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Kakheti

Largest wine growing region in Georgia; see there.

The Near Eastern state (Russian: Grusinia) east of the Black Sea in Transcaucasia is one of the oldest wine-growing countries. It is also mentioned as the origin of the cultivated grapevine, but according to recent research in what is now Turkey, it is assumed to be in southeast Anatolia (arrow). According to the bible, it landed on Mount Ararat after the end of the Flood Noah. Allegedly the 5,000 year old clay jugs found near the town of Wani in Imeretia are said to have contained seeds of the Rkatsiteli vine. Grape seeds from vines cultivated as early as 7,000 years ago indicate that they were selected for the breeding of better grape varieties. Archaeology has provided evidence that viticulture was very important from the earliest times and was an integral part of Georgian culture. In the museum of the capital Tbilisi (Tbilisi) there is a short piece of vine wood covered with silver, which was found in Trialeti in the south and whose age was determined to be 3,000 BC. Numerous vine knives, stone-stones, mills, clay and metal vessels, as well as jewellery in the form of grapes and vine leaves, dating from between 3000 and 2000 BC, have been excavated in Mukheta, Trialeti and Pitsunda and in the Alazani Valley.

Georgien - Landkarte

Rich ornaments with fruit-bearing vines can be found on the walls of temples in the towns of Samtavisi, Ikalto, Gelati, Nikortsminda, Vardzia and Zarmza. In a poem by the Greek scholar Apollonius of Rhodes (3rd century B.C.), librarian of the famous library in Alexandria, in his work "Argonautica", it is said that the Argonauts (heroes of Greek mythology), on their arrival in the capital of Colchis, saw vines growing at the entrance of the Royal Palace and a fountain of wine in the shade of the trees. Georgian legends testify to the love of the vine. Georgia adopted Christianity in the fourth century. The first cross was allegedly made by vines to demonstrate Christian religion and vine as the country's most sacred goods. For many centuries, viticulture was of great economic importance in Georgia and finally reached an absolute peak in the Middle Ages.

After the Second World War, Georgia developed into an important supplier of wine in the USSR, with a focus on mass. By 1985, the vineyards had increased to 125,000 hectares. Then there was a major setback due to the anti-alcohol campaign under Mikhail Gorbachev (*1931), when 40,000 hectares of vineyards were cleared and replaced by melon cultivation. At the time of independence from 1991, 75% of production was exported to Russia. In 2006, however, there was an import ban (of Moldavian wines, by the way), which was justified by Russia with the inedibility of Georgian wines due to contamination with pesticides and pollutants. On the part of...

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