Wine production in Georgia
History of Georgian Wine production :
We consider the Wine production in Georgia is one of the oldest wine producing countries in the world. All evidence points out that the earliest wine production was in Georgia.
Features of wine production in Georgia :
- Grape seeds have been found in Caucasian tombs 7000 years ago along with wine implements such as clay vessels. Nowhere in the world is the evidence of viniculture so old.
- There are no countries where wine culture is more developed and cherished.
The variety of Georgian Wine :
- Incredibly there are 500 species of wine and most of them are still unknown to the rest of the world. Wine producing technique is the same it was long ago, but slightly developed and refined over the centuries: Wine is placed in earthenware vessels (in Georgian “Kvevri) buried in the ground up to their necks.
- These pitchers resemble amphora with their shape and material from which they are made of-the clay. Everything goes inside the Kvevri-grapes with skins, stalks, grape stone.
- Kvevri must be hermetically closed and buried under the ground. Grapes ferment on its natural yeast and gradually mature into wine.
- The process of fermentation usually takes three of four months and the result is vitamin-rich and flavorful wine.
- Georgian people own special places called Marani beside their houses, with different sizes of Kvevries buried. Georgia’s wines fall into several zones: Kakheti and kartli in the east and Samegrelo, Adjaria, Guria and Imereti in the west.
- Every region of Georgia grows its own unique varieties of grape and that is why Georgian wines have unique taste.
- Wines produced in Georgia are white and red depending on the variety of grape it is made from. Besides red and white wines one can also find some champagne taps in Georgia.
- Kakheti is a major place for wine production in Georgia ( more read about Kakheti region, click here ). Wine production in Kakheti has a very secular history.
- Almost three-quarters of the country’s wine grapes are grown here and the land has been used for viticulture for thousands of years.
- This is proved by archeological findings in the region and the regions strong relationship with wine was captured in Georgia’s famous hymn ‘Thou art a vineyard’ written in the 12th century by a king Demetrius.
- Best-known red wines from this region are made of grape varieties of Saperavi and Kaberne and white wines are made of Rkatsiteli and Khikhvi.
- Rasha-Lechkhumi is one of Georgia’s smallest regions, but despite its diminutive size, it remains one of the important wine regions in Georgia.
- A main distinctive feature of the wines produced in this small region is that they are sweeter than their western counterparts. It is a result of the extremely high sugar levels created by the sunny climate.
White wines in Racha-Lechkhumi :
- The varieties of white wines in Racha-Lechkhumi are Tretra, Tsiska and Tsolikauri. As for the red wines,they are based on Alexandrouli, Mujuretuli (Keduretuli), Usakhelauri, Orbeluri Odzhaleshi and Saperavi.Imereti Wines-The fame of Kakhetian wine is known around the world but still not many people heard about the wines in Imereti.
- In fact, the roots of viticulture can be traced back to the times of the kingdom of Kolkhida, Imereti.
- The main features of the wines produced in this region are that Imereti wines are weaker and usually sourer than wines of Kakheti.
Imeretian wines :
- Among the best known Imeretian wines Krakhuna is considered to be the most imeretian wine.
- Another wide spread wine in Imereti is called Tsolikauri, which is a light yellow-skinned white grape variety cultivated in Kolkhida lowland.