Only 2% of Wine Drinkers Know Georgia Invented Wine

Many Mistake It for Non-European Nation


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Tbilisi, Georgia
Tbilisi, capital of Georgia

Discovering the origins of wine can be likened to uncorking a bottle brimming with stories that date back thousands of years. In a realm where many immediately think of France, Italy, or Spain when wine is mentioned, there's a corner of Europe that might not be the first to spring to mind, yet holds a firm grip on its deeply rooted vinicultural history: Georgia.

Georgia, far more than just a nation adorned with picturesque landscapes and rich culture, stakes its claim as the birthplace of wine. Archaeological research indicates that winemaking in this region could date back to around 8000 B.C., making Georgia a truly fascinating spot for any self-respecting wine lover.

Despite this rich heritage, a recent study by Mortar Research for Tbilvino revealed that only 2% of the 2,000 international drinkers surveyed identify Georgia as the birthplace of wine. This figure is quite startling, considering that Georgian wine sales have surged by 100% over an eight-year period. It seems that while Georgian wine is carving out a niche in the market, awareness of its history and origins still has a long way to go.

The same study sheds light on a widespread lack of knowledge: only 29% of respondents know that Georgia is a country in Europe, and nearly 19% still think it's part of Russia. Additionally, some participants placed Georgia in locations as varied as South America and even the Bermuda Triangle, while about 62% were unaware that its capital is Tbilisi.

With approximately 500 native grape varieties, Georgia not only prides itself on its antiquity but also its diversity. Among these varieties is the Saperavi, described by Tbilvino as the "new Malbec," which has begun to gain international recognition, reflected in the export of around 120 million bottles of Georgian wine last year.

One of the most distinctive and traditional methods of Georgian winemaking involves the use of qvevris, large clay vessels buried in the ground. This technique, which does not impart its own flavors as wood might, is crucial for developing fruity aromas and tannins, adding a complexity of flavor and texture that is uniquely Georgian. However, the study revealed that only 19% of drinkers were aware of the possibility of making wine in clay vessels.

The openness to new flavors is evident, as 98% of those surveyed expressed their willingness to try new wines. This presents a golden opportunity for Georgia not only to promote its unique wines but also to educate the world about its rich wine history. Over time, perhaps more wine enthusiasts will raise their glasses in honor of Georgia, the historic cradle of wine, discovering in each sip a story that has survived and thrived through the millennia.

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