Kindzmarauli is a semi-sweet red wine made from Saperavi grapes. And according to the norms of Georgian legislation, it is allowed to take only grapes grown in the Kindzmarauli microzone, located in Kakheti. This is an important clarification, because wine made in other regions of Georgia is not in fact Kindzmarauli, even if it is written so on the label. And it is equally important that it is made only from Saperavi grapes, without adding other varieties.
Another characteristic feature of Kindzmarauli is its natural sweetness. In order for it to be born, the grapes must gain quite a lot of sugar content – at least 22%. That is why the wine turns out to be semi-sweet, specially sugar can not be added there. That is, winemakers face a very difficult task – to ensure that the grapes ripen properly and are sweet enough. Fortunately, this is largely facilitated by the climate of the Kindzmaraul microzone. This area is located on the right bank of the Duruja River, and in summer it is quite hot and dry. So the grapes fully ripen and turn out to be as sweet and juicy as possible.
After begins the most interesting thing – the production of wine using Kakhetian technology. They make Kindzmarauli an old Georgian “grandfather” way – that is, in kvevri. These are such clay vessels of conical shape, buried in the ground. Georgians made wine in them in prehistoric times starting from about the 6th century BC. That is, this is a traditional Georgian vessel and concurrently a national pride.
Kvevri, by the way, is officially considered a cultural heritage of Georgia and is included in the UNESCO register. The production technology of Kindzmarauli is ingeniously simple. Grapes are crushed and placed in a vessel along with pulp, skin and other cake. In wine-making parlance, this is called “mezga” and is usually removed after a stampede, but not in the case of Kindzmarauli! Because in this case it is very important to ferment and age the wine on the pulp, which in Georgia is called the “mother of wine”. It is thanks to this that the drink eventually turns out to be very saturated and dense – it “pulls” from the skin and pulp a maximum of aromatic and flavoring substances.
When the wine is actively fermented, the pulp cap rises up under the influence of carbon dioxide. And then it settles to the bottom – and thanks to this, the Georgians understand that the wine has fermented away. Then they seal it all in the same kvevri, covering the neck with clay. And in this form, the drink ripens at least until spring, and if there is a goal to make aged wine – then several years. Then the vessel is printed, the drink is removed from the sediment and bottled. The result is a wine of bright dogwood color with a dense texture.