Ivane Javakhishvili, an early 20th century historian, argued that Chinuri’s name derives from the old Georgian word chini (reddish-green), but commentators now contend it comes from the Georgian word chinebuli meaning ‘excellent/the best’ – in this instance referring to the grapes superb appearance, colour, and flavour.
Orginating in Kaktli, but also grown in Kakheti, Chinuri, with its naturally high avidity, is most famous for the sparkling PDO Atenuri wine. Harvested a week o two later, Chinuri also is made as a still wine, with moderate alcohol levels and crisp acidity, whether fermented in Qvevri or tank. Chinuri has floral and herbal aromas, including hints of mint, pear and other yellow fruits. Chinuri from Qvevri is tannic and muskier, with flavours of dried pears and apricots laced with a slightly more concentrated herbal complexity. The grapes alone also grace many tables in season.