Georgia is one of the oldest wine producing regions of the world. The fertile valleys of the South Caucasus, which Georgia straddles, are believed by many archaeologists to be the source of the world’s first cultivated grapevines and neolithic wine production, over 8,000 years ago. Man discovered art of winemaking in Georgia 8,000 years ago. Due to the many millennia of wine in Georgian history, the traditions of its viticulture are entwined and inseparable with the country’s national identity.
It has been archaeologically proven that the roots of Georgian viticulture are between 9000 and 7000 BC, when peoples of South Caucasus discovered that wild grape juice turned into wine when it was left buried through the winter in a shallow pit. This knowledge was nourished by experience, and from 4000 BC Georgians were cultivating grapes and burying clay vessels, kvevris, in which to store their wine ready for serving at perfect ground temperature. When filled with the fermented juice of the harvest, the kvevris are topped with a wooden lid and then covered and sealed with earth. Some may remain entombed for up to 50 years.