Kakheti is the most important Georgian winemaking region. The vineyards giving the best quality wines are located in the Alazani and Iori basins, at 400-700 m asl, on humus-carbonate, black and alluvial soils.
Of 18 aboriginal wines registered in Georgia 14 belong to Kakheti, such as Tsinandali, Gurjaani, Vazisubani, Manavi, Kardanakhi, Tibaani, Kakheti, Kotekhi, Napareuli, Mukuzani, Teliani, Kindzmarauli, Akhasheni, Kvareli. Among grape varieties there should be noted: Rkatsiteli, Kakhuri Mtsvane (Kakhetian Green), Qisi, Khikhvi, Budeshuri, Mtsvivana, Sapena, Kunsi, Saperavi, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Tavkveri, Ikalto Red, etc. Among Georgian wines Kakhetian wine expresses soil properties most of all. High quality wines are made Kakhetian grape varieties using both European and traditional wine making technology. Kakhetian traditional wine technology has no analogy in the world. The basic technological process consists in pressing grape in a Satsnakheli (winepress) and pouring the grape must (badagi) in the qvevri. After completion of alcoholic fermentation the “chacha” (grape skins, stalks and pips) sinks to the bottom and the qvevris are closed and after malolactic fermentation the qvevris are closed hermetically. In March the first racking occurs. After that wine is aged for about a year and systematically controlled. In addition to traditional Kakhetian wine, a very good European-style wine can be also made Kakheti grape varieties. For example, Rkatsiteli and Kakhetian Mstvane classical Georgian Tsinandali can be made. The most wide-spread grape variety in Kakheti is Saperavi. Saperavi is made both qvevri and European-style wines. Saperavi is used to produce wonderful pink and sparkling wines. For centuries Kakheti has created and formed an original type of table wine which is rather distinct the wine of this type around the world. It is characterized by high extraction, a high content of phenolic compounds and tannins, pleasant bouquet, sort-specific aroma and taste.