Saperavi is a distinctive red wine grape variety from Georgia known for adding color and acidity to a blend. As a single-varietal wine, it needs long bottle ageing to develop its full potential. The Saperavi grape has a black skin and deep pink flesh, which gives it a lot in common with Teinturier grape varietals. It matures slowly, produces little, and is well acclimated to the harsh Russian winters.

Saperavi Severny

This red grape variety is a new interspecific variety between Severny x Saperavi. Synonyms are Northern Saperavi, Saperavi Severnii and Saperavi Severnyi. The name literally means “Saperavi of the North”. It contains genes from Vitis amurensis (known for being particularly cold-hardy) and Vitis vinifera. The hybrid was crossed in 1947 at the Potapenko viticulture research institute in Rostov, a famous Russian (USSR) viticulture research institute. Plant variety protection was granted in 1965. In Czechoslovakia it was used by Vilém Kraus (1924-2013), who also transmitted the breeding material to Geisenheim (Germany), from which the new varieties Serena and Sibera were created.

The Saperavi Severny was also a breeding partner in the new variety Skif. The early to medium ripening vine is frost resistant, but moderately susceptible to downy mildew and botrytis. It gives tannic red wines with an herbaceous aroma.

Traditional Saperavi

The traditional Saperavi is planted throughout almost all the wine regions of the former Soviet republics. It is an important grape variety in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. It has also been grown in Bulgaria for some time.

However, it is to be noted that in cooler areas the acidity of the Saperavi is too marked despite its relatively high sugar level. Therefore, this grape variety is mostly used as a blending partner.

Magarach Ruby

The red grape variety is a new cross between Cabernet Sauvignon x Saperavi (which was confirmed by DNA analyzes carried out in 2010).

The crossing was carried out in 1928 by N. Paponov, V. Zotov, P. Tsarev and P. Golodriga at the Magarach Wine Institute in Crimea (Ukraine). Official recognition of this grape variety was granted in 1969. It was a crossbreeding partner in the new varieties Antey Magarachsky and Rubin Golodrigi. This late-maturing, high-yielding variety is frost and drought resistant. It gives fruity and colorful red wines and is also used for table grapes and grape juice. This variety is grown in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Synonyms are Crossing 56, Magarach 56, Magaracha Rubinovyi, Magaracha Ruby, Magaratsch Rubinovy, Magaratsch Ruby, Rubinovi Magaraca, Rubinovyi Magaracha, Ruby Magaracha.

Magarach Bastardo

This red grape variety is a cross between Trousseau Noir and Saperavi. It was made at the Magarach Wine Institute in Crimea (Ukraine) in 1949 by N. Paponov and V. Zotov. This variety has been on the official register of protected varieties since 1969. It is also planted in Moldova, Romania and in some Central Asian countries.

It is a grape variety with compact bunches and medium-sized grains. It is resistant to both forms of downy mildew, powdery mildew and drought. It is used to produce dry, sweet or fortified wines.

It is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to make dessert wines. The Solnechnaya Dolina wine estate in Crimea is known for its wines made from blends with this grape variety.

Synonyms are Bastard de Magaraci, Bastardo Magarach, Bastardo Magaratchskii, Bastardo Magaratchsky, Bastard von Magaratsch, Magarat(s)ch 217 and Magarach Bastardo.

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