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The Bittersweet History of Wine and its Roots in Georgia

Updated: May 25, 2023

wine glasses set on brick walkway in front of building

As we say in Dominican Republic, “hoy es Viernes y el cuerpo lo sabe!”. This saying literally translates to ‘today is Friday and the body knows it. Could you guess what this means? Yep! It means the weekend is here and its time for a drink! Now, I don’t know about you, but my drink of choice is always wine.

Funny thing is, even after all of these years of being so fond of this type of alcoholic drink, I am just now asking some VERY important questions. Who came up with this stuff? Where does wine originate from? Can I make my own? WHERE IS THE WINE, MAN?

Speaking of wine, why don’t we talk about why we’re really here. Wine of course! More specifically, Georgian wine. No, not Georgia the state; the country! Yes, the famous Atlanta home state shares its name with this small European country. Now, knowing this information, one would never think that this small country who borders the Black Sea is a master at wine production.

As a matter of fact, Georgia’s wine making history goes back 8000 years. Thanks to archaeological discoveries, there is evidence that proves that during that time, the people native to that region discovered the art of winemaking. Many people consider Georgia the ‘cradle of wine’, because archaeology has traced the world’s first known creation of wine to this small but fertile land.

Based on discoveries made in 2015, we have been able to deduce that Georgians were making wine in 6000 BC. They found remains of grapes and grape seeds. Using egg shaped clay vessels, they discovered that that grape juice could be turned to wine by burying the substance in these vessels underground. Some of these vessels, or qvevris, would be buried underground and remain there for up to 50 years.

Fast-forward to World War II and the soviet period, wine production in Georgia actually blossomed. However, when the 1980’s came around, some of the older wineries in Georgia were cut off by Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol campaign. Since then, wine production has been severely harmed by Russian embargoes and the industry still works tirelessly to rebuild what they have lost.

Today, there are a handful (maybe a little more than a handful) of people who are doing their best to bring this delicious and historical keepsake back to life. From production, to packaging, to importing, to stocking our local shelves, everyone has an important part to play, in making sure that the masses have access to Georgian wine. Ultimately, we are all working to ensure that this old tradition stays alive and an economy in Georgia can flourish!

Speaking of which, now that you know a little bit more about the history of wine and its roots in Georgia, it's time you get to taste it for yourself! Click here to view our store and check out our wine catalog!

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