History of winemaking in Georgia

In December 2013 UNESCO appropriated the oldest Georgian winemaking technology which is already 8000 years old, the status of world non material cultural heritage. Several decades ago in Kvemo Kartli, south of Tbilisi, in the Marneuli field, several grape seeds whose age is 6000 years BC were found in the ruins of the ancient settlement.

According to morphological and ampelographic features they belong to the cultivated type of vine Vitis Vinifera Sativa. Since that time the culture of viticulture and winemakingof Georgiahas not stopped. It has been constantly developing and despite this has preserved the ancient nature and traditions that probably characterized it thousands of years ago. That is why Georgia is considered a country of 8,000 crops. It is acountry where in a vessel-the forerunner of Qvevri, wine was made in the Neolithic era. The most important fact is that the word “wine” in European languageshas one root which, according to linguists, comes from the Georgian “guinea”: Vinum, Wine, Vin, Wein, Wine, etc.

Guinness Book of Records declares Georgian wine as world’s oldest wine. “Prior to this discovery, the oldest chemically identified wine from Hajji Firuz Tepe (Iran) dated back to about 5400–5000 BC. These new findings are from about 600–1,000 years earlier, and indicate that wine-making and possibly viticulture were already in Georgia about 8,000 years ago“. As a reminder, researchers from France, Israel, Italy, Canada have recently found wine residue on pottery shards at two Georgian sites dating back to 6,000 BC. The pottery jars were discovered in two Neolithic villages, called Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora, about 50km south of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. The residues were identified as wine since they contained tartaric acid, which only occurs in large amounts in the Eurasian grape in the Middle East and the wine made from it. The detection of other organic acids (malic, citric and succinic), also found in the Eurasian grape, provided confirmatory evidence.

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