Quintessential Georgian variety producing deeply coloured, firm, initially tart but ageworthy reds. Main characteristics: mid budding, late ripening, relatively productive. Winter-hardy as well as drought-tolerant. Unusually for a pale-fleshed variety, berries produce pinkish juice. The most widely planted dark-skinned variety in Georgia. Saperavi also adds colour and acidity to blends and makes impressive semi-sweet and port-style fortified wines. Sapervai is widely planted throughout the wine regions of the former Soviet Union, including Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Bulgaria. It has also found a foothold in Australia.