This is where wine was invented! And it wasn’t France…

A lot of theories exit about the origins of wine! But one of the most believable one is the country of Georgia!

Georgia is one of the oldest wine regions in the world. The fertile valleys and protective slopes of the Transcaucasia were home to grapevine cultivation and neolithic wine production (Georgian: ღვინო, ɣvino) for at least 8000 years.Due to the many millennia of wine in Georgian history and its prominent economic role, the traditions of wine are considered entwined with and inseparable from the national identity.

Wine Growing Regions in Georgia

Among the best-known Georgian wine regions are Kakheti (further divided into the micro-regions of Telavi and Kvareli), Kartli, Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, Adjara and Abkhazia.

In 2013, UNESCO added the ancient traditional Georgian winemaking method using the Kvevri clay jars to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.

Georgia’s tradition of making wines began eight thousand years ago—three thousand years before the invention of writing and five thousand years before the beginning of the Iron Age. While ancient civilizations like Egypt and Greece developed wine cultures of their own, all owed a debt to Georgian viticulture. The mention of the ancient traditions of vine growing and high quality winemaking in Georgia can be found in the works of Homer and Apollonius of Rhodes. Even the unique Georgian alphabet is modeled after the shape of the vine’s curly offshoots. Many of the vines still in cultivation in Europe and Asia have a Georgian origin, and even Western words for wine—vin, vino, wine—likely come from the Georgian word gvino.

Political Map showing the Caucasus Republic of Georgia.

A complicated history.

Situated at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, with a climate and terrain perfectly suited for the cultivation of grapes, Georgia supplied the first cities of the fertile crescent, Babylon and Ur, imported wine and vines from the Georgian region; and Assyrian kings, who demanded tribute from conquered peoples in the form of gold, made one exception: Georgians could make their tribute in wine.

Georgia’s location between contentious powers has made it vulnerable to a host of adversaries. Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Mongols, Arabs, and Turks have all invaded Georgia throughout history—and neighborly threats remain even in the 21st century. These repeated assaults throughout history drove Georgians to flee their vineyards for safe haven. But the practice of salvaging saplings to cultivate in new locations has protected the vines—like Georgia’s people—from dying out. And it is that enduring spirit of the Georgian people that infuses the wines they produced.
An emerging artisanal powerhouse.

Natalia Jugheli : Georgia’s stunning movie star!

For centuries, winemaking has been the engine of the Georgian economy—elevating the vine to an iconic symbol of endurance, regeneration, and prosperity. Shared fervor for the grape continues as winemakers explore new markets, re-examine centuries-old terroirs, and carve a place for their wines on the global stage.

As the Georgian Wine revival gathers steam, today’s Georgian winemakers are harnessing an 8,000-year national heritage to produce some of the world’s most unique and distinctive wines. In the process, they’re transforming into an emerging artisanal powerhouse—by tying wine’s deep past to a dynamic and exciting future.

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Karnvir Mundrey is the Chief Ideation Officer at Atharva Marcom. He is also India’s oldest continuously publishing podcast host, LinkedIn influencer, speaker and President of the Branded Content Marketing Association (India).