Winemaking in Georgia
History and Traditions
The history of winemaking in Georgia, according to some archaeologists, is about 8000 years old. Due to its diverse and unique microclimate, there are about 500 grape varieties in modern Georgia. In the territory of the country during various excavations, ancient jugs called “kvevri” were found with the remains of grape seeds and skins, which indicates that the people who lived in these lands had knowledge about the cultivation of grapes and the elaboration of the it came long before our era. To this day, the culture of aging wine production in kvevris has been well preserved and is widely used in private and small wineries.
Kvevri is a large clay container used for the fermentation, storage and aging of traditional Georgian wine. Kvevri resembles a huge egg-shaped amphora without handles. According to tradition, containers filled with wine are buried and stored underground for about 6 months, to achieve the best taste of a wine due to a constant temperature of 12-15 degrees. In the course of archaeological excavations in the Georgian region of Kvemo-Kartli, kvevri with remains of grape seeds and skins, dating from the sixth millennium BC, were found. Today kvevri jugs and the aging winemaking process in kvevri are on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.