Grapes with history - Saperavi: how to plant and grow the oldest grape variety

There are a lot of cultivated grape varieties. Among them are time-tested and loved by winegrowers from different countries. For example, Saperavi grapes, whose history goes back more than a dozen years. Caring for it is quite easy, and harvesting from the bush is a pleasure. If you decide to experiment with the creation of new varieties, then Saperavi will not let you down.

History of Saperavi grapes

Georgia is considered the place of origin of grapes. It is in this country that a wonderful berry grows in the wild. People have been cultivating wild plants for a long time, so the country boasts more than 500 types of grapes, many of which are widely known.

Georgia is considered the birthplace of grapes, it is not surprising that many wine varieties of this berry originated here.

Saperavi is rightfully considered the oldest and most famous variety of Georgian black grapes. The date of its inclusion in the State Register appears far back in 1959. The admission regions are the North Caucasus and the Lower Volga. At home, Kakheti is considered the main center for growing Saperavi. The most suitable conditions for cultivating varieties are the areas of the Black Sea basin. But over its long history, the variety has conquered many wine growers, so Saperavi is grown in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Moldova, in the south of Ukraine. Grapes well in Crimea, in the Stavropol and Krasnodar Territories, and Dagestan. For cultivation in mid-latitudes, this grape is not very suitable due to late ripening.

Saperavi grape variety is considered the oldest in Georgia

Saperavi is considered the main variety from which red wines are made in the homeland. Table wine made from this grape is characterized by a dark color, rich bouquet, high palatability and great aging potential. The unique taste of wine is revealed after 4 years of storage. Can you imagine what a chic bouquet will be in aged wine? After all, it can be stored up to 50 years. In addition to the varietal wine, which is called “Saperavi”, many fairly well-known wines are produced with the participation of the variety - Algeti, Kindzmarauli, Pirosmani (red), Mukuzani, etc.

Saperavi is actively used to breed new varieties. For example, in Novocherkassk with his participation, Saperavi Northern was obtained. And in the Crimea, deduced:

  • Ruby Magaracha;
  • Bastardo Magarach;
  • Jalita
  • Abundant.

Ruby Magaracha is one of many varieties created using Saperavi


The seedlings are branched and sprawling, young leaves are whole, ovoid or ellipsoid, curved along the groove. Saperavi bush has medium growth. Annual shoots are light brown with a grayish tint, the nodes are dark brown. During the growing season, shoots show a good percentage of maturation - 85%. Almost 70% of this amount bears fruit.

Leaves exceed the average size, painted in green. The shape is round, sometimes ovoid due to the elongated middle lobe. The leaf blade has 3 to 5 lobes, but the dissection is weak or almost absent. The edges of the sheet are slightly raised. The surface is smooth, but the wrong side has a thick bristly, web-like pubescence. Young leaves are light green with a slight pink tinge. They are also covered with felt-like pubescence. In autumn, leaves turn yellow and become stained with wine color.

Saperavi leaves turn wine-colored in autumn

The flowers are bisexual, therefore fruiting occurs even without pollinators. The clusters are not very large, weighing 120 - 170 g. The brush is loose, of medium density. The form is conical or branched. The short leg does not stiffen.

The berries are oval, medium in size. Weight from 0.9 to 1.4 g. The skin is thin, but strong. It is painted in dark blue color and covered with a wax coating. The pulp is pleasant to the taste, refreshing. Differs in juiciness - from 10 kg of berries receive up to 8.5 liters of slightly colored juice. There is only 1 or 2 seeds inside the pulp. Saperavi literally means “Dyer”. This means that it contains a lot of coloring substances. This fact should be taken into account when tasting wine - the red color will color not only the lips, but also the teeth.

Saperavi clusters are small but dense

Features of the Saperavi variety

Each variety has its own characteristics. At Saperavi they are as follows:

  • the variety is distinguished by high flaking of flowers and ovaries, which is a significant drawback;
  • berry hummocks (small seedless berries) may be observed;
  • the variety actively accumulates sugar, but at the same time it slowly reduces acidity. Sugar will be contained from 17 to 20.1 g / 100 ml (sometimes up to 26 g), acidity is 7.8 - 12.6 g / l.


  1. Saperavi belongs to varieties of late ripening - about 160 days pass from the beginning of budding of buds to full ripeness. Given the variability of the climate, the berries ripen in late September-mid-October.
  2. The grape gives its first harvest at the age of 4. The most fruitful are vines that have reached the age of 15 years. In one place, Saperavi can successfully grow 25 years.
  3. Productivity is not bad - 90 kg / ha. The best fruiting is 110 c / ha, it shows in the homeland. Fruiting is annual.
  4. Frost resistance is average. The plant withstands frosts of 20 ° C, but lowering the temperature has a detrimental effect on wintering eyes.
  5. Very good drought tolerance is noted. A fairly powerful root system can provide an adult bush with the necessary moisture.
  6. The variety shows medium resistance to diseases and pests. Grapes are poorly resistant to mildew and oidium, in wet weather it can be affected by gray rot. But among other varieties, Saperavi is least affected by the invasions of a bunch of grapes.
  7. Saperavi belongs to the technical varieties, which are excellent raw materials for making wines. But a well-ripened grape tastes good and is often used for natural consumption.

Saperavi is considered one of the best technical grades.

Advantages and disadvantages - table

Good frost resistance in tolerance regionsFlaking of flowers and ovaries
It tolerates drought Insufficient resistance to mildew and oidium
Annual fruiting and good yield
Thanks to a strong skin it is possible

long distance transportation

No pollinators needed
After ripening, the berries do not

fall from the bush

After ripening, Saperavi berries do not crumble from the bush for some time.

Landing Features

Only following the rules of planting it is possible to grow a healthy and productive bush of grapes.

Site selection and suitable soil

Grapes are not in vain called the sun berry, because of all garden crops it is he who is the most light-dependent. Given this feature, try to choose a place open to the south for the plant. From the north and northeast grapes need to be closed from the winds. It is advisable that on this side there are buildings, high fences or tree plantings. But it should be remembered that the site with Saperavi plantings should be well ventilated so as not to create favorable conditions for fungal infections. But grapes should not be in a draft.

Incomplete lighting is permissible only for a young bush. The crown of an adult plant should be lit as much as possible. For Saperavi, this factor is very important, since the grapes are late, and its ripening falls during the period when daylight hours decline.

For Saperavi, maximum lighting is very important, because it belongs to the late grades

Each gardener wants to have a large assortment of fruit trees and shrubs on their site. But small private spaces do not allow this. Therefore, grapes are often assigned places near the house itself. It is absolutely impossible to do this. Grapes love abundant watering, and this can lead to sedimentation of the foundation. Planting close to trees is also not worth it. Their roots will dry out and deplete the soil.

To the soils of Saperavi undemanding. But prefers quickly warming loose soils. These requirements are met by light loamy, loamy, sandy loamy soils and chernozems. They provide the roots of grapes with easy access to oxygen and moisture, do not prevent the roots from penetrating into deeper layers of the soil.

Saperavi prefers loose, well-drained soil

Not suitable for growing Saperavi:

  • sandy soils - dry out too quickly and lose nutrients;
  • heavy clay - warm up for a long time, do not allow the roots to breathe normally, too moisture-intensive;
  • acidic - on such soils, grapes are ill with chlorosis.

It should not be planted in areas with a high level of subsurface water, rocky rocks at a depth of less than 1 m to the surface, places in the immediate vicinity of gutters or pet stalls, and saline soils.

Choosing the best place to plant grape seedlings - video

Before planting, select the selected area in order, completely clearing it from the remains of vegetation, stones, perennial roots. It is desirable to level the surface, fill the foundation pits.

Before planting grapes, the site must be prepared by removing the roots of perennial weeds

Landing pit preparation

This standard procedure, which is carried out before planting a fruit crop, has some nuances for grapes.

  1. Even if the soil meets the stated requirements, the planting pit for grapes is slightly deeper than usual - 80 - 100 cm. The width is the same. This is due to the fact that the root system of grapes develops rapidly and penetrates underground quite deeply - by 2 - 3 m.
  2. To improve the physical composition and fertility, especially on unsuitable soils, a soil mixture is introduced into the planting pit, consisting of:
    • top layer of fertile land;
    • well-rotted organics (2 - 3 buckets);
    • superphosphate (200 - 300 g);
    • potassium salt (100-200 g);
    • ammonium nitrate (30 - 40 g).
  3. To increase moisture conductivity, coarse sand, crushed brick or gravel are added to the soil mixture. If the soil is clay, then a drainage layer is laid at the bottom of the pit.
  4. The soil mixture is poured into the pit and watered abundantly so that the soil settles before planting, and the nutrients are evenly dissolved in it.

They dig a planting pit for grapes of a larger size and fill it with a nutritious mixture

In the south, we sometimes have problems with water. And grapes, as you know - a lover of water to drink. In order not to waste precious fluid in vain, but to be sure that it nourishes the root system, experienced growers resort to one trick. When preparing the landing pit, a piece of pipe with a diameter of at least 8 cm is placed in it. Determine its length yourself, the main thing is that it rises above the ground by 10 - 20 cm. Water penetrates the roots through the pipe and the grapes do not suffer from thirst. Through such a device, liquid top dressing can also be supplied.

It is advisable to prepare the landing pit in advance. If the planting is autumn - for a month, for the spring procedure, they are preparing in the fall, before the onset of cold weather.

Landing time

For Saperavi, which is grown mainly in warm regions, autumn planting is more suitable. Moreover, its shoots mature well by this time and the seedling that has taken root easily overwinter. The process is carried out as soon as the bush drops the leaves. During this period, the daytime temperature should be within 15 ° C, the nighttime temperature should not fall below 5 ° C. Such weather conditions develop in October.

Saperavi can also be planted in the spring. This time is especially suitable for planting grapes with shredded cuttings (a method that stimulates the formation of roots, while the buds are at rest). Landing on the southern coast is possible from April 5 - 10 to May 1, in the steppe regions the procedure is carried out 10 days later.

Seedling Selection

Undoubtedly, this process is central to the entire landing ceremony. Only a healthy seedling can show good survival. The main indicators here are the same as when choosing any other planting material.

  1. Age. The most viable are young seedlings aged from a year to 2.
  2. Seedling height not less than 40 cm.
  3. The root system should consist of thick main branches covered with a mesh of absorbent roots.
  4. The trunk is smooth, without thickenings, sagging, mechanical damage. In stock must be at least 1 vine.

To purchase planting material, go to the nearest specialized center or nursery. The time spent is compensated by a healthy zoned seedling that will not disappoint. In addition, you can get qualified advice.

Grape seedlings: open and closed root system - video

Landing process

If the root system of the seedling is open, soak it in water for several hours. This will help to refresh the roots and prepare them for planting.

Growth stimulants can be added to water. A good alternative to chemistry is honey - 1 tbsp. l sweet product in 10 liters of water.

  1. Remove part of the soil from the prepared hole to form a depression of 50-60 cm. Collect the remaining soil at the bottom in the form of a slide.
  2. Place the seedling on top of the hill, direct the root branches down and spread. Sprinkle with the excavated soil. Make sure that no voids form under the heel of the seedling and around its base.
  3. Tie the seedling to the support.
  4. Gently ram the earth around the seedling and pour 2 buckets of water on it.
  5. The upper node of the root stem should be below the edge of the planting pit by 8-10 centimeters.

Planting grapes in spring by container method - video

What care is required

Saperavi, although it does not require constant guardianship, but the simplest rules for caring for it must be observed.

Watering and feeding

The adult Saperavi bush is able to tolerate dry periods due to the powerful root system, which goes 3 to 4 m deep into the ground. But you still need to water the plant, especially during periods that are important for it:

  • at the time of budding;
  • after flowering;
  • during the growth period of berries.

During flowering, Saperavi should not be watered, as this leads to shedding of flowers.

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Saperavi is not watered during flowering, so as not to provoke falling flowers

The first watering should be plentiful. Under a fruiting plant, you need to pour 200 liters of water to activate the rapid growth of green mass. Distribute this amount of water over several applications so that the moisture has time to absorb. The following irrigation is not so water-intensive - just pour 2 - 3 buckets of water under the bush.

Grapes are very fond of pouring warm water. Before moisturizing, you can leave a bucket of liquid in the sun or warm to 20 ° C. Cold water can trigger fungal infections.

Seedlings are given more attention. They need frequent watering for speedy development. At the beginning of the growing season, young plants are watered once a week, pouring 1 bucket of water under the bush. Gradually, the frequency of watering is reduced to 1 time per month, and in August, humidification is completely stopped to allow the vine to ripen before the onset of cold weather.

Watering grapes through drainage pipes is very convenient

Saperavi is fed several times during the growing season. The frequency of fertilizer application and its quantity depends on the age of the grapes.

A young plant is fed twice a season:

  • in the spring, to strengthen young shoots, grown to 15 cm in length, apply a solution of nitrophoska 15 g per 10 l of water;
  • in July or early August, a mixture of 20 g of superphosphate and 12 g of potassium sulfate per 10 l of water is used.

The fruiting bush is in great need of nutrients, so it needs to be fed three times per season.

Top dressing - table

PeriodType of fertilizer and spread rate
2 weeks before floweringTo promote active leaf growth

use nitrogen fertilizers. Perfectly

a solution of nitrophoska (65 g) and boric

acid (5 g). Substances are diluted in 10 liters of water and

poured into moist soil.

During formation


To enhance the growth of the ovary, prepare a mixture of

nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Take substances in

3: 2: 1 ratio. For 10 liters of water you will need

30 g of a mixture of fertilizers.

Immediately after collection

the harvest

To enhance immunity and greater

cold resistance use a solution of potassium

phosphoric fertilizers.

Manure is considered the best fertilizer for grapes. It will not only provide the bush with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, but also enrich the soil with a host of other trace elements. It is better to use organics in the spring, introducing 5 - 7 kg per 1 m² for digging, or as a solution:

  • for adult grapes - 5 - 10 l under a bush;
  • for a young plant only 1 - 5 liters.

Manure is an excellent fertilizer for Saperavi

What other care methods do you use?

  1. The soil under the grape bush should be kept clean, so regular weeding should be done. This is a good prevention against pests.
  2. Loosening, carried out in early spring and after each moistening, helps to saturate the soil with oxygen, which is necessary for the roots.
  3. Mulching protects the root system of young plants from overheating in hot weather, helps to preserve moisture in the soil and inhibits the growth of weeds.

Bush shaping and pruning

The formation of the bush is carried out in the first years after planting. This is done not only to give the culture a certain form, but also for the earliest possible entry into fruiting.

In the steppe regions, with a low-stem fan formation, a load of 50-60 eyes is allowed on the Saperavi bush. Pruning is carried out on 10 - 12 eye, in the Crimea - on 6 - 8.


By the end of the growing season, the seedling develops shoots. Of these, choose one, the most developed. It is desirable that it is located below others. Everyone else cuts. The selected shoot is cut to the height of the future stem. At the top of the shoot should remain 2 - 3 eyes. Around the bush, form a hole with a depth of 20 cm and remove the shoots and roots, if any.

By the end of the next growing season, shoots will develop from the left eyes, from which perennial branches or sleeves will be formed.

In the zone of conditionally hiding viticulture, Saperavi is recommended to be formed on a stem 1.2 m high.

Autumn grape pruning for beginners - video

After the formation of the bush, the following procedures are carried out to improve the quality of the crop:

  • in adult plants, during the period of bud blooming, they carry out the fragmentation of sterile branches at the base of the bush so that they do not delay nutrients. Extra shoots growing from one eye are also removed;
  • when the brushes begin to form, they pinch the fruit-bearing shoots so that the clusters receive more nutrients and develop better;
  • so that the berries grow larger and sweeter, conduct a rationing. If the sleeves are short, remove the first-order inflorescences, on the rest - 3-4 orders.


Grapes are very important for grapes. This procedure not only facilitates plant care and harvesting. Due to the fact that the tied grapes are better blown by the breeze and receive the maximum amount of sunlight, many diseases can be avoided and larger and sweeter berries can be obtained.

In the first year of life, a peg-support is quite enough for a young plant. But then, you have to build a more solid structure. To create a trellis, you will need supports (reinforced concrete, galvanized or wooden poles), strong wire, crossbeams (but you can do without them) and cement mortar.

  1. At a distance of 3 m, dig 2 recesses at least 50 cm deep.
  2. At the bottom, lay a layer of drainage, put a column and fill the cement mortar.
  3. To make the structure more stable, reinforce the upper ends of the posts with cross bars.
  4. When the solution hardens, fix the wire rows, the first of which is fixed at a distance of 40 cm from the soil surface. The distance between the subsequent ones is 40 - 45 cm.

It is very convenient to look after grapes on a trellis

Saperavi has an average growth force, therefore, for its garter 3 - 4 wire tiers are enough.

There are two ways to garter - dry and green:

  • dry is carried out in early spring, before budding;
  • green garter is carried out in the summer. They resort to it in order to protect young shoots from strong winds. During the growing season, the green garter is carried out several times, as the shoots grow.

By carrying out a green garter, you protect the young shoots from strong winds

Shelter for the winter

Saperavi copes with the cold in regions suitable for its cultivation. The most frost-resistant parts of the bush are vines. They easily withstand frosts at 20 ° C. But the root system is the least protected - temperatures below -10 ° C can cause serious damage. Therefore, you need to cover the root area before the onset of cold weather with a layer of mulch or spud with dry earth.

Young vine bushes need shelter. For this, film structures are used. But you need to make sure that the film does not touch the kidneys, otherwise they can warm up or burn in the spring from the bright sun, since the film will enhance the action of the rays. To avoid this, install a frame made of strong wire above the vines, and cover with a film on top. Its ends can be fixed with stones, bricks or a grape peg, laying it flat on the film.

The film shelter reliably protects young bushes from freezing

The most common diseases and pests of Saperavi, control measures and prevention

Saperavi is not distinguished by strong immunity, therefore preventive treatments are especially important for the variety, which, combined with proper care, can avoid many problems. Experienced growers will never miss the onset of the disease or the first signs indicating pests. A novice gardener needs to be extremely careful, especially in adverse weather conditions, so as not to allow diseases and pests to spoil the crop.


Affected areas of the leaf lighten, become yellowish and oily. On young leaves, the foci have round outlines; on adults, they are somewhat angular. At first, the spots are small, but then they merge and capture the entire surface. Leaves fall. The disease affects all the organs of the plant - shoots, antennae, inflorescences, still green berries. On the underside of the leaf under spots, a mycelium forms in the form of a white powdery coating. Affected inflorescences turn yellow first, then turn brown and dry. Berries acquire a blue hue, wrinkle and darken. For winemaking or food, they are no longer used. The tops of the shoots affected by the disease dry.

Mildew is considered the most dangerous disease, because spores can survive any climatic conditions - heat, drought, frost or excess moisture. The rate of spread of the disease is affected by air temperature. In warm conditions, with a thermometer at 20 - 25 ° C, the disease manifests itself on the 4th - 5th day. If cool, symptoms may appear later. High humidity is a favorable factor for the development of the fungus. The main method of struggle is Bordeaux fluid. 1 or 2% solution is used until the formation of fungal spores. You can also use Ridomil Gold, Profit or Horus.

Prevention is the most reliable way to protect plantings from illness. When buying a seedling, choose only healthy plants. Follow the rules of agricultural technology:

  • do not overfill the bushes;
  • be sure to trim;
  • clean and burn foliage in autumn.

The initial signs by which mildew can be recognized are yellow spots on the leaves

Oidium, or powdery mildew

The disease manifests itself in the form of powdery coating on the surface of the leaves. It spreads to the underside of the leaf, berries. Fruits affected at an early stage of development often crack, stop growing and dry out. Leaves curl and dry.

The most suitable condition for the development of the fungus is a combination of high air temperatures (above 25 ° C) and high humidity (above 80%). Sulfur preparations are considered the most effective remedy against the disease. The grapes are treated with a 1% suspension of colloidal sulfur or 0.5% suspension of 80% sulfur powder. If the air temperature is above 20 ° C, it is necessary to use dusting the bush with ground sulfur at the rate of 20 - 30 kg / ha (use protective equipment during operation). In early spring, grapes are sprayed with 1 - 2% DNOC solution.

To conduct reliable methods of prevention - thinning shoots and pruning of dried vines, you need in early spring.

Oidium affects not only leaves, but also berries

Gray rot

This disease affects the entire plant - the trunk, shoots, leaves. Infected inflorescences dry up. But more harm is done to the berries, both ripe and already ripe. The brushes are covered with a gray fluffy coating, the berries turn brown and rot. If you touch a sick bunch, it begins to dust. So the spores of the fungus spread to other hands.

Mass infection occurs actively at high air temperatures and high humidity. First of all, the fungus affects berries that have damage, and then capture the whole bunch. Infection occurs very quickly. The incubation period for spore maturation is only slightly more than a day, depending on the weather. To cope with the disease, they are treated with Topsin (10 - 15 g per one hundred parts) or Euparen (20 - 30 g per one hundred parts).

Prevention is first of all compliance with the rules of care:

  • thinning pruning;
  • fertilizing;
  • soil treatment with EM preparations (for example, Baikal M1);
  • removal of damaged fruits or brushes.

Gray rot can infect a bunch of grapes very quickly


It is very difficult to notice a small pest with the naked eye. With the help of a proboscis, it injects and draws nutritious juices. This happens on the leaves and roots. In places of punctures on the leaf blade blisters are formed. A large number of insects can harm all green parts of the plant. Root phylloxera are considered the most dangerous. On the affected roots, swelling and compaction are formed. They impede the normal functioning of the bush, which ceases to grow and may even die.

Rain or a strong wind that can move insects over considerable distances helps the pest. Carriers can be pets and even people. In the fight against phylloxera, the following drugs have proven themselves well:

  • Karbofos;
  • BI-58;
  • Confidor;
  • Zolon;
  • Kinmix.

For the purpose of prevention, it is necessary to withstand the acquired planting material in quarantine and planting it at a great depth, where the phylloxera cannot survive.

It looks like a leaf affected by phylloxera

Saperavi is a great wine making variety. Grape number one in winemaking, it is considered due to the high content of the coloring matter, and the presence of tannin gives the noble drink a slightly astringent astringent taste. But many reckon this grape not only as a technical variety, because a well-ripened berry tastes good.


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