Wine, champagne, mineral water - 10 oldest Georgian brands
29 November, 2014
Wine, champagne, mineral water - 10 oldest Georgian brands
Unique brands that never lost their popularity over the years, in Georgia or abroad

Since ancient times, viticulture, winemaking and traditional medicine have been well-developed in Georgia. Our country has also always been rich in mineral water springs. Ten of Georgia’s oldest brands largely make use of these historical advantages, creating unique products that never lost their popularity over the years, both in Georgia and abroad.

BORJOMI – Natural composition of this mineral water of volcanic origin took its current
shape over 1500 years ago. Mineral springs of Borjomi were discovered in the beginning of the first millennium A.D. and were actively used since then. It has become wildly popular in the Russian Empire and then in the Soviet Union as well as outside it. Archeological evidence found in the town of Borjomi shows that the mineral water was well-known and widely used in ancient Georgia as well.

NABEGHLAVI – Discovery of a mineral water spring in the village of Nabeghlavi in Guria region. In 1905 became a sensation when it was discovered that not only did the water have a great taste but that it also possessed healing properties. This water offers great benefits to those suffering from disorders of digestive system, liver, gall bladder, urinary tract as well as metabolic disorders.

SAIRME – According to folk tales, this unique water was discovered by brothers who were hunting deer. It turned out that the spring’s delicious water made it a watering hole of choice for large herds of deer. Amazed by the discovery, these this place was named “Sairme” (Where Deer Gather). The state first started exploiting the priceless resource in 1920-1930’s. Sairme was given resort status and bottling factories were built in the vicinity.

LAGIDZE WATERS – A popular Georgian soft drink, made with carbonated water and syrups containing only natural ingredients, was named after its creator Mitrofan Lagidze, who had an idea to use natural syrups instead of imported essences and extracts for making lemonade. In 1900, the Lagidze brothers opened production in Kutaisi, using their unique recipes to make syrups out of fruit juice and various herbs. Lagidze Waters boast high popularity in Georgia to this day.

KHVANCHKARA – This highest quality semisweet red wine has been the pride of Georgia for a very long time. It is made of Aleksandreuli and Mujuretuli grapes. This wine was made for the first time in the XIX century by the Kipiani noble family and sold at Kutaisi market under the label “Kipiani wine”. Khvanchkara wine is prepared in a specific climatic micro-zone, located only in Ambrolauri and Tsageri regions. Just like other unique Georgian wines, it is protect from adulteration by international law.

SAPERAVI – Aroma of wine made from this type of red grapes is unique and powerful. Despite being abundant and widespread throughout Georgia, Saperavi grapes are categorized as one of the more expensive grapes. They are rarely consumed as food, being primarily used for winemaking. Red wine made from Saperavi is distinguished for its fragrance, color and kick. It is also used for improving or coloring other wines.

BAGRATIONI – This producer of sparkling wine was the first in Georgia, established in 1937. The company was named after a descendant of Georgian Royal Family Ivane Bagration-Mukhraneli, who produced sparkling wine using a French method in the XIX century. He ended up being the founding father of sparkling wine’s history in Georgia. This product received world recognition for the first time in 1882, at an international fair held at St. Petersburg, earning a Grand Prix.

SARAJISHVILI – One of the oldest cognac brands was founded by Davit Sarajishvili in 1884. He was the one who introduced Georgia and entirety of the Russian Empire to cognac made using a newly invented French technology. Sarajishvili family vaults still hold cognac spirits, with the oldest among them dating back to 1893. This cognac can satisfy even the most contentious connoisseur.

TURMANIDZE BALM – For many centuries on end, the Turmanidze family has been preparing their unique healing ointment, which is known and utilized throughout the entire country. This ointment’s formula, ingredients and preparation technology have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Turmanidze Balm is made only with natural ingredients and can be used both by children and adults.

ZARAPXANA – Coins, medals and other state decorations have historically been made by Georgian zarapkhanas (minting workshops), and today’s jewelry “Zarapxana” continues this fine tradition. It is known that coins such as Colchian Tetri were minted in Georgia as far back as VI century B.C. In 704, Arabic dinars were minted for the first time bearing the mark of Tbilisi’s Zarapkhana. From 1603 until XVIII century, Tbilisi’s Zarapkhana systematically minted silver and copper coins. In XVII century, Zarapkhana was located in the district of Kala, close to Sioni. Beside Tbilisi, other Georgian cities such as Uplistsikhe, Kutaisi, Tskhumi and Zugdidi also had their own zarapkhanas.

Author:
Khatuna Chigogidze

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