Rkatsiteli (Georgian რქაწითელი ) is an indigenous white grape variety which originates as the variety Saperavi from the region Imereti at the foot of the Caucasus in the west of Georgia. Near the city Wani was found 5000 year old jars with seeds of this variety. In the former Soviet Union, it was the most common grape variety, according to Jancis Robinson. After a decided under Gorbachev vine grubbing-up program mid -1980s, the vineyards of Rkatsiteli decreased significantly. In the early 1990s were still about 48,000 hectares under surface on the territory of the Soviet Union. Today, the sum of the areas should be a priority in Georgia, Moldova, Armenia and Azerbaijan, scarcely larger than 20,000 hectares. Together with the 19,000 hectares in Bulgaria and smaller populations in China and the U.S. East Coast is likely the worldwide stock will be around 40,000 hectares.
While under international flavor straw yellow fresh wines are made, love the Georgians rather a more severe oxidative influenced style of wine. Generally, the wine can be stored for several years. In addition, the variety is suitable for the expansion of dessert wines as well as for the production of wines in the style of sherry. One of the famous Georgian wines tradition, the more light and fruity Tsinandali is a blend containing 85 % Rkatsiteli.
The name Rkatsiteli translates as " Red Stem ' ( რქა, rka = stalk, shoot, shoot; წითელი, ziteli = red). Synonyms for variety names are: Baiyu, Budatschuri, Budaschuri, Dedai rkacitelli, Dedali or Dedali rekacitelli, Grusinskii, Grusinskü rkatsitelli, Kachura, Korolek, Koroliok, Kukura, Mamoli rkatsitelli, Osanlugue, Rkachiteli, Rkaciteli, Rkatiteli, Rkatsiteli ode Rkatsitelli, Rkatsiteli Dedali, Rkatsiteli Mamali, Rkatsiteli or Rkatzitelli, Roth woods, Rusinskii Tapolek, Topolek, Topoliok and Zweiabazer known.