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Rkatsiteli is a white autochthonal grape variety from the Northern Caucasus. In the Caucasus about 500 autochthonal grape varieties exist, among them many wild varieties. Rkatsiteli's original distribution area is roughly equivalent to the modern Georgian Republic. Clay jugs with 5000-year-old grape seeds have been found here. Old vine wood, carved and decorated, has been found in other places. Wine and grapes appear in the first written documents of the area and its wine culture is still cultivated and can be compared to wine growing regions like those in France or Italy. During the last centuries Rkatsiteli has been introduced to the neighbouring Azerbaijan, as well as Bulgaria, Moldova and the Ukraine. China later followed. The Russian name for Rkatsiteli is Gruzinsky, which means the Georgian. In China it is called Baiyu. Depending on the statistic the grape ranges among the top ten grape varieties of the region. Some sources say it is the third most important grape after Airén and Grenache.

Rkatsiteli tolerates rough climatic conditions, deep frosts and high altitudes. Its wines are straw-coloured and in modern wines usually crisp with aromatic notes. Produced after traditional methods they were rather heavy with oxidative tendencies. Dessert wines are also produced from this variety. The most important sweet white wine is the Georgian Tsinandali, in which Rkatsiteli grapes are mixed with a different variety named Mtsvane.

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