Ateni is currently Kartli’s single PDO, and is Georgia’s only appellation dedicated to sparkling wine. Located roughly 10km due south of the town of Gori, in the hilly foothills of the north-eastern slopes of the Trialeti Ridge, the vineyards lie between 620-750m above sea level. The growing area includes both river plains and mountain foothills with sand and sandly, white clay soils. The primary grape varieties include the Georgian local cultivars Chinuri (also called Chinebuli) and Goruli Mtsvane. Both the methode Champenoise and the charmat method are permitted for wine production.
Summers are hot but not opperssive. At the lower elevations the winter temperatures are relatively mild, ranging from 7 degrees during the day to around freezing at night. Even if by temperature the region seems mild, what distinguishes this region are the masses of cold air sweeping down the gorge.
Ateni received little attention during the Soviet period, but that has chamged recently with increased attention toward high-quality sparkling wine. Modern Atenuri sparkling wine is bright and lightly straw-coloured, with crisp citrus flavours, sometimes with notes of cut hay, fresh apricot. Wines made by the methode Champenoise will have light breadly aroma and slightly more weight and texture, along with a finer mousse.