The country of Georgia has been producing wine since the beginning of civilization. According to a report in Forbes, archeologists date Georgian winemaking to over 7,500 years ago or the 6th millennium B.C.
In most cases, Georgian wine produced today follows the ancient tradition. A large egg-shaped vessel called Qvevri has been used for centuries to age, store, and ferment wine underground. And up to now, it is still used in village communities where grape varieties are grown.
Georgian Wines You Can Try
With unique topography and climate and more than 500 grape varieties, you can spend your entire life enjoying Georgian wine, and you will never try them all.
One to ensure you try is the orange or amber wine. It is believed to have originated in Georgia country and is made using white grapes. But the grape’s skins are often not removed for a couple of days to give it a flavor and deeper color.
For white wines, look for a qvevri-made wine, Chinuri, and rkatisiteli. However, if you prefer red wines, look for those made locally with grape separavi. Apart from that, you can also try the following:
Uncovering Georgia’s Winemaking Secret
In the country of Georgia, grapes have a sacred significance. And the importance of Georgian wine in the country is difficult to exaggerate.
Above, a giant statue of Mother Georgia in Tbilisi holds a bowl of wine to welcome friends and a sword to scare away enemies.
Every home in the country has a trellis of vine outside, with some grapes ripening for pressing. Georgian wine is a pride of the country and, of course, a sign of hospitality.
Not to mention, winemaking here is an expression of national identity and a list of the past. All the Georgians you meet here produces their own wine. If you can’t grow your own vines, you can buy some grapes from a seasonal bazaar.
Winemaking using Qvevri started around 8,000 years ago in the country. This traditional and unique method is still used even today.
The traditional technique of making wines in the country was recognized and awarded the status of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Monument a decade ago.
This shows the uniqueness of the technique and sends a clear message to the entire world that wine is a vital part of ancient culture in Georgian.
The recognition is imperative for raising awareness of wine made through the Qvevri method and will continue contributing to Georgian’s wine popularity globally.
Qvevri method involves pressing grapes and putting their juice, along with their pips, stems, and skins, into a clean vessel lined with beeswax. The purpose of this is fermentation.
During production, winemakers in Georgia, the country, re-line and clean their Qvevri after every use. From this, naturally-occurring yeast from grape skin cause fermentation, and tannins in grape skins and seeds prevent spoilage.
The Georgian wines in the U.S. market are promising. In a report at WineEnthusiast, U.S. exports grew by up to 35% from 2012 to 2022. One of the greatest draws to Georgian wines is that there is a traditional style, Qvevri. This method has been there for years and has been tried and tested.