Wine Culture in Georgia
Georgia is recognized as “the cradle of wine “, a place where are more than 500 indigenous grape varieties still cultivated here, this is greater diversity than anywhere else in the world. The wine is central to Georgian culture and tightly bound to religious heritage. Kakheti is the biggest wine producing region of Georgia where about 70 % of Georgian wine is produced. One of the most unique traditions of Georgian wine making is the pitcher which is named as the material heritage of UNESCO.
One of the most important event of winemaking is “Rtveli”- traditional harvest festivities with family circle belongs to those distinctive Georgian traditions that still live.
You may think why is harvesting so special as it is a usual process in the agricultural routine. However, if we consider the fact that the history of the viticulture is 8000 years old, the tradition of Rtveli dates back to the ancient times.
Traditionally, the grapes are gathered in a big special area called Satsnaxeli, where people are pressing grapes with their feet while wearing boots. The juice of the grapes goes straight to the large earthenware vessels called Kvevri. This is where all the magic of wine-making happens.
And of course, after hard work in the vineyard all people gather at the traditional Georgian festive tale to have a rest and enjoy delicious meals, flowing wine and songs- the voice of ancients Georgia can be heard in this eternal flow.