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Varietal Character

Since you haven’t made the scene in Western Europe, some people think you’re just a babushka from the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia. Others suspect you’re the old tart who seduced Noah when he came down from Ararat. The way you spread your spice from Eastern Europe all the way to China shows that despite your age, you’ve still got it. While you’re relatively unknown in the Americas your stellar tongue dance performance with Dr. Frank’s Traveling Vinifera Show in New York’s Finger Lakes has earned you some gigs in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. And is that brandy I tasted on those Armenian lips?

Varietal Character by Ken Kulp

Appellations Growing Rkatsiteli Grapes

Appellations producing the most Rkatsiteli wines:

Rkatsiteli Grape Details

Rkatsiteli (aka. Rkatziteli, Rkatsiteii, R-Kat)

Not widely known about in western markets, this ancient white grape variety is broadly distributed across eastern European vineyards – mostly in former Soviet states like the Ukraine and Bulgaria. Its accepted origin is in Georgia’s Caucasus Mountains bordering Armenia and Turkey. Here, the grape is known as Rkatsiteii and it still dominates wine production, accounting for up to half of the total volume of this most historic of wine producing nations.

Rkatsiteli yields good sugar levels in cold climates and has a high natural acidity. It makes noticeably acidic but balanced white wines with a full flavor profile and good body. Relatively floral and spicy aromatics are somewhat reminiscent of Gewürztraminer and Riesling, and a lively spritz on the tongue adds to the appealing character of this quality grape variety.

Rkatsiteli also has great utility in the spirit loving Russian market, where it agreeably vinifies into sweet, fortified, and oxidized sherry-like wines, as well as distillation into brandy.

Limited acres are planted in the Eastern US, mainly in the Finger Lakes region of New York State where the best known bottling is that of Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars.

Best-of-Appellation Wine List

See the Rkatsiteli wines that have been advanced to Best-of-Appellation™ standing for their respective regions.

Featured Rkatsiteli

Dr. Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars 2007 Rkatsiteli (Finger Lakes)
One of the oldest vinifera grape varieties known to man, Rkatsiteli is an elegant dry wine which presents a bouquet of fresh flowers and herbs.
buy wine $17.99
Dr. Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars 2006 Rkatsiteli (Finger Lakes)
One of the oldest vinifera varieties, Rkatsiteli is an elegant dry wine which presents a bouquet of fresh flowers & herbs balanced w/ fruit & acidity.
buy wine $17.99