The cradle of wine. There is no way to tell the history of wine excluding this country. One of the oldest signs of wine production on earth from six thousand years ago, while the signs of grapevine discovered in the foothills of southern Georgia are 8 thousand years old.
The northern border of Georgia runs along the Greater Caucasus range, in the west there is the Black Sea coast and in the east the Caspian Sea coast. On this small piece of land there are all types of climate, from subtropical to continental one, which makes the best climate zone for viticulture. The main regions for wine industry are: Kahetia (eastern Georgia) – the region located in the lowlands of Alazani and IOri rivers, right at the feed of the Caucasus Mountains where 62.9% of all Georgia’s vineyards are located. There are appelations such as Tsinandali, Teliani, Napareuli, Vazisubani, Mukuzani, Akhasheni, Gurdzhaani, Kardenakhi, Tibaani, Kindzmarauli, Manavi, Kvareli, Gremi, Eniseli and Akhmeta.
Imeretia (western Georgia) – the region is irrigated with many rivers flowing down the Caucasus Mountains, where vineyards constitute 19.1% of the whole terrain, as well as Kartli region – in the central part of the country, between the large and small ridge of the Caucasus, in which there are ideal conditions for production of light wines, pink-coloured wines and sparkling wines.
The treasure of Georgia are indigenous grapevine varieties occurring only in this place. Saperavi is in the lead of the red ones and rkatsiteli of the white ones. There is a long list of the remaining varieties but let us mention just a few of them: kisi, chichwi, kakhuri mtswane, tsilokauri, tsitska and many others.
A real cultural heritage are the Georgian Wines made in clay amphoras buried in the soil – kwewri. It is a simple, non-invasive method that was used here hundreds years ago to produce wine.
Wine in Georgia is held in high esteem. This is an every day product accompanying good and bad moments in life. It is served at child’s birth, funeral receptions, it is the element of traditional songs, legends, the symbol sealing friendships and businesses, one of the expressions of the legendary Georgian hospitality.
It is impossible not to mention the famous Georgian feasts – supras. Wine plays here a key role, it accompanies numerous delicious Georgian dishes served. Such traditional Georgian feasts are always led by tamada, a person selected from among the guests – usually the oldest, most experienced and respected one. Tamada is responsible for “moderating” the feast. he cares for the guests to have full glasses, raises his glass in toasts, etc. Just so – toasts are also specific for the winemaking Georgia. These are not short salutes like “cheers!” but long speeches, a proof of long oratory traditions. Frequently, these are real oratory gems in which one praises the God, homeland, family, friendship, country and the beauty of life...
Georgia, the country of great service to the tradition and history of wine, has been going through a real revival in recent years. After the embargo, imposed on the Georgian wines in 2006 by Russia (it was ended at the beginning of 2013), the country had to react and look for new sales markets. So, Georgia turned to the Asian and western markets, at the same time improving the standards of viticulture and wine production. Today, a new chapter is starting in the wine history of this country.