History

Wines from Georgia are probably inspiring the most excitement for a variety of reasons. First there’s the history, which has a mesmerizing frisson of danger: in the last century, the country’s 8000 year long wine culture was threatened due to the success of two high-yielding grapes, Rkatsiteli and Saperavi. Their success meant that many of the estimated 1500 varieties under vine a century ago were removed, explains LA sommelier and Georgian wine nut (previously of Spago and Mazzo Restaurant Group, now a consultant at Whole Cluster Beverage and Hospitality and GM of République) Taylor Parsons.

Noel Brockett, a director at the Maryland-based importer Georgian Wine House, also blames the free market-stymieing effects of communism on the extermination of many indigenous varieties. Luckily in the 21st Century varietal diversity was again championed and supporters of the movement, like the team at the Georgian Wine House, began spreading the gospel of Georgian wine.

We went from maybe four wines in our portfolio in 2004 when we got started to 60-65 now, Brockett says. In the past five years, but especially the last two, Georgian wine is being recognized by some of the most highly regarded sommeliers in the country.

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More Than Wine

If you ask a Georgian which wine is the best for health, the reply is quite simple: all. Then they clarify:”All wines are healthy, if you keep to drinking one glass at your dinner. Any is harmful if you use it immoderately.

Wines are considered “live” because after year-long bottled ageing, they get delicate fruity bouquet and soft velvety taste. This is the genuine treasure of natural antioxidants.

Kakhetian winemakers remind that aroma of young red wine does not unfold entirely. Thus, when a wine bottle is corked, the beverage that gets in touch with the oxygen and begins to “breathe”. To intensify it, connoisseurs pour wine to decanters – special glass dish. It is considered that decanters are used for separating the sediments. But this is only half true. The shape of decanter is so that wine in it comes closely in contact with air and quickly fills with oxygen. If you don’t have a decanter – this is no problem. Fill your wine-glass; just let it “breathe” for some time and it will taste rich.

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The Origin of our Drinks

Georgia is generally considered the ‘cradle of wine’, as archaeologists have traced the world’s first known wine creation back to the people of the South Caucasus in 6,000BC. These early Georgians discovered grape juice could be turned into wine by burying it underground for the winter.

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Some archaeologists claim that Georgia is the birthplace of wine. It is true because winemaking there dates back to 5,000 years ago. So wine is one of the most popular drinks in Georgia. Of course, there is Chacha (a kind of brandy) which you can find almost everywhere, but it is not all the story, and there are other kinds of alcoholic drinks too.

Wine Quality Prediction

All wines exported from Georgia have passed several strict tests for quality and authenticity. They must pass an official tasting panel, which assesses the wines for quality and typicity. Many iterations of these panel tastings are held in the National Wine Agency tasting laboratory through the year.

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In fact, one could say that Georgia is suffering from a serious case of “wine fever”—seemingly everyone wants in on the game. In 2006 there were roughly 80 registered wineries, but by 2018, the number had ballooned to 961—and more are popping up. As wineries proliferate, the trade is growing along with them.

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