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The Middle East (formerly Grusinia) east of the Black Sea in Transcaucasia is one of the oldest wine-growing countries. It is also cultivated as the origin grapevine named, but which is suspected according to recent research in today's Turkey in southeast Anatolia (arrow). After Bible is on the mountain Ararat landed after the end of the Noah Flood. According to a hypothesis, the 5,000-year-old clay jugs found near the city of Wani in Imeretia are believed to be the core of the Rkatsiteli vine have included. Grape seeds from cultivated vines that are already 7,000 years old indicate a selection for the breeding better grape varieties. Archeology provided evidence that viticulture enjoyed great importance from an early age and was an integral part of Georgian culture. In the museum of the capital Tbilisi (Tbilisi) there is a short piece of vine covered with silver, which was found in Trialeti in the south and whose age was 3,000 BC. BC was determined. numerous Rebmesser, Stone star, mills, clay and metal vessels and jewelry in the form of grapes and vine leaves from the period between 3000 and 2000 BC. BC were excavated in Mukheta, Trialeti and Pitsunda as well as in the Alazani valley.
Rich ornaments with fruit-laden vines can be found on the walls of temples in the cities of Samtavisi, Ikalto, Gelati, Nikortsminda, Vardzia and Zarmza. In a poem by the Greek scholar Apollonius of Rhodes (3rd century BC), the librarian of the famous library in Alexandria, his work "Argonautica" states that the Argonauts (heroes of Greek mythology) upon their arrival in vines in the capital, Colchis, at the entrance to the Royal Palace and a fountain with wine in the shade of the trees. Georgian legends testify to the love of grapevines. Georgia took over Christianity in the fourth century. The first cross was allegedly made by vines to demonstrate Christian religion and vine as the most sacred goods in the country. For many centuries, viticulture in Georgia had great economic importance and finally reached an absolute peak in the Middle Ages.
After the Second World War, Georgia developed into an important wine supplier in the USSR, with the emphasis being on mass. By 1985 the vineyards had grown to 125,000 hectares. Then there was the anti-alcohol campaign under Mikhail Gorbachev (* 1931) a major setback, because 40,000 hectares of vineyards were cleared and replaced by melon cultivation. At the time of independence from 1991, 75% of the production was after Russia exported. In 2006, however, there was an import ban (by the way, also Moldovan Weeping), which is caused by contamination of Russia with the inedibility of Georgian wines pesticides and pollutants was established. Georgia saw this as a politically motivated move against the new pro-Western government. The Georgian wine industry was massively affected. The embargo was lifted in late 2011.
In 2012 the area under vines was 48,000 hectares, with a downward trend (in 2000 it was 76,000 hectares). Only 830,000 hectoliters of wine were produced (see also under Wine production volumes ). Around two thirds are planted with red wine and one third with white wine. Wild vines are still very common in Georgia; here is the species Vitis vinifera sylvestris represented today. There are over 500 autochthonous Grape varieties, but only around 10% of them are approved for viticulture. A nursery there is in Sakar. The Blend 2010:
Under the wind-protecting influence of the towering Caucasus, there are ideal climatic conditions for viticulture. However, the country is characterized by a wide variety of soils and climatic conditions. The climate is between temperate and subtropical. There are five wine-growing regions. The most significant as the easternmost part of Georgia is Kakheti with the capital Telavi. Most of the vineyards are located on the slopes of the Alazani and Iori rivers. Here is the home of the traditional Cachetic winemaking with clay jugs buried in the earth (Kvevris). The climate is temperate, the average annual precipitation is between 400 and 800 mm. Calcareous soils predominate. 70% of the grapes for wine and distillates grow here. Kakheti is divided into three growing areas and over 25 sub-areas or appellations, for example Achascheni, Akhmeta, Gurdzhaani, Kindzmarauli, Kvareli, Manavi, Mukuzani. Napareuli, Sagaredzho, Signagi and Tsinandali,
The Kartlien region is located in the center of the country in the Kura Valley and encompasses the lowlands Gori and Mukhran. The base wines for sparkling wine and brandy are produced here, which account for 15% of Georgian production. The climate is moderate, the summers are hot and dry. Due to the low rainfall with an average of 350 to 500 mm, an artificial irrigation respectively. Here is the capital Tbilisi with huge sparkling wine cellars and distilleries. The oldest winery, founded in 1897, has a unique wine collection with around 1,600 wines (around 150,000 bottles), including very old foreign products from very old vintages. For example cognac from 1811, Malaga from 1820, Marsala and Madeira from 1822, sherry from 1848 and Tokaj from 1846.
The region of Imeretia lies in western Georgia in the valleys of the Rioni, Kvirila rivers, among other things on alluvial soils. Here too there is a traditional winemaking in jugs, similar to that Cachetic procedure, The Ratscha-Letschchumi region lies north of Imeretia on the banks of the Rioni and Tskhenistskali rivers. Moderate rainfall, southern exposure and a number of indigenous grape varieties produce grapes with a high sugar content. The sub-area Chwantschkara is known for the favorite wine by Josef Stalin (1878-1953). And the fifth region includes the landscapes of Abkhazia , Adjara , Guria and Mingrelia to the west. In the prevailing subtropical climate, sweet wines in particular are produced.
Georgia is best known for its red wines, which were considered the best of the Union in the USSR. There are also many fortified wines, sparkling wines and sweet wines, as well as excellent distillates (wine, chacha = pomace). At the Yalta conference in February 1945, Josef Stalin (1878-1953) surprised Winston Churchill (1874-1965) with the quality of "Grusinian cognac" (Grusinien is the Russian name). Well-known producers are Aia, Bagrationi, Chetsuriani, Georgia Wine & Spirits, Khareba, Manavi Wine Cellar, Samkharadze & Co Ltd., Samtrest, Saradschischwili & Eniseli, Schuchmann, Taro Ltd., Tbilvino, Telavi Wine Cellar. Teliani Valley Tibaneli Tsinandali (historical winery, now a museum), Vasiani, Vazi +, Wine Company Shumi,