The Birthplace of Wine

Chateau Margaux 1898


The wine world has definitely acknowledged that Georgia is the official birthplace of wine, so we were quite excited to get to the epicenter of viniculture in this fascinating country. The region of Kakheti is ground zero for Georgia’s industry, so a visit to that region was imperative. The road to Kakheti was flanked by vineyards filled with trellised vines heavy with ripening fruit. With the beautiful Caucasus Mountains in the background, it would be hard to find a more picturesque scene.


It’s hard to believe that there is evidence that Georgians were making wine as far back of 8000 years ago. But what distinguishes the Georgian method from the rest of the wine production methods is the Georgian Quevri technique. This method of winemaking has actually spread to other quarters in the wine world. It seems that those espousing the old world methodology that has been practiced in Georgia for millennia are teaching a thing or two to the new world winemakers.

This vessel was recreated with fragments of terra cotta found in Georgia from the sixth millennium BC.


The word Quevri actually means “buried in the ground” and that is the cornerstone of the Georgian way of making wine. The Quevri, a clay amphora fashioned in a specific shape, is buried with the top exposed. It is sealed until spring. Since the process occurs naturally without human intervention, the opening of the Quevri in the spring is highly anticipated and celebrated.

Since we are here in the fall, we didn’t get to witness Quevri openings, but we did have a fine time at several wineries. At Shumi, we were sent to the vineyard to harvest grapes. Then several of our entourage donned rain boots and crushed the fruit. All of this was way more fun than the usual boring speech about how wine is made. Then we capped the experience with a side-by-side tasting of wines made the Georgian way and wines made the traditional European method. We both preferred the wines made the European way, but that is what we are accustomed to. I will post pictures of our day in Kakheti.

Harvesting the grapes.


The fruits of our labor.


The crushing.

The tasting.



  1. Melinda Young on September 23, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    It appears to be a super trip. Can’t wait til u get home and hear more.

  2. Donna on September 23, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    Oh what fun…..I knew that amphorae go all the way back to the Bronze Age but I’m thinking 8,000 years is further back. The Egyptians and later the Romans used waxed lined ceramic containers. The Romans called the fermenting vessels dolia defossa and the storage vessels amphorae. I’m excited to learn what the taste of the wines from this ancient process were like…..did you don the boots and stomp? In Sicily you can stomp with your bare feet that have been thoroughly cleans and all toe polish removed…..yikes! Maybe that’s why some wines smell like set socks…

    • Ruth Anne Lawson on September 23, 2023 at 10:57 pm

      I didn’t do the stomping. I looked at those rain boots, saw people taking them off and others putting them on and thought,”hmm…looks like a nice dark, moist, warm place for something like athlete’s foot to grow and spread.” I passed…it did look like fun, but I just could not do it.

  3. Sarah Guida on September 23, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    What a great “ in the vineyard day” you and Rick had! Looks like the group you are traveling with are a lot of fun as well!

  4. Ruth Anne Lawson on September 23, 2023 at 10:59 pm

    The “Georgia only” gang left yesterday and we came on to Yerevan. There are seven of us including the company founder.

  5. Pam Morgan on September 24, 2023 at 2:01 pm

    Did you enjoy red, white and pink grapes?

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