Chacha is the pride of Georgia and the country’s national drink. It is produced in the same way as Grappa, made from the remains of wine-making, grape skins and seeds. Traditionally, chacha has been made only in homes, but today it is produced industrially by several different wineries. The production of the largest wineries is so large that they are able to export also. Georgian wines are exported all over Europe, but chacha is sold in only a few countries. In Estonia, chacha can be found from a few different manufacturers.
Tbilvino’s products are brought to the Baltic market by Maxima and are sold widely in Maxima’s grocery stores throughout the Baltics. Tbilvino Saperavi is made from the Saperavi grape variety, as the name implies. It is a dark red, light grape variety of Rkatsiteli. Saperavi is said to be sweeter and fuller, the wines made from it are very sweet. Chacha made from saperavi is made both clear (unripened) but also matured in oak barrels. Four months of maturation in a Georgian oak barrel has given the drink a slightly brownish color. A 50 cl bottle costs about 12 € in Estonia.
The aroma clearly has the effect of an oak barrel, as well as dried figs or other dried fruit. The grape aroma is lighter than in the white chacha. It reminds a bit of brandy, however, the smell is clearly more original than with brandy. The taste is a bit harsh and rather sweet. The taste of the grape is still dominant, but the oak barrel has clearly become a woody aroma as well as vanilla. Saperavi is not as fruity as Rkatsiteli, it’s more mellow and has a slightly tannic aroma. The maturing has softened the taste nicely and the taste is not as sweet as Rkatsiteli from the same manufacturer. It is rather enjoyable to sip neat. Compared to brandy, the taste is more varied but also more raw. The spicy and oak flavor combined with the typical copper pot still aroma is an interesting combination. The aged chacha is better to sip after dinner, while the white chacha works better as dining table schnapps and in cocktails.