Grape guide: Chinuri
Chinuri is a white variety found in eastern Georgia that is capable of producing complex wines with tangy flavours composed of citrus and spice.
It is known for its high levels of acidity, which ultimately make it perfect for use in the sparkling wine appellation of Atenuri, where it is also blended with Goruli Mtsvane or even Aligoté.
As well as its use in sparkling wines Chinuri also demonstrates interesting results when matured in qvevri. In such cases the wines are far more distinctive with characteristically musty aromas merging with notes of bruised tree fruit.
In the Asureti Valley there are some small producers making interesting examples. Iago Bitarishvilli has managed to find a market in the UK for his very low production qvevri aged Chinuri.
It is not a variety that is easy to come across however.
Recommended producers: Gotsa Winery | Iago Bitarishvilli | Pheasant's Tears