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Wine culture in Georgia, which is present throughout the ages is an individual force, with the presence of its own history and deep philosophy.
Culture of wine and winemaking is so extensive in our country, which demonstrates its roots and historical – cultural affinity with Europe, especially with the ancient Greeks and Romans. Many people believe that Greece is the homeland of wine and others believe that it is Rome, but according to the thesis of scientific and archaeological researches, it does not correspond to reality.
Georgia has a pristine tradition of viniculture and is amongst the oldest centers of growing grapes. In this area, a group of archaeologists not long ago discovered the oldest winery in the world, descending to 6,000 years ago. According to archeological and botanical researches subsequent domestication of vine was made by the ancient inhabitants of Georgia, the oldest winemakers in history.
The ancient authors referred to the vines and wines of the Caucasus. Examples include Homer’s Odyssey, which refers to the aromatic and sparkling wines of Colchis and Apollonius Rhodius in Argonautica tells how the Argonauts detected a fountain of wine in the chateau of the king Aeete and reposed in the umbrage of the vine.
The main written source is The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson of 1994, argues that the history of the wine tradition has its roots in the fruitful lowlands of South Caucasus or Georgia of today.
The very special passion of Georgians was very deepened particularly in the fourth century AD, with the spread of Christianity in Georgia by St. Nino of Cappadocia. She enlightened Georgia of Orthodoxy using cross made of twigs and bound of her hair. Most facade and interior decoration of churches still present vine ornaments. Thus, the cross and the vine obtained a special place in the perception of Georgians.
Kvevri are special vessels for making wine. Stages of production and consumption were developed thousands of years. Many Georgian families zealously followed the principles of the rich culture of winemaking. Many of them have their areas behind homes, with buried in the ground kvevri of different sizes.
Back in the old days, the ancient inhabitants of the South Caucasus found a mysterious transformation of wild grapes in the wine when it is placed in earthenware jars buried in the ground. This knowledge was then developed and perfected over the centuries.
Georgian wines are so good that year after year they receive the best prizes at international exhibitions of wines.
Over the past decade in Georgia there is an incredible explosion of exciting new era in winemaking. When, in 2008, Georgia was cut off from its most important export market, Russia, for Georgian winemakers was the only option to open the new export markets.
Fortunately, Georgians took advantage of this opportunity and now there are dozens of wineries throughout the country, and many that produce wine using kvevri and can compete with the best wines around the world.
In wine tours in Georgia, you can visit the best wine regions and taste the best wines that Georgia has to offer.
In Kakheti and, in particular, in the districts of Telavi and Kvareli, in Kartli, Imereti and Racha -Lechhumi, for your wine tour, you can participate in the grape harvest and even squeezing the grape juice, which is a first fraction of the wine production.
The Ritual of the toast: there is never a shortage of wine at the Georgian table and toasts at banquets are an important ritual with its own rules and rooted in the traditions and culture of Georgia.
Toast to be pronounced Toastmasters – Tamada, and requires emotional participation of all those present. Toasts are the speeches about various topics, including the home, family, friendship, love and many other things, that there is a part of our life.
Almost always the Georgian feast accompanied by a folk polyphony and dances that gives a special charm and sense of the table.