Washington Post about Georgian wine on Mars and Chakrulo
08 January, 2019
Washington Post about Georgian wine on Mars and Chakrulo
Washington Post has recently published an article about the IX Millennium project and the Georgian team experimenting on grape varieties and Mars-like soil. The wine origin is still debatable these days but Georgia claims to be the birthplace of wine. Telltale chemical signs of wine in the pottery jars, discovered in two Neolithic villages (called Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora about 50km (30 miles) south of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia) dates back 5,980 BC. Previously, the earliest evidence of grape
wine-making had been found in the Zagros Mountains of Iran and dated to 5,400-5,000 BC.
jars_8000_georgia_wine
The IX Millennium project aims to develop grapevines that will grow in the possible Red Planet agriculture pods. The research on creating a Martian-friendly grape has been launched in a number of countries including Georgia.

The Georgian team involves the representatives of Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, Business and Technology University in Georgia, Georgian National Museum, Microsoft and Spacefarms (a multidisciplinary design and front-end shop focused on digital products, design systems, and branding).

They intend to build the first Urban Vertical Greenhouse Laboratory in the region in the Hotel “Stamba” in Georgia. The laboratory will figure out which grapes will thrive in the biodome colonies envisioned for Mars. The process will be monitored by Business and Technology University, HP technical support and the European Space Agency.
nasa_mars_vineyard
Georgian scientists believe white grapes will fare better on mars than red ones. One of the candidates for the experiment is Rkatsiteli. The Rkatsiteli grape variety is distinguished by its high resistance to cold winters and hot summers. Soon the team will embark on testing them for radiation. They believe Rkatsiteli’s sturdy skin should survive the dust storms on Mars.

“Whites tend to be more resistant to viruses. So I’d imagine they’ll do well against radiation, too. Their skin could reflect it.” - said Levan Ujmajuridze, director of the country’s vineyard laboratory.
rkatsiteli
Contrary to the Georgian scientists’ belief in white variety, Soviet officials laid their faith in red wine. In the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, they recommended drinking red wine or vodka. Moreover, American researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine claim that red wine contains resveratrol, a natural antioxidant that can protect cells from radiation damage.

During the Soviet regime, the number of grape varieties was dramatically reduced due to the communist-driven cultivation restrictions. Now Georgia boasts more than 500 varieties of indigenous grapes, some of them are not found anywhere in the world. They include Rkatsiteli, Kikhvi, Kisi, Tsitska, Saperavi, Ojaleshi, Aleksandrouli, Mujuretuli, Aladasturi, etc.
chakrulo_space
Before Georgian grape varieties are grown on Mars, the newspaper recalled the voyage of the Georgian choral folk song “Chakrulo” to space. In 1977, NASA launched the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecrafts, carrying the famous “golden record” containing sounds and messages from Earth. Despite Moscow’s endeavor to send a Russian song to space, the soaring sounds of the Georgian choir won.

Related stories:

The rarest Georgian vine varieties

Breathtaking photos of Mars where Georgian vine species will be planted

Georgian Vine Species will be planted on Mars

Georgian winemaker who chases for indigenous Georgian vines
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