Rkatsiteli is a grape varietal that I have only recently researched myself. I have been exploring wines that challenge me to think outside the traditional varieties and the regions of origin that I have been sourcing for years. The Rkatsiteli grape varietal is from Georgia, but is grown all over eastern Europe, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine and I am showing a domestic Rkatsiteli from the Finger Lakes region of New York. The grape has a a pale rusty skin, not unlike Pinot Gris. I have selected both a white wine produced with no skin contact, and a rosé wine that is pressed gently to extract slight amber color and skin tannin.
I am excited to show these wines in a series of wine classes. The grape varietal was first planted in New York in the late 1950's and early 1960's by Dr. Konstantin Frank who helped pioneer the use of Vitis Vinifera grape varietals in New York. I have made a commitment to myself to learn more about the wines from New York this autumn, and I will be heading to New York in the next couple of weeks to check out the property myself.