Wild ancestors of the modern vine had been spread throughout the Georgian territory from the ancient times. There are more than 500 Georgian species of vine, 430 of which are preserved in state and private vineyards.
Georgia’s 8000-year-old relationship with vine-growing and winemaking has been proved by various archeological excavations. For instance, grape-stones found on Marneuli valley dates back to 6th century B.C. Scientists have discovered a number of cultural vine traces in other ancient habitats on the territory of Georgia as well. Ancient pitcher-like pot of Neolith Era found at Shulaver is a clear proof of long-existing wine-making traditions in the area.
Since the pagan times, the wine had always been a ritual beverage for Georgians. Ancient Georgians believed that the productivity god Aguna was the patron saint of vine-growing and Aguna rituals were always presented as theatrical performances.
The importance of the wine has even strengthened with the spread of the Christian belief as the communion rituals would never proceed without wine. Later a cross made out of vine branches became a symbol of Christianity in Georgia. Almost all the local monasteries organized their own wine cellars and prepared wine based on the traditional method.
XIX century was a significant period for Georgian wine-making when Alexandre Chavchavadze for the first time produced the Georgian wine in European style and supported raising awareness in Europe. He is also known for promoting local wines like “Tsinandali”, “Mukuzani”, “Napareuli” and “Teliani”. In the same period German wine specialist Lenz researched wine in the Georgian village of Ruispiri.
Scientific research of the Georgian vine has started in the middle of XIX century. In the same period wine produced by Ivane Mukhran-Batoni was already imported to Europe.
In the beginning of XX century, Georgian wine was regularly and broadly presented on European wine exhibitions. Today Georgian wine is beating new heights of recognition. Foreigners openly express their special interest towards our pitch-made wine.
It's significant that the pitch made wine has received UNESCO status of non-material cultural heritage.