“…the only country in the world where winemaking methods that were developed up to 8,000 years ago have not been abandoned, but remain in many ways best practice.”
Informed by history. Refined for the future.
For generations, Georgia has taken pride in its distinction as the birthplace of wine. Now, aided by emerging archeological findings and material evidence, many of the world’s most noted experts agree. The recent discovery of 8,000 year-old grape seeds and remains of vines sealed inside ancient clay vessels only reinforces Georgia’s position as the world’s cradle of viticulture.
Georgia’s tradition of making wines began eight thousand years ago—three thousand years before the invention of writing and five thousand years before the beginning of the Iron Age. While ancient civilizations like Egypt and Greece developed wine cultures of their own, all owed a debt to Georgian viticulture. The mention of the ancient traditions of vine growing and high quality winemaking in Georgia can be found in the works of Homer and Apollonius of Rhodes. Even the unique Georgian alphabet is modeled after the shape of the vine’s curly offshoots. Many of the vines still in cultivation in Europe and Asia have a Georgian origin, and even Western words for wine—vin, vino, wine—likely come from the Georgian word gvino.
Entire dynasties have come and gone while the people of Georgia have continued making wine. And in the process, they’ve earned the distinction of cultivating the world’s longest unbroken tradition of winemaking.
A complicated history.
Situated at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, with a climate and terrain perfectly suited for the cultivation of grapes, Georgia supplied the first cities of the fertile crescent, Babylon and Ur, imported wine and vines from the Georgian region; and Assyrian kings, who demanded tribute from conquered peoples in the form of gold, made one exception: Georgians could make their tribute in wine.
Georgia’s location between contentious powers has made it vulnerable to a host of adversaries. Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Mongols, Arabs, and Turks have all invaded Georgia throughout history—and neighborly threats remain even in the 21st century. These repeated assaults throughout history drove Georgians to flee their vineyards for safe haven. But the practice of salvaging saplings to cultivate in new locations has protected the vines—like Georgia’s people—from dying out. And it is that enduring spirit of the Georgian people that infuses the wines they produced.
An emerging artisanal powerhouse.
For centuries, winemaking has been the engine of the Georgian economy—elevating the vine to an iconic symbol of endurance, regeneration, and prosperity. Shared fervor for the grape continues as winemakers explore new markets, re-examine centuries-old terroirs, and carve a place for their wines on the global stage.
As the Georgian Wine revival gathers steam, today’s Georgian winemakers are harnessing an 8,000-year national heritage to produce some of the world’s most unique and distinctive wines. In the process, they’re transforming into an emerging artisanal powerhouse—by tying wine’s deep past to a dynamic and exciting future.