With about 38 seats inside and almost 20 outside (divided over two balconies with a great view) the Saperavi Wine Club is the place to be due to great ambience, remarkable food, and fresh draft beer, but most of all, its great selection of Georgian wine. These high quality wines are renowned both locally and internationally, and have received numerous awards at wine competitions and exhibitions.
The diversity of international food will definitely please you, as our Chef is keen on only using fresh, seasonal products. The menu offers a wild variety of dishes from all over the world, from Japanese soups to Italian spaghetti and Thai noodles.
Oh, and don’t miss our American Tribeca burger. The weekly special announced on the blackboard is a steady delight for foodies as much as everyone else.
Wine lovers have a lot to thank Georgia for. It is widely believed that this is where wine production first began, over 7000 years ago.
In fact, our word for wine is derived from the Georgian ghvino. Archaeological findings suggest that grape juice was being fermented here in underground clay jars, or qvevri (also spelled kvevri), as early as 8000 BC.
The wine is central to Georgian culture and tightly intertwined with its religious heritage as well. It is common for families throughout Georgia to grow their own grapes and produce wine. Feasting and hospitality are cornerstones of Georgian culture, and traditional banquets are presided over by a toastmaster, or tamada, who proposes numerous toasts throughout the meal, and ensures that the wine flows liberally.
Georgia is a land famed for its natural bounty. Over 500 species of grape exist in modern Georgia - a greater pool than anywhere else in the world, with around 40 of those used in commercial wine production. Approximately 150 million liters of wine are produced in Georgia annually, with about 45 000 hectares of vineyards under cultivation.
Despite wines being more or less universal to Georgia, the Kakheti region produces up to 70% of all of the country’s wine and is considered to be its most important area in regard to viticulture.
As interest in natural and artisan winemaking increases, a great deal of attention has recently been falling on Georgia’s ancient tradition of qvevri. This method of winemaking is over 7000 years old, and Georgians are currently seeking to give it special protected heritage status via UNESCO. A qvevri is not the same thing as an amphora – firstly, they are far larger, and are buried in the ground up to their neck in order to ensure a stable ambient temperature. Secondly, the entire winemaking process takes place within the qvevri, from initial fermentation right through to full maturation, with skins and even grape stems left in the mix in order to eventually produce wines of exceptional flavor and complexity. Another one of Georgia’s great winemaking traditions, which one cannot help but notice when coming across it for the first time, is its penchant for semi-sweet wines, which appear in both red and white varieties, most famous ones being produced by the Kindzmarauli winery, while the lesser known but highly regarded varieties are Ojaleshi and Pirosmani, as well as the magestic Khvanchkara.
Traditionally, semi-sweet wines were produced in the mountainous areas where, due to climatic conditions and soil peculiarities, late harvests and early winters prevented full fermentation and the wine stayed sweet. This type of wine was therefore generally used for quick local consumption, because in spring, when the temperature rose, it tended to re-ferment and spoil. Nowadays, famous Georgian semi-sweet wines such as Kindzmarauli and Khvanchkara tend to be created within temperature-controlled fermentation tanks at their respective wineries to preserve their higher sugar content.