Georgia, a land of 520 grape varieties and an 8000 year history of winemaking, proudly maintains its status as the birthplace of wine. Millenia of viticulture in Georgia and entrenched traditions that have grown up around wine and winemaking have made it inseparable from the country's national identity.
Some remarkable facts about Georgian wines - including the fact that many are still made in clay pots called qvevri,
buried in the ground as they were in Neolithic times - have begun to spark curiosity amongst destination tourists.
Many discoveries have left historians in no doubt that Georgia is the birthplace of wine: ancient wine vessels made of clay, bronze and silver; gold cups for drinking wine; wine dated to the 2nd or even 3rd millenium BC; and vine seeds found in ancient tombs from the Bronze Age all leave a continuous trail of the history of Georgian wine.
Traditional Georgian wine technology is unique in the world and is probably the most ancient marvel of Georgian culture.
The center of Georgian vine growing is the Kakheti region, however wine production is not limited to this region only. The famous semi-sweet wine of Khvanchkara is found up in the beautiful Racha region. Every region of Georgia can surprise you with the different tastes of their wines, their colours and aromas.
Every Georgian peasant, who follows in this winemaking tradition, saves rare types of native vine as a matter of course and invariably has a special wine cellar for keeping and fermenting wine called a marani
. Georgia's traditional method of wine production using underground qvevri for fermentation, has been placed on the UN list of protected, non-material cultural heritage since 2013.
Wine tours in Kakheti region are becoming ever more popular, and there are many different wineries you can visit to taste individual and blended varieties of wine.