Exhibition of Qvevri Wine History
06 October, 2011

On September 15, Georgian National Museum opened an exhibition dedicated to the history of qvevri wine. Archaeological-botanical data confirm that domestication of vine could have occurred locally: there have been excavated seeds of domesticated vine grapes, which are the earliest in the world history and belong to the Neolithic age.
Georgia stands out thanks to the diversity of cultivated sorts of vine (about 500 vine and table sorts of wine are known in Georgia). Among them there are diclinous sorts

as well; they represent the intermediate stage between wild and cultivated vine in the process of evolution: unlike wild vine, the absolute majority of cultivated sorts of vine are monoecious. Names of Georgian sorts of vine are usually related to the micro-zone where a certain sort is common, which evidences its local provenance.
Georgia is the only country, which has preserved the archaic methods of making, keeping and consuming wine, which has been lost in other centers of winemaking. At this exhibition household tools connected with viticulture and wine-making are displayed (spades, hoes, secateurs, brushes, ‘orshimos’ - long handled jugs for taking wine from qvevri); vessels for pressing grapes and keeping wine (winepresses - satsnaxeli, sakajavi, vessels for collecting grape juice of different sizes - churikvevri, koco, etc.), wine serving jars and drinking vessels (phiala - cup, rhyton). Each of the said artifacts has a long and unbroken tradition in Georgia.
From ancient times vine tree and wine in Georgia have been closely related to the sacral and religious rituals. Wine served Georgia both in pagan and Christian times. Grapes, grape juice and its products occupy an important place in the diet of Georgians.

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