Georgia is considered to be the source of cultivated grapevines. Archeological excavations discovered ancient satsnakheli (grapes pressing tub), kvevri (clay vats for keeping wine), different tools and utencils used in viticulture. On the territory of Kvemo Kartli during archeological excavations
were found grapes seeds of VI-V millenium. The culture of vine played a leading role in both heathen and Christian era in Georgia. Dispersion of Christian religion in Georgia is widely linked to the culture of vine. Saint Nino entered Georgia and preached Christianity with the Cross of Vine. Georgian churches are often adorned with images of grapes. Georgian churches and monasteries had primitive wine-manufacturing facilities, even today one can see marani (wine cellar) and satsnakheli there. Tradition of making wine in monasteries continues today.


Part of the Georgian household (living) estate is marani made of wood, stone or brick. Marani consists of satsnakheli and kvevri (clay vats). In
Eastern Georgia marani is situated indoors (often in a basement), in Western Georgia it is usually outdoors, in a courtyard. All kinds of activities
connected with brewing and keeping wine take place in marani. Often marani is the venue of a table party, therefore paraphernalia needed for arranging a feast is available in marani as well.

In Georgia grapes harvest is called rtveli. Rtveli starts in eastern Georgia at the end of September and continues two weeks. In western Georgia rtveli starts one month later. There are up to 500 varieties of grapes in Georgia 1/10 of which are processed in the wine industry. Widely dispersed are such varieties as Rkatsiteli, Saperavi, Tsolikauri, Mtsvane, Tsitska, Ojaleshi, Chkhaveri, Alexandrouli, Aladasturi, Khikhvi, Krakhuna and others. Well known are also imported varietires (Aligote, Pinot, Chardonnay, Cabernet and others) which are well fitted with natural environment.

Dispersion of grapes in Georgia stretches over 900-1000 meters above the sea level, but the best natural (climate) conditions for it exist in the space of up to 700 meters above the sea level. In the relatively high uplands grow early harvest varieties of grapes, and in the lowlands - long and medium hang time varieties.

We meet grapes in every region of Georgia, however distinguished with its culture are Kakheti and Imereti, Kartli and Racha-Lechkhumi. World famous Georgian wine is on sale nowadays in up to fifty countries.


Copyright © 2017. N. Elizbarashvili, B. Kupatadze
Copyright © 2017. “Dani” Publishing


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