Meaning “strong,” or “powerful,” this variety is also known as Jani Bakhvis (Jani Bakhvi, a village in western Georgia). Native to western Georgia, and known to make high-quality wine, Jani previously was widely planted throughout the province of Guria. Indeed, wine competitions between the Jani farmers of Guria and the Ojaleshi farmers of Samegrelo were common. Unfortunately, Jani fell prey to fungal diseases and phylloxera. In the early 20th century, using a low training system and American rootstocks, farmers began to rebuild their vineyards, but these, too, were destroyed by various disruptions throughout the tumultuous century. At the beginning of the 21st century, plantings of Jani were rare (there was only one hectare reported in the 2004 vine census), but due to its reputation as producing the finest wines of western Georgia, the government in 2014 began distributing thousands of Jani vines among winegrowers to resurrect the vine and wine.
Jani’s leaves are round or slightly oval, with triangular teeth. Its smallish, conical bunches are winged and sometimes loose. The dark-blue, round berries range small to medium, with very thick skin and firm, crispy flesh. Budburst occurs at the beginning of April with ripening in November. It is one of the lowest yielding of the Georgian varieties, producing only 2.2-3.5 tons/hectare. It is relatively sensitive to the pathogen that produces downy mildew, with average resistance to powdery. The resulting wines have moderate alcohol levels (12.5%). Jani is also enjoyed locally as a table grape.