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Only 2% of Wine Drinkers Recognize Georgia as the Birthplace of Wine

georgia the birthplace of wine

Wine UK News: Many Mistake It for a Non-European Nation

Exploring the origins of wine is akin to popping the cork on a bottle overflowing with tales that stretch back millennia. In a world where the mere mention of wine often conjures thoughts of France, Italy, or Spain, a corner of Europe may not immediately spring to mind but boasts a profound connection to its ancient vinicultural roots: Georgia.

Georgia, far beyond being merely a nation adorned with stunning landscapes and a vibrant culture, proudly proclaims itself as the birthplace of wine. Archaeological findings suggest that winemaking in this region could trace its origins as far back as 8000 B.C., rendering Georgia a captivating destination for any discerning wine enthusiast.

Despite this storied heritage, a recent study conducted by Mortar Research for Tbilvino revealed that a mere 2% of the 2,000 international respondents recognize Georgia as the cradle of wine. This statistic is quite astonishing, particularly considering the doubling of Georgian wine sales over eight years. While Georgian wine is steadily carving out a niche in the market, awareness of its historical significance still has considerable room to grow.

The same study highlights a pervasive lack of knowledge: only 29% of participants correctly identified Georgia as a European country, with nearly 19% still associating it with Russia. Furthermore, some respondents placed Georgia in locations as diverse as South America and even the enigmatic Bermuda Triangle, while approximately 62% were unaware that its capital is Tbilisi.

With an impressive array of approximately 500 indigenous grape varieties, Georgia prides itself on its ancient lineage and diversity. Among these varieties is the Saperavi, heralded by Tbilvino as the “new Malbec,” which has begun to garner international acclaim, evidenced by the export of around 120 million bottles of Georgian wine last year.

One of the most distinctive and traditional methods of winemaking in Georgia involves the utilization of qvevris, large clay vessels buried underground. This ancient technique, which imparts no additional flavours like wood might, is instrumental in nurturing fruity aromas and tannins, imbuing Georgian wines with a complexity of flavour and texture that is utterly unique. However, the study revealed that only 19% of respondents knew of making wine in clay vessels.

The receptiveness to novel flavours is evident, with 98% of survey participants expressing their willingness to explore new wines. This presents a golden opportunity for Georgia not only to showcase its exceptional wines but also to illuminate the world about its rich winemaking legacy. With time, perhaps more wine enthusiasts will raise their glasses in homage to Georgia, the historic cradle of wine, discovering in each sip a narrative that has endured and flourished across the ages.

August slipped away like a bottle of wine

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Henry Mchedlishvilli

Passionate about Eastern European wines, spirits and liqueurs. Helping you experience the real taste of wine-making history.

Henry Mchedlishvilli

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