze suggested a new scheme for improving its marketable properties. According to this scheme, it is necessary to harvest the grape later, when its sugar content reaches 28 - 30%. Fermentation must occur in closed buildings where the temperature is 20-25°, in open 100-200 decaliter kettles Fermenting sweet must be plunged three to four. Fermentation is artificially stopped by pouring wine from kettles into barrels, when its sugar content is 6 - 8%. Sulphation is done for wine, calculated at 80 - 100mg per liter. Wine is frozen by leaving it in a fridge for 10 days, where the temperature is kept at 5 - 6°. The wine is separated from the sediment, filtered and pasteurized and frozen at 0°. Following this, it is then poured into bottles with “Kometa” filter, where it must be warmed up for 15 - 20 minutes until its temperature reaches 55 - 60°. Wine made in this way will not boil because the fungi that cause boiling die during pasteurization, allowing the wine to become stable. Here, we must mention that the making of Kvanchkara is possible following another process by which wine is poured into a ecofilter during which time boiling fungi are left on the blades of the filter and the wine is freed from them. Both ways are good, but the pasteurization process is more reliable as it does not worsen the quality of the wine; on the contrary it makes the wine more pleasant. Other wines, such as Kindzmarauli, suffer a worsening of taste features as a result of pasteurization.

Aleksandrouli’s table red wines are mainly made on the left side of the river Rioni in the micro-district of Bugeul-Ambrolauri. Vineyards of this district are cultivated on foothills sloping to the north and north-west on heavy, clay soils. Because of unsuitable expositions and soils on these foothills, Aleksandrouli ripens late and accumulates less sugar, as a result of which only ordinary red and white table wines are made there from Aleksandrouli and Tsulukidzis Tetra. In Racha, apart from red wines installed on pressed skins, Aleksandrouli was installed as “Chqefi” without pressed skins. installed Aleksandrouli like “Chqefi” wine has a gold color and pleasant taste. According to Popkhadze and Tomadze. According to their characterization, Aleksandrouli’s wine can be stored for a long time and improves during storage. In production, especially in Lechkhumi, Aleksandrouli is often pressed out with high qualitative Ojaleshi or Usakhelouri to make ordinary red wine. Such blending is caused by the cultivating of these types together, and on plantations Aleksandrouli is usually grown separately. 

From the grapes of Aleksandrouli, qualitative wine is made in Lechkhumi, in the gorge of Lajanura. 

Harvesting of Aleksandrouli grapes starts at different times according to vineyard location and wine type. In the micro-district of Tola-Khvanchkara, Aleksandrouli must be harvested for Khvanchkara wine when its sugar content is 26 - 30% and acidity 5 - 6%, and in other places- for table red wine -it must be harvested when its sugar content is 20 - 22% and acidity 6 – 7.5%. 

Aleksandrouli table wine of, made from the harvest of vineyards cultivated on foothills, is characterized by a beautiful ruby color, cheerfulness, harmony of consisting parts, and a pleasant taste. In other places- and outside Racha -such qualitative wine from Aleksandrouli is rarely made. 

The high quality of Aleksandrouli wine is confirmed also by the wealth of elements contained within it. In order to characterize the chemical structure of Aleksandrouli, below is shown the results of an analysis of Khvanchkara, and table wine types, from the Experimental stations of Sakare and the laboratories of Viticulture and Enology.

 As we can see from Table 6, Kvanchkara and table red wine made from Aleksandrouli is characterized by a rich chemical structure. This circumstance gives us basis to believe that Aleksandrouli can be stored for a long time and will improve while in storage. Direct data to confirm this is not available because Aleksandrouli wine was quickly and easily sold and consumed. As a result, it was not stored for aging and the Khvanchkara made following the old rules, in its second year was no longer Khvanchkara due to the total fermentation of its sugar. 

Variation and clones. Variations within this type have not been identified. Work in this direction has started on the Racha-Lechkhumi collective base in the Viticulture Institute. We consider that the Mujuretuli type, which is cultivated in vineyards with Aleksandrouli, must be a variation originating from it, because Mujuretuli - with its morphological and agricultural features -shares clear similarities to Aleksandrouli, yet is different mainly in the shape of grain, which is longer and wider-ended than Aleksandrouli’s grain. Despite this, Mujuretuli is considered as a separate type among Georgians. 

GENERAL EVALUATION AND DISTRIBUTION BY DISTRICT

Aleksandrouli is local high qualitative vine type grown mainly in Racha-Lechkhumi, and is listed amongst the standard assortment of Georgian valuable vine types. In its native land, on the left side of the river Rioni in the micro-district of Tola-Khvanchkara, Aleksandrouli gives an original naturally semi-sweet wine- widely-known as Khvanchkara -and in other districts, a qualitative table red wine. 

Positive features of type are: a high quality of production; its usefulness for making naturally semi-sweet and table wines; its relatively good durability against phylloxera, iodium and drought; and also the shrivelling of grapes when the grape is over-matured. 

Negative features of this type are that it is not a very productive type and has relatively weak durability against mildew 

Aleksandrouli, as a relatively early and qualitative vine type, must be more spread and more widely tested in the regions of Eastern Georgia. First of all in Kakheti and Kartli. In Telavi, Kakheti- at the Experimental Station of the Institute of Viticulture and Enology -it is freely ripening and, by moving the dates of harvest by one week, it easily becomes over-matured and gives a very pleasant wine type of Khvanchkara. 

Aleksandrouli is perspective also for other viticulture regions of the Soviet Union; first of all for Ukraine, Moldova and southern regions of Krasnodar. At the Experimental Station of Ukraine, in Odessa, Aleksandrouli is easily matured and gives a high qualitative wine type. It is desirable to test Aleksandrouli in other viticulture regions also. 

Aleksandrouli

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Description:

                      ALEKSANDROULI

Aleksandrouli is the main industrial vine type of Racha. In the micro-district of Tolakhvachkara, it gives a naturally semi-sweet wine, which is widely known as Khvanchkara, and in other regions a qualitative table wine. 

Among local vine-growers and in Literature sources, Aleksandrouli is also known as Kabistoni and Kbistona. 

Aleksandouli is a local vine type. It is widespread in the villages of Upper Racha, particularly in Pirveli and Meore Chola, Khvanchkara, Chrebalo, Sadmeli, Lower and Upper Kvishari, Gviara, and Zrageuli. 

By its biological and morphological features, Aleksandrouli belongs to the ecological-geographical group of Black Sea vine types. 

References to its origins are given in the works of Professor Ivane Javakhishvili (8), Professor Cholokhashvili (7) and in the works of other writers. In one report it is said that the wine was imported from Greece by Aleksandre Batonishvili but this cannot be true as, first of all, in the past it was known as Kabistona or Kabistoni, and later called Aleksandrouli (supposedly it was named in honor of Alexander, who was the first to pay attention to it and use it to make a typical sweetish wine). In old times a large amount of this type of wine was made by the landlord Khipiani and sold as “Khipiani’s Wine.” And, indeed, Alexsandrouli, despite its non-abundant productivity, is more widespread in Racha than other types, mainly because it gives the typical naturally semi-sweet Khvanchkara-type pleasant wine. 

Notes about its place of origin and time, as well as about other ancient vine types, have not been kept. 

Comparison of the morphological and agricultural features of this type with other types, and their comparative study, confirms Aleksandrouli’s emergence from the Kolkheti region and its old age. 

Aleksandrouli is mainly spread in the viticulture districts of Racha- Lechkhumi and rarely goes outside its borders. Despite this, it can freely ripen in almost every viticulture region of Georgia. This can be explained by the settling of Georgian types in the regions of their primary emergence, which, in new conditions, cannot be considered advisable because demand for naturally semi-sweet wines is high and the area for their production is low. So we must spread our valuable vine types more boldly into new suitable regions. According to the observation materials of 1953, the area of Aleksandrouli vineyards is 637.50 hectare; from this 604.16 hectares are located in Racha-Lechkhumi. The table 1 shows the facts of the 1953 vineyard description to characterize the spread of Aleksandrouli in some regions.

In Racha-Lechkhumi, the largest area of Aleksandrouli vineyards is in the district of Ambrolauri (533.08 hectares) while in other districts its area is relatively small. According to the new plan of viticulture development, the area of Aleksandrouli must be increased. By 1965, the area of Aleksandrouli vineyards will reach 800-1000 hectares. 

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION 

This type was described botanically during an expeditionary observation in the village Joshkhashi, of the Ambrolauri district, in the vineyard of a collective farm, which is planted in lines on a south-east sloping foothill. To a lesser extent, this type has been described and studied on the collective farm of the Institute of Viticulture and Enology in Telavi, where almost all vine types of the Georgian regions are gathered. The vineyard is planted on the north-east sloping foothills of Tsiv-Gombori, at 562.3 meters above sea level, where the soil is non-carbonate clay. The vine is grown on stakewire and is formed, as per Georgian rule, of 2 by 2 on opposite sidse, in a feeding area of 3 sq m. 

The young sprout. The tips of young 10 - 15cm length sprouts with crown and first two newly expanded, still uncurled leaves are downy on all sides with thick spidery down and have a grayish-white color, with light pink tones lacing the crown and first two leaves. Down of the upper side leaves of the second tier gradually reduces, becoming thin and spidery and taking on green, orange, and yellowish colors. The underside of the first two leaves continues to have a thick spidery down and whitish color, and the down of lower leaves gradually reduces and becomes a green color. 

The one-year shoot. Well cultivated one-year shoots are light brown in autumn, with axils of a darker color than the inter-axil  

spaces. The average length of inter-axil spaces is 9 -10cm with narrow stripes showing lightly along the inter-axil spaces. 

The leaf. Middle-tier leaves have an average size (16 x 6cm) and are of a rounded shape, rarely oval. The leaf is a pale green, usually three-lobed, rarely five-lobed or almost undivided. The surface shows net-like wrinkles, yet sometimes it is smooth and occasionally curves in a different direction. The edges of leaves are slightly curled. The middle part of the leaf is most often obtuse-angled while the second incision is not apparent. The main incisions of the leaf are downy with thin spidery hairs and are of a greenish color. 

Upper incisions are often of average depth; rarely deeper than average. The shape of the incisions varies significantly- most often we meet open incisions like an intruding corner, or cleft-like, rarely lyre-like incisions with acute and one tooth basis. We also meet closed incisions, whose eye is more often rounded, rarely narrow and widely elliptical. 

Lower incisions are less defined and are often open, with the shape of an intruding-angle, or are cleft-like. Sometimes the lower incisions of the leaf are not defined or are barely noticeable. 

The incision shape of joins varies significantly. We meet open lyre-like shapes as well as closed elliptical. More often we see open lyre-like shaped incisions with rounded, acute and one tooth basis. Rarely, we also see closed elliptical incisions. 

The main incisions of leaf-ends are acute-pointed, triangular, or rarely acute-pointed with slightly triangular teeth. Lateral teeth are acute-pointed with a serrated curve or are straight-standing. 

The underside of leaves is downy with spidery hairs, under which is located short straight-standing bristle-like down which together make the undersides quite thickly downy. The intensity of leaf down intensifies from top to bottom. 

The axil is smooth, bare or with thin spidery hairs which are smoothly noticeable. The length of the axil is equal to the main vein, or slightly shorter. It is light green, with a light violet tone. 

The flower. Flowers are hermaphroditic with well developed pistils and stamens. In the flower there are most often five, rarely six, straight-standing stamens. Its thread-length ratio to the height of the pistil is 1.25, rarely 1.50 or more. Pistils have a rounded cone-like shape; the stem is short and thick with a well-developed large receptacle which is sometimes divided into two. 

The bunch. Bunches of Aleksandrouli are of average size with a length varying from 10 to 18cm, and a width from 6 to 10cm. The average bunch size is 15 x 7cm. with a cone-like, rarely cone-cylindrical or fan shape. Bunches have an average density- we can also see thin bunches. Within bunches there are 80-90 seeds and in large bunches 140-150. The length of the bunch-axil varies from 4 to 6cm- most often it is 4.5cm. Axils have a grass-like color, and at the connection place with the shoot, become rough and take on the shoot’s color. Often, the axil of the seed is a red color, with a length varying from 0.5 to 1.0cm. The receptacle of seeds often has a cone-like shape and is rugged. 

The grain. Berry has an average size and is of a rounded or oval shape. The length of berry varies from 14.2 to 17.5mm, width 12.4 to 15.0. The average length-width of the berry being 15x13.7mm. Berry is dark blue, almost black, with a thin but dense skin and a soft body that is slightly crunchy. The grain’s soft body thickens and does not freely separate from the receptacle. The skin of seeds is covered with quite thick wax-like flakes. The juice is colorless, sweet and has a pleasant taste. A specific kind aroma is faintly noticeable. 

The seed. The number of seeds in grapes is irregular; more often there are three seeds in a grape; rarely one or four. On average one berry contains two seeds. The seeds are oblong, narrowed to the tip, and have an orange color on the tip and abdomen. The length of seeds is 6.5 - 7mm, and width 3.5 - 3.8mm. The length of the tip is 1.8 - 2.0 mm. The kalaza has an oval shape, is located in the upper half of the seeds and is slightly convex. The upper cleft to the kalaza base is quite deep and divides the upper side of the seeds into two. The part from kalaza to the tip is well-defined. On the abdomen side, the clefts are quite deep. Scars are placed in front and well defined. The tip has an oblong cone-like shape and is of a yellowish-orange color. 

AGRO-BIOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION 

The vegetation period and course of phases Observations on the course of phenology phases took place in Ambrolauri, Tsageri, and Zestafoni at the Experimental Station of Sakare and in the collective vineyard of the Institute of Viticulture and Enology of Telavi. In order to characterize the course of some vegetation phases, there is data of a 1940 observation conducted in Ambrolauri, Zestafoni, Tsageri and Telavi; and to characterize the changeability of the course of some phases over years, there are the results of a many-year observation, which took place in the collective vineyards of Zestafoni and Telavi. 

As it is shown in Table 2, the terms of the beginning of vegetation phases are changeable. For example, to compare the observation of Ambrolauri, Tsageri, Zestafoni and Telavi of 1940, we do not see a great difference in terms of the beginning of the vegetation seasons. The initial bud-opening takes place within 11 days; the flowering within 12; the inception of maturity within 16; and the total ripening within five days. The influence of some year’s meteorological conditions makes a greater difference. In this case, the inception of bud opening varies over days: the flowering within 23; the inception of maturity, 25 days; and total ripening within 20 days. The great influence of some year’s meteorological conditions on the course of vine development phases is obvious. For example, in 1945, from the inception of bud opening to total ripening, in the conditions of Telavi and Aladasturi, the sum of active temperature needed was 2612, ending its vegetation phase after 127 days, while in Zestafoni, in 1940, from bud opening to total ripening, 178 days was needed and a sum of 3738 active temperature. From this comparison it becomes clear that in Kakheti and Kartli, Aleksandrouli can freely gain maturity and can be used to make semi-sweet wines.

Ripening quality of one-year shoot. In Georgia, the sprouts of Aleksandrouli freely manage to ripen before the fall of the leaves, except young tips of sprouts, if they were not removed during the “sky opening” process. Generally, the climate conditions of Imereti and Kakheti completely guarantee one-year shoot’s total maturity up to a 100 - 120cm length. 

The strength of growth. Aleksandrouli is characterized by an average growth of vine. It grows in deep, strong soils and productivity is greater than average. According to observations which took place in collective vineyards, in climate and soil conditions of these plots, and in comparison with local types, Aleksandrouli is characterized by an average growth of vine. 

The productivity. Like many other Georgian vine types, Aleksandrouli starts giving first sign and completes its harvest relatively early. According to observation, Aleksandrouli gives its first sign in the second to third year from planting and a complete harvest from three to six years from first planting. 

A. Mirotadze (3), according to the harvest registration which took place in Racha, considers Aleksandrouli as an average productive type; according to his calculation, the productivity of Aleksandrouli varies from 40 to 60 centners per hectare. Its productivity in Imereti is almost the same as in Racha. In Kakheti, in the collective vineyard of the Institute of Viticulture and Enology , and in an unsuitable feeding area for this type, its productivity is average and sometimes less than average. In choosing a suitable feeding area, loading productivity can be increased significantly. Indeed, during the last year, productivity of Aleksandrouli was increased significantly with good care-treatment and as a result of fertilizer. The grape harvest per hectare from every vine type reached 40 - 55 centners in the districts of Racha-Lechkhumi. In particular, the productivity of Aleksandrouli was significantly increased. 

It must be mentioned that we can freely take a large harvest from Aleksandrouli. On each vine, 70% of shoots are covered with two bunches, 25% of shoots by one bunch, and the number of three-bunched shoots sometimes reaches 4-5%. On average, on one shoot, Aleksandrouli bears one and a half bunches. The average weight, according to vineyard location and year, varies from 56 to 120g. If the harvest of one shoot is 150g, and by leaving 12 sprouts on the vine its harvest reaches 1500g per hectare (with a 2.25m feeding area); it can reach 70 centners. In conditions of well-cared for vines, we can freely take an even greater harvest from Aleksandrouli than that mentioned. 

However, Aleksandrouli, in unsuitable conditions, often develops thin bunches, so in order to increase its productivity before flowering, the tips of young sprouts must be pruned, which will guarantee a better Fruit set of berries, and encourage bunches of average density. 

Durability against pests and fungal diseases. Among diseases spread in Racha-Lechkhumi, the most damaging is mildew. In comparison with other local types, Aleksandrouli is characterized by average durability and in comparison with Imereti’s types- Kundzasa and Kolikouri -by weak durability. 

According to an observation which took place in Kakheti in a collective vineyard of the Institute of Viticulture and Enology, in comparison with other local types, it is sometimes characterized by good durability. Aleksandrouli has a high durability against iodium. Its durability, when compared with other local types, is higher than average. Bunches are relatively fewer and less damaged by pests. 

According to local wine-growers, Aleksandrouli- in comparison with other types -is also characterized by higher durability against phylloxera. In Racha-Lechkhumi, Aleksandrouli vines survive a phylloxera devastation better than other types. Presently, we can see Aleksandrouli vines on the personal plots of many collective farmers.

Aleksandrouli is not kindred to rootstock vine types. Among rootstock vine types spread in our territories, Aleksandrouli gives a better result with Rupestris du lot than with RipariaXRupestris 3309, and on limey soils with 5 bb of BerlandierXRiparia. As a result of low relations with rootstock vine types, it is necessary to have first rate, completely cicatrized and well-rooted engrafts planted in the vineyard. 

Peculiarity of varieties / agro-technics. One reason for the relatively low productivity of Aleksandrouli is its unforeseen peculiarities. Each type necessitates specific agro-arrangements, in which conditions it will be able to give a high qualitative harvest of grapes. Of these arrangements, first of all is the issue of vine loading and shaping. Aleksandrouli does not give high harvest because, in most cases, there are only 8-10 buds left, despite the fact that some- more loaded -vines are characterized by stronger growth and productivity. Hence, in the soil conditions of Racha-Lechkhumi, in conditions of the systematic spreading of organic and mineral fertilizers, vines must be given two neki, two support and must be loaded, according to strength of growing, with 18-20 or more buds. Such loading, in the case of well-cared for vines, will completely guarantee the normal growth of vines and abundant productivity. In all cases of abnormal flower fall, when bunches of Aleksandrouli are thinner than average, or very sparse, it is necessary to prune young sprouts before the inception of flowering in order to better Fruit set of yield. 

Response of varieties to different environmental conditions. 

Aleksandrouli has a relatively good durability against winter frosts. The strength of frosts in Racha-Lechkhumi often reaches 16 - 18°. Aleksandrouli, along with other local types, is resistant to winter frosts and suffers little or no damage from it. It also has relatively good durability against droughts. In its native land, it is spread on slightly sloping foothills, where it has good growth-development. On more sloping foothills, in dry, quite meager soils, although its growth-development is weak and productivity minor, the juice is sweeter and the wine higher qualitative. This type of vine does not have particular demands toward soils; it develops well in almost any type of soils, but only gives high qualitative wine when it is cultivated in limey sub-clay and stony soils. Aleksandrouli also develops well in heavy soils containing clay. The productivity and quality of Aleksandrouli, apart from the location of vineyards and soil conditions, depends on the meteorological conditions of the year; mainly on how warm the vegetation season will be and how equally sediments will be distributed during this period. 

AGRICULTURAL-TECHNOLOGICAL CHARACTERIZATION 

The external appearance of Aleksandrouli, the structure of its bunches, and the chemical structure of its juice, points to the necessity of using Aleksandrouli to make naturally semi-sweet Kvanchkara and dry table wine. In order to characterize the wine direction of the grape, below is shown the mechanical structure of grapes and the chemical structure of juice. 

Mechanical structure of grape. In order to characterize the mechanical structure, information from the Sakare Experimental Station is shown in Table 3.

As we can see from Table 3, the Aleksandrouli grape in laboratorial-revised conditions is characterized by a large amount of juice and a small output of waste. In industrial conditions, the output of juice is less than shown and is approximately 74 - 76%, and the output of pressed skins is 24 - 26%. 

Chemical structure of juice. Aleksandrouli is characterized by a great ability to accumulate sugar. An abundance of sugar accumulation depends on vine location. To make grapes consisting of abundant sugar, and high qualitative wines, it is better to plant vines on foothills, and in both quiet and tempestuous places. Such places can be found in many districts, especially in Upper Racha, particularly on the right side of the river Rioni and south-west sloping foothills, from which- particularly distinguished -is the micro-district of Tola-Khvanchkara with its south and south-west foothills of limey soils. On the left side there is less ability to make grapes consisting of abundant sugar, because vineyards there (on northern and north-west sloping foothills) are located on heavy clay soils. 

In order to characterize Aleksandrouli’s ability to accumulate sugar in different conditions, below is shown the results of an analysis which took place in Imereti and Kakheti. 

As we can see from Table 4, the grapes of Aleksandrouli, in the conditions of Racha, is characterized by high sugar content. Its sugar content reaches 27%, and by moving the times of harvest, its grape easily shrivels and the sugar content within it freely reaches 30%. In the conditions of Imereti, Aleksandrouli accumulates 26% sugar, but the humid climate of Imereti is not profitable for grape-ripening as it can be accompanied by grape rot, which significantly reduces the grape harvest. In the conditions of Kakheti, Aleksandrouli accumulates a large amount of sugar- almost 24% in ordinary-condition harvest terms, sometimes more, and earlier. In the conditions of Kakheti, by moving the times of harvest, its sugar content can be freely increased up to 26-28% and the high qualitative Kvanchkara wine type can be made by slight shrivling of the grapes. Aleksandrouli wine made in the Institute of Viticulture and Enology is confirmation of this. Finally, in order to characterize the course of grape-ripening, below is shown the results of an analysis made by Demetradze. Analysis took place in the village of Khvanchkara in the Ambrolauri district.

Use of grape and quality of wine. The Aleksandrouli grape is mainly used to make naturally semi-sweet Kvanchkara and table qualitative red wines. The widely-known Kvanchkara wine is made by Aleksandrouli in suitable locations and is a natural wine; its sweetness caused by incomplete fermentation, high sugar content of the sweet, and cold spells during fermentation. 

On the right side of the river Rioni- to the south of the village Kvanchkara; Tola, a micro-district of Chrebalo (on the ხირხატ, clay-limey soils of foothills sloping to the south-west) contains of all the necessary conditions for the over-ripening of the grape, when it easily shrivels and if, autumn is not an overly wet season, it freely accumulates 28 - 30% sugar. Such sweet, consisting of an abundance of sugar, is not completely fermented. Moreover, in the first half of October it is quite cold in Racha. So, when 13 - 14% alcohol accumulates in fermenting sweet, the fermentation is stopped, the wine is cleaned, and 5 - 7% unfermented sugar is left. Khvanchkara wine is characterized by a ratio of 12 - 14% alcohol and 5 - 8% sugar. 

So, as mentioned above, in Racha, Aleksandrouli is used to make mainly Khvanchkara and partly table qualitative red wine. In old times, Khvanchkara wine was made as follows: firstly, grapes were harvested when over-matured, when its sugar content reached 28 - 30% (this usually happens in Racha in the first half of October). Harvested grapes were then placed in a local boat known as Khorgo, or in a winepress, and pressed out by foot. 

During the process of a good wine-pressing, the sweet is separated and poured out into pitchers, and when pressing is over, the sweet and pressed skins are blended and left for fermentation in the winepress. Approximately seven to eight days later, when fermentation is complete, the sweet wine is poured into clean, washed pitchers for preservation. Since it is quite cold in Racha from the first half of October (when the harvest and fermentation of the sweet begins), and because fermentation is held in semi-open buildings; as a result of the temperature variation, the action of yeasts slows down and stops, creating a sweet that contains a high amount of sugar. Ordinary sweet is delayed and the wine is left unfermented. 

So, in the natural conditions of Upper Racha, Aleksandrouli’s ability to accumulate a large amount of sugar, with the rule of wine-making, creates the local wine type called Khvanchkara. In the past, Khanchkara was made from Aleksandrouli grapes, in which 15 - 10% of of Mujuretuli and Kabisto grapes were admixed. Presently, Khvanchkara is often made from Aleksandrouli, Mujuretuli and sometimes Shavi Kabisto. It is clear that the adding of such qualitative vine types such as Mujuretuli- and partly Shavi Kabistoni -guarantees productivity and stabilizes the quality of the wine for many years. 

In old times, Khvanchkara was known as Kipiani’s wine and despite the fact that its production was lower, it was widely popular and had a deservedly high reputation. Presently, Khvanchkara is as much sold in Georgia as abroad. Such extensive approval of this wine comes from its high taste features, as a result of which it is equally liked among wine consumers of all ages. The quality of this wine is expressed in the following description: it is an intensive dark ruby-color; its bouquet is well depicted; the wine is characterized by softness and a pleasant delicately sweet taste. 

With positive features we must mention negative ones, which are the following: Kvanchkara is not stable if it is made using old technology as it begins to repeat the fermentation process, breaks down and so loses its marketable properties. 

In order to avoid the above-mentioned, Professor Modebadze suggested a new scheme for improving its marketable properties. According to this scheme, it is necessary to harvest the grape later, when its sugar content reaches 28 - 30%. Fermentation must occur in closed buildings where the temperature is 20-25°, in open 100-200 decaliter kettles Fermenting sweet must be plunged three to four. Fermentation is artificially stopped by pouring wine from kettles into barrels, when its sugar content is 6 - 8%. Sulphation is done for wine, calculated at 80 - 100mg per liter. Wine is frozen by leaving it in a fridge for 10 days, where the temperature is kept at 5 - 6°. The wine is separated from the sediment, filtered and pasteurized and frozen at 0°. Following this, it is then poured into bottles with “Kometa” filter, where it must be warmed up for 15 - 20 minutes until its temperature reaches 55 - 60°. Wine made in this way will not boil because the fungi that cause boiling die during pasteurization, allowing the wine to become stable. Here, we must mention that the making of Kvanchkara is possible following another process by which wine is poured into a ecofilter during which time boiling fungi are left on the blades of the filter and the wine is freed from them. Both ways are good, but the pasteurization process is more reliable as it does not worsen the quality of the wine; on the contrary it makes the wine more pleasant. Other wines, such as Kindzmarauli, suffer a worsening of taste features as a result of pasteurization.

Aleksandrouli’s table red wines are mainly made on the left side of the river Rioni in the micro-district of Bugeul-Ambrolauri. Vineyards of this district are cultivated on foothills sloping to the north and north-west on heavy, clay soils. Because of unsuitable expositions and soils on these foothills, Aleksandrouli ripens late and accumulates less sugar, as a result of which only ordinary red and white table wines are made there from Aleksandrouli and Tsulukidzis Tetra. In Racha, apart from red wines installed on pressed skins, Aleksandrouli was installed as “Chqefi” without pressed skins. installed Aleksandrouli like “Chqefi” wine has a gold color and pleasant taste. According to Popkhadze and Tomadze. According to their characterization, Aleksandrouli’s wine can be stored for a long time and improves during storage. In production, especially in Lechkhumi, Aleksandrouli is often pressed out with high qualitative Ojaleshi or Usakhelouri to make ordinary red wine. Such blending is caused by the cultivating of these types together, and on plantations Aleksandrouli is usually grown separately. 

From the grapes of Aleksandrouli, qualitative wine is made in Lechkhumi, in the gorge of Lajanura. 

Harvesting of Aleksandrouli grapes starts at different times according to vineyard location and wine type. In the micro-district of Tola-Khvanchkara, Aleksandrouli must be harvested for Khvanchkara wine when its sugar content is 26 - 30% and acidity 5 - 6%, and in other places- for table red wine -it must be harvested when its sugar content is 20 - 22% and acidity 6 – 7.5%. 

Aleksandrouli table wine of, made from the harvest of vineyards cultivated on foothills, is characterized by a beautiful ruby color, cheerfulness, harmony of consisting parts, and a pleasant taste. In other places- and outside Racha -such qualitative wine from Aleksandrouli is rarely made. 

The high quality of Aleksandrouli wine is confirmed also by the wealth of elements contained within it. In order to characterize the chemical structure of Aleksandrouli, below is shown the results of an analysis of Khvanchkara, and table wine types, from the Experimental stations of Sakare and the laboratories of Viticulture and Enology.

 As we can see from Table 6, Kvanchkara and table red wine made from Aleksandrouli is characterized by a rich chemical structure. This circumstance gives us basis to believe that Aleksandrouli can be stored for a long time and will improve while in storage. Direct data to confirm this is not available because Aleksandrouli wine was quickly and easily sold and consumed. As a result, it was not stored for aging and the Khvanchkara made following the old rules, in its second year was no longer Khvanchkara due to the total fermentation of its sugar. 

Variation and clones. Variations within this type have not been identified. Work in this direction has started on the Racha-Lechkhumi collective base in the Viticulture Institute. We consider that the Mujuretuli type, which is cultivated in vineyards with Aleksandrouli, must be a variation originating from it, because Mujuretuli - with its morphological and agricultural features -shares clear similarities to Aleksandrouli, yet is different mainly in the shape of grain, which is longer and wider-ended than Aleksandrouli’s grain. Despite this, Mujuretuli is considered as a separate type among Georgians. 

GENERAL EVALUATION AND DISTRIBUTION BY DISTRICT

Aleksandrouli is local high qualitative vine type grown mainly in Racha-Lechkhumi, and is listed amongst the standard assortment of Georgian valuable vine types. In its native land, on the left side of the river Rioni in the micro-district of Tola-Khvanchkara, Aleksandrouli gives an original naturally semi-sweet wine- widely-known as Khvanchkara -and in other districts, a qualitative table red wine. 

Positive features of type are: a high quality of production; its usefulness for making naturally semi-sweet and table wines; its relatively good durability against phylloxera, iodium and drought; and also the shrivelling of grapes when the grape is over-matured. 

Negative features of this type are that it is not a very productive type and has relatively weak durability against mildew 

Aleksandrouli, as a relatively early and qualitative vine type, must be more spread and more widely tested in the regions of Eastern Georgia. First of all in Kakheti and Kartli. In Telavi, Kakheti- at the Experimental Station of the Institute of Viticulture and Enology -it is freely ripening and, by moving the dates of harvest by one week, it easily becomes over-matured and gives a very pleasant wine type of Khvanchkara. 

Aleksandrouli is perspective also for other viticulture regions of the Soviet Union; first of all for Ukraine, Moldova and southern regions of Krasnodar. At the Experimental Station of Ukraine, in Odessa, Aleksandrouli is easily matured and gives a high qualitative wine type. It is desirable to test Aleksandrouli in other viticulture regions also. 

Wines made from the same variety