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The best importer of georgian vines, brandy and mineral waters Borjomi » Georgia

Georgia

Georgia is situated in central and western parts of South Caucasus. It is distinguished by its complex relief. Nearly 2/3 of the territory is mountainous. Its northern part (more than 1/3 of the country’s area) represents mountain system of Great Caucasus. Climate here is transitional from subtropical to the moderate one. Precipitation of 1000-4000mm falls in western Georgia per annum. And 300-600mm occurs to be in the eastern part of the country. Yellow-soils, black-soils, red-soils are characteristic to Georgia.
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Viticulture. Irregularity and complexity of Georgia’s relief stipulated variety of the climate, soil cover and vine-growing systems. According to archeological and ethnographical data, viticulture development on Georgian territories is related to the Eneolith period (the end of IV – beginning of III millennia B.C). This is witnessed by seeds, specific trimming knives, ornaments with vine depictions and other objects that were discovered in ancient burial places (Mtskheta, Trialeti, Alazani Valley, Pitsunda, etc).

Wild grapes are broadly spread in Georgia. As the result of natural and artificial selection, such grapes have originated the rich stock of native species (more than 500 varieties) having various economic value. Among them there may be highlighted such excellent varieties as “Rkatsiteli”, “Saperavi”, “Kakhuri Mtsvane”, “Aladasturi”, “Khikhvi”, “Ojaleshi”, “Alexandrouli”, “Chkhaveri”, “Usakhelouri” and others. Shrub formation methods (Olikhnari, Maglari, Dablari, Khardani, Kheivani, Talaveri, etc) are also diversified.
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Over the centuries, viticulture used to be the leading sector of the oldest agriculture as well as the main source of Georgian population’s economic welfare. In the 2-d half of the 19-th century vineyard area accounted for 71.2 thousand ha. Vineyards are uncovered in Georgia. Their laying is carried out by utilization of graft seedlings. Shrub-keeping system is generally espalier (vertical). Subject to ecological conditions and peculiarities of the species, shrubs are usually characterized by the fan shape, horizontal cordon and both Georgian unilateral and bilateral forms having centuries-old history. The latest is often applied in mountain conditions and at farmlands.

The following five viticulture areas are allocated at the territory of Georgia: Kakheti, Kartli, Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi and the Black Sea Coast area. 

In Georgia great importance is attached to variety zoning of grapes. More than 500 varieties are known in the country. 27 species are zoned among technical varieties. Main of them are “Aladasturi”, “Alexandreuli”, “Aligote”, “Goruli Mtsvane”, “Cabernet-Sovignion”, “Kachichi”, “Krakhuna”, “Mujuretuli”, “Kakhuri Mtsvane”, “Ojaleshi”, “Rkatsiteli”, “Khikhvi”, “Tsitska”, “Chinuri”, “Shardonay”, etc. Among table varieties the following species are zoned: “Gorula”, “Kirovabad Table Wine”, “Kartuli Saadreo”, “Tbilisuri”, “Tskhenis Dzudzu” and “Shasla Tetri”.

Winemaking. Survived historical monuments of Georgia’s tangible culture as well as number of records confirm that the winemaking growth level was rather high in Georgia far before Christ (B.C) and, that the wine was exported from Georgia to Europe. After adoption of Christianity (at the beginning of the 4-th century) wine was broadly used in religious ceremonies. It is evidenced by the discovered wine church plates. After Georgia’s liberalization from Arabian yoke (in 11-th century), technology and technique of wine production was improved along with other sectors of national economy. There were elaborated preparation methods of domestic wines, such as those of Kakheti, Imereti and Kartli. There have emerged stone and wooden presses as well as double-walled earthenware jugs of large capacity (known as Kvevri), where the fermentation temperature of the must is adjusted.

In the 17-th century, according to the French traveler Sharden, there was not a country elsewhere, where so much wines and of such a quality would be produced as in Georgia. First evidences on production of sparkling wine and cognac were emerged in 40-80s of 19-th century. In the first half of 1870s, Georgia had been producing 7, 6 million decalitres of wine. And by 1913, volume of the wine achieved 9,2 million decalitre.
At present, main direction of Georgian winemaking is the production of table dry and semisweet wines; Georgian wine manufacturing is generally concentrated in three areas – Kakheti (about 60-70%), Kartli and Imereti. Vintage and ordinary table wines of European and Kakhetian types are produced in Kakheti; Wines of European type and cognac and champagne materials are prepared in Kartli; Wines of European and Imeretian types and cognac materials as well as 80% of the country’s sparkling wine-materials are manufactured in Imereti. High-quality semisweet wines such as “Khvanchkara”, “Usakhelouri” and “Tvishi” are produced in Racha-Lechkhumi region.

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