Georgia has been making wine for more than 8000 years, and is considered to be the cradle of viticulture, where winemakers produce some of the best wines in the world. Its traditional winemaking method in clay jars, is on the Unesco list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
the Cradle of wine
A brief history of the vineyard
Georgia is one of the world’s oldest winemaking countries. The use of earthen amphorae placed in the ground for fermentation is a signature feature of Georgian winemaking.
This technic consists in crushing grapes and placing the grape juice, along with the grape skins, stems, and pips, into qvevri lined with beeswax for fermentation.
Some grape pips found in different regions of the country were apparently buried five thousand years before our era, which means that Georgian people have been burying clay amphorae (qvevri) filled with grapes for nearly eight thousand years.
Already very important, the culture of wine was strengthened under the influence of the Christian religion. During the medieval period, travelers described Georgia as the best country to drink wine.
The contemporary history of the country has of course been influenced by the Soviet period, when small family farms were requisitioned by the State.
Since the 2000s, Georgia has opened its borders to foreign investments. Modern technologies help mastering European winemaking techniques, to produce high quality wines from wonderfully restructured vineyards, while somehow maintaining the traditions that made Georgian wines famous.
500 autochthonous grape varieties
Beyond the restructuring of the vineyard and the cultivation of European grape varieties, Georgia is rich of the 500 autochthonous grape varieties that flourish on its territory, thanks to its great diversity of soils and climates.
Two major varieties occupy 80% of the vineyard: Rkatsiteli (white) and Saperavi (red).
The main wine-producing regions are: Kakheti, Imereti, Kartli and Racha.
Kakheti in the east is the most important and the oldest wine region. It is famous for its many indigenous grape varieties. The main varieties are the Saperavi in red, and the Rkatsiteli, the Mtsvane and the Krakhuna in white.
Extent of the vineyard
Today the Georgian vineyards extend over some 100,000 hectares, an area equivalent to the German vineyard.
DISCOVER OUR SELECTION OF GEORGIAN WINES
Rustaveli Saperavi Qvevri
Tibaani Dry White (orange wine)
Ethno Mtsvane – Rkatsiteli