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Introduction to Georgia

Georgia produces a reasonable amount of wine (around 50 million bottles per year). Formerly considered the best region within the Soviet Union for producing wine, it is unsurprising that this now independent region still exports 80% of its wines to Russia. However, the continued tension with Russia means that this is a rocky relationship, and Georgia is keen to promote its wines to Europe and beyond.

It also claims to be the oldest wine producing country in the world: going back to 7000BC in some accounts! Many traditional methods are still used, including fermenting wines in clay pots buried in the ground. As if that isn’t enough, Georgia also claims that it is a Georgian word, “Ghvino”, which is the source of our modern-era words ‘vino’ and ‘wine’.

Most of Georgia’s vineyards are situated near the Black Sea, with many interesting wines being made from the large number of local grape varieties. Look out for Saperavi, Mtsvane and Rkatsiteli.