The wine is essential in Georgian culture and is entwined with country’s national identity and religious heritage. Recently discovered earthenware jars containing residual wine compounds dating from 8,000 years ago have proven that Georgia is the home of wine–making in the world.
There are 525 native varieties of grapes in Georgia, a greater diversity than anywhere else in the world. The ancient tradition of making wine in the clay pots (qvevri) dates back over 8,000 years and is still practiced throughout Georgia, particularly in village communities where unique varieties of grapes are grown.
The qvevri is an egg-shaped earthenware vessel in which the entire wine-making process takes place, from initial fermentation through to maturation, with the fermenting grape juice being left with grape skins and stems. Knowledge and experience of Qvevri manufacture and wine-making have been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years.
In 2016, Qvevri wine-making method received UNESCO Intangible Heritage of Humanity listing.