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How Georgians brought wine to Europe

Georgia has been acknowledged as the birthplace of wine by many archeologists, associations and research organizations. For example, an atlas "The Vintner's Art" (NY 1992) by Hugh Johnson and James Holiday contains the following:

''Where was it first used to make wild wine? No one knows. But archaeology can point out the place where it was first cultivated. The scientific evidence (like the Book of Genesis) points to the foothills of the Caucasus. Georgia has produced the earliest evidence of vine selection and hence the emergence of the cultivated variety: Vitis vinifera sativa. Carbon-dating puts this change to domestication at about 5,000 BC. Mankind was therefore still in the Stone Age when he first cultivated the vine -- and presumably made wine.'' [1]

Wine expert and author of the world's best wine guide, Oz Clarke agrees. The text, attached to the map, made by him reads:

''The soldiers, settlers and traders who carried vine cuttings in their saddlebags from the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean merely wanted something to trade and something civilized to drink. The World's divers wine was the result.''

According to the author’s map, wine making first entered in Syria from Georgia, then Egypt from Italy and then in Western Europe.

At the London wine museum Vinopolis (Vinopolis, No.1 Bank End, London, SE1 9BU.) Georgia is in the honorable first section, which is called "Georgia - the cradle of wine".

''The tour began with displays that show Georgia, a land surrounded by Russia, the Black Sea, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan was the cradle of wine. Archeological evidence points out that viniculture took place in Georgia around 6000 BC with more than 500 grape varietals. An antique kvevri, once used to ferment wines, is on display. These 300-500 decalitre jugs would have been buried in the ground up to near the top in order to control temperature. Next, one travels through displays of the importance of the Bordeaux and Rhone areas of France.'' ([2] VinopolisTerry Sullivan : No. 1 Bank End, London SE1 9BU 0870 241 4040)
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May 2022