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April 5, 2013 | 11:30 AM

From KartvelianHeritage:

Wine lovers have a lot to thank Georgia for. This is where wine production first began, over 7000 years ago. Archaeological remains suggest that as early as 4000 BC grape juice was being placed in underground clay jars, or Kvevri, to ferment during the winter. Georgia is a land famed for its natural bounty. These days there are over 500 species of grape in Georgia, a greater diversity than anywhere else in the world, with around 40 of these grape varieties being used in commercial wine production.

The vine is central to Georgian culture and tightly bound to their religious heritage. It is common for families throughout Georgia to grow their own grapes and produce wine. Feasting and hospitality are central pillars of Georgian culture, and traditional banquets are presided over by a toastmaster, or Tamada, who proposes numerous toasts throughout the meal, and ensures the wine flows liberally.

To read more about Georgian wineries, visit the Georgian Wine Association.

The video below was produced by Kartvelian Heritage.



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