Wine and Winemaking in Georgia
As wine-drinkers search for ever more varied and interesting wines, it is understandable that their attention has turned to Georgia. A relative newcomer on the European stage, Georgian wine nevertheless has a lineage that stretches back further than any other: for it is here that wine-making began.
In Georgia they have traditionally used clay amphorae (known as "qvevri") to age their wine and this millennia-old technique has now been listed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. Purists argue that this method of wine-making allows the true grape-flavours to predominate and spares the wine from being smothered by oak and tannins.
But the vine itself and drinking also have interesting traditions in Georgia. Saint Nino, their patron saint, bore a cross made from vine wood, thus linking wine with Christianity. And for centuries, Georgians drank, and in some areas still drink, their wine from animal horns.