GEORGIAN WINE HISTORY
“Wine is the only artwork you can drink”
Louis Fernando Olaverri
Georgia is referred as the “Cradle of wine”. Historically it is the motherland of the oldest wine. More than 8000 years old variety of Rkatsiteli grape seeds were discovered in clay vessels (Georgian – Qvevri). indicating on highly developed viniculture in Georgia. It is scientifically confirmed that Georgia is the country where vine has been domesticated.
There are 8 wine regions in Georgia: Khakheti, Kartli, Imereti, Racha-lechkhumi, Abkazia, Adjara, Guria and Samegrelo. From over 500 unique and endemic grape varieties, 30 are being used for winemaking in Georgia. Kakheti is well known for Saperavi, Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane Varieties; Kartli for Goruli Mtsvane , Chinuri and Tavkveri; Imereti for Tsitska, Tsolouri, Krakhuna, Aladasturi and Otskhanuri Sapere; Guria and Abkhazia for Tsoliuri and Chkhaveri; Samegrelo for Ojaleshi; Racha-Lechkhumi for Usakhelouri, Aleandrouli, Mujuretuli.
There are many proves showing that the word “wine” has spread around the world from Georgian word “Gvino”, which originates from the word “Gvivli” and means something that is boiling, rising and fermenting, Georgian people express their passion and honor to wine and grapes in different ways such as traditional Georgian ornaments, songs, poetry and arts.
Wine fermentation in clay vessel (Qvevri) is one of the oldest wine-making method. According to archeological findings, some Qvevries are over 8000 years old. This ancient traditional Georgian method of winemaking has been granted the status of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.