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The country with the capital Kabul lies at the crossroads of South Asia, Central Asia and the Near East. It borders Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China and Pakistan. Three quarters of the country consists of mountainous regions that are difficult to access. It was not until the mid-18th century that the country began its own history as a state; before that, the area was a constant transit country for conquests (for example, Alexander the Great) and was ruled by various peoples. In the Hindu Kush (gorge-rich high mountains in the northeast), the sect of the Ishmaelites practised viticulture and there were vineyards along the Silk Road in the Hunza Valley. In the 16th century, Afghanistan was part of the Indian Mughal Empire. At that time, wine was supplied via the Silk Road to the court of Sultan Babur (1483-1530) in Agra (south-east of Delhi). In the 19th century, viticulture lost its importance and was then only revived near Kabul in the late 1960s. The vineyards cover about 80,000 hectares, but they are almost exclusively used for table grape and sultanas. In 1992, the Islamic State of Afghanistan was founded, the Taliban came to power in 1996, lost it in 2006 and took it over again in 2021 after a long period of war. As a result, viticulture has almost come to a standstill.

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Sigi Hiss
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