Eight thousand vintage years have already taken place in primeval wine country Georgia, round about. That is by far the longest wine tradition on earth. And we can say so, because we checked with the expert when it comes to the roots of wine and other ancient brews, the 'Indiana Jones of ancient wine', Patrick McGovern. We also took a look at this hardcore wine country ourselves. Georgia: a country every avid wine lover, and adventurer, must have been to once in a lifetime. - TEXT + IMAGE KARIN LEEUWENHOEK
Virgin wine country Georgia, cradle of (orange) wines
Georgia has been making wine from the vine Vitis vinifera for some 8,000 years - longer than any other country in the world, whatever other proud wine countries may claim. Dr Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania has been researching this for many years: 'The South Caucasus has proved to be the cradle of wine. In present-day Armenia, the oldest remains of a real winery have so far been found, dating from around 4000 BC, but present-day Georgia takes the crown: there we found chemical evidence of grape wine remains in earthenware jars. These prove that wine from the Vitis vinifera was already being made by the inhabitants here 6000 to 5800 years BC.'
Red and orange
Wine was made in ancient Georgia by simply putting grapes in an earthenware jug and waiting for things to ferment. That is basically still how wine is made by many Georgians. Once the sugars from the grapes have been converted into alcohol by the yeasts, the wine gets bubbled out.
Curious to find out more about primeval wine country Georgia? You can read about it in WINELIFE Magazine 78. Order this one here!
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