DRINK – Where don’t they make wine?

Wine is made in all 50 states of the USA, in Mexico, in Canada, South America, Europe, China, Africa. And now you can add Georgia to that list, although we’re 7000 years behind in recognizing this country as a wine producer. One winery wants to change that and held a debut party of sorts in San Francisco.

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Bagrationi is a sparkling wine producer, making bubbly since 1882 when they became the first winery to do so in the Georgia region. The winery’s representatives in the US were pouring 4 wines.

Two of them, the classic brut and classic extra dry are made in the methode Charmat, from three grape varieties I’m pretty sure you’ve not heard of: Chiuri, Mstsvane and Tsitska. Methode Charmat means the wine goes through the 2nd fermentation — which is responsible for the bubbles — in big tanks. If you drink Prosecco then you’ve had a sparkling wine made the same way. I prefered the classic brut, which was crisp and light.

Bubblies made in the methode Champenoise have a second fermantation that happens in the bottle. Bagrationi was also pouring two wines made in the methode Champenoise, a reserve and royal cuvee. Both are 2007 vintage wines, while the brut and extra dry are both non-vintage. I really liked the reserve, also made with the same three grapes. The royal cuvee grew on me, especially after tasting it paired to a hamachi appetizer. Both were fruity and crisp with a nice complexity in the nose and on the palate.

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Where can you get a taste?  Right now these wines are available at a handful of restaurants and retailers in the San Francisco Bay area and the Los Angeles area.  Online you can go t0 www.barclayswine.com

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