Wine Tea – Brilliant Georgian Innovation

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 29

‘Wine Tea’ project is the winner of Startup Georgia state program. One of its authors is Giorgi Bukia, who says that the idea to produce wine tea belongs to a pharmacologist named Irakli Natroshvili, who was making a research on the beneficial characteristics of red wine (Saperavi) 25 years ago.

He says various kinds of experiments were carried out and as a result, a loose mass obtained was named a wine tea. Bukia also says this project had been left unattended for years and 2 years ago Irakli Natroshvili’s son Giogi Natroshvili decided to revive it. He brought the project to Giorgi Bukia and they presented it to the Startup Georgia program. As the author of the project says, there are several stages of wine processing and the resulted loose mass is packaged. As for the preparation, it is not any different from the regular tea.

According to him, there are only experimental samples of products today – serial production will start from November when the enterprise is finished. The search for the place to set up the enterprise is taking place currently and presumably it will be located in Kakheti region of eastern Georgia. At the initial stage the product will be sold on the local market. In addition, the samples were sent to Ukraine and Russia. Giorgi Bukia believes that there is a prospect of wine tea in Muslim countries as well where alcohol is prohibited but they love the aroma of wine.

One of the authors of the project plans to develop other Georgian varieties of wine in future, but at this stage the focus is on Saperavi. “Wine Tea” will be marketed by “Amato” brand. According to Giorgi Bukia, they plan close cooperation with wine companies and tea producers in the future. The “Wine Tea” project was funded by Startup Georgia project with 100 thousand Georgian laris.

 

Source: Allwine.ge, Photo: Georgianjournal.ge

Caucasus Wine University to be opened in Gurjaani

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 51

In the Kakheti region a new viticulture campus of the Caucasus University is in the process of planning. Although, no details about the opening date have been communicated so far, the Wine University is supposed to offer vocational, bachelor and master programs to students.

Davit Songhulashvili, member of Parliament and Gurjaani Majoritarian said: “The decision on the launch of the wine school in Kakheti region was made by the Caucasus University based on the

study, conducted by the university. I had the same initiative earlier. Our plans coincide with each other and the process was speeded up. Today, the Free University is the only university in Georgia, which involves the agrarian direction and it is located in Tbilisi. Kakheti is the region of viticulture and winemaking and consequently, such a university is very important here. ”

Indeed Gurjaani has a long tradition of wine and viticulture. The small town is located in the fertile Alazani River Plain and is surrounded by vineyards. From Tbilisi, it takes two hours by car, to reach the city in Kakheti.

There has recently been an increased push by the Georgian government to professionalize the national wine industry, particularly to strengthen export possibilities to the European Union and beyond. Although the Georgian wine history is 8,000 years old and 500 out of total 2000 known varieties in the world is Georgian, this direction is not sufficiently cared in terms of professional development, states also the wine industry.

 

Source: Georgianjournal.ge

Wine on Mars? The World’s Oldest Wine-Making Country Wants to Make It Happen

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 59

The first human colonists on Mars will have to forgo many of the creature comforts of Earth — things like enjoying an ozone layer, for example, or opting out of rearing genetically engineered Martian babies. Fortunately, one essential earthly amenity these hardscrabble colonists may not have to give up is wine.

Georgia, a country with an 8,000-year-old viticulture tradition, is putting its top space and wine scientists to work figuring out how to grow grapes on Mars.

The project, named IX Millennium, ostensibly as a nod to Georgia’s ninth millennium making wine, will involve several phases of research into building an agricultural infrastructure on Mars. One critical step: identifying the grape varietals on Earth best equipped to withstand the harsh radiation, fearsome dust storms and severe temperature swings of the Red Planet. This research could help hydrate permanent settlements on Mars a soon as 2024 — the year when SpaceX founder Elon Musk intends to launch the first crewed mission there. (NASA hopes to follow in the 2030s.) [Mars InSight Photos: A Timeline to Landing on the Red Planet]

“If we’re going to live on Mars one day, Georgia needs to contribute,” Nikoloz Doborjginidze, founder of Georgia’s Space Research Agency and an adviser on the wine project, told The Washington Post. “Our ancestors brought wine to Earth, so we can do the same to Mars.” (The origins of wine are still debated, but Georgia holds a valid claim thanks to their recent discovery of an old wine-stained pot dated to 6000 B.C.)

The new space wine project will kick off later this year with the installation of “vertical greenhouses” inside a hotel in the capital city of Tbilisi, according to Georgian news agency Agenda.ge. There, floor-to-ceiling pods of soil and seeds (including grapes, strawberries and arugula) will be left to grow under hydroponic lights with minimal human interference, simulating the possible conditions of a controlled agriculture pod on Mars.

In the meantime, Georgian wine experts are hard at work trying to figure out which grape varietals might best survive harsh Martian conditions. Over the next few years, researchers at Tbilisi’s Business Technology University plan to simulate a Martian environment in the laboratory, exposing soil samples to subzero conditions, high carbon monoxide levels and thin air meant to mimic the atmospheric pressure at “20,000 feet [6,000 meters] altitude on Earth,” The Washington Post reported.

These experiments likely will not bear fruit until at least 2022, but scientists already have a hunch that white wine will fare best on the Red Planet.

“Whites tend to be more resistant to viruses,” Levan Ujmajuridze, director of Georgia’s vineyard Laboratory, told The Washington Post. “So, I’d imagine they’ll do well against radiation, too. Their skin could reflect it.”

These experiments could well provide future Martians with grapevines — but the actual fermenting, bottling and aging would be up to them. Nobody knows exactly how fermenting grapes in microgravity will actually work yet, but NASA scientists think it’s possible.

The Georgia team’s boozy experiments aren’t the first foray into space agriculture. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have already begun growing salad crops in microgravity, while China’s recently deployed Chang’e-4 lander will attempt to grow potatoes and rockcress (a flowering plant similar to cabbage and mustard) on the moon.

The makers of Budweiser, meanwhile, have launched barley seeds into space three times in hopes of becoming “the first beer on Mars,” while a batch of Ardmore scotch whisky spent three years aboard the ISS from 2011 to 2014. That project showed Earthlings that even an old drop of the pure is apparently not immune to the ravages of microgravity; the scotch reportedly came home tasting of “antiseptic lozenges” and “rubbery smoke.”

 

Originally published on Live Science.

Source: www.Space.com

Why Georgian Qvevri are so efficient at making natural wine

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 61
Amber wines that are made in Qvevri are becoming increasingly well known in the UK – not only being imported from countries like Georgia and Armenia, but also through English winemakers who have decided to use Qvevri.
Raw, low-intervention, hand-made, artisanal, craft – when it comes to ‘naturally’ made wines, the vinicultural lexicon is as rich as it is imprecise. All of these descriptors are variously employed to distinguish wines made with minimal interference or the use of additives.
In Georgian winemaking, however, there is a clear and important defining feature and that is the Qvevri.
The name refers specifically to the large lemon-shaped terracotta pot that is buried in the ground up to its neck. The word literally means ‘that which is buried’ (not to be confused with ‘Amphora’ which are not).
Somewhat bizarrely the traditional way of spelling Qvevri is Kvevri but when Georgian is typed on a standard keyboard the key allocated to this ‘k’ is actually the ‘q’ key; Georgians therefore invariably spell the word with a ‘q’ in English, the Q spelling is increasingly being favoured by the Georgian wine industry because of its graphical resemblance to the oval-shaped Qvevri.
Crucially, the entire wine making process takes place within the Qvevri, from fermentation right through to maturation, with the fermenting grape juice often being left on the skins and even grape stems (the ‘mother’) to create wines of exceptional flavour, complexity and colour.
Notably, these include the amber wines that are made from indigenous grape varieties, Rkatsiteli, Kisi and Mtsvane that produce the characteristically dry but full-bodied, aromatic orange wines. Red wines, often made from the Saperavi grapes, are also produced in Qvevri, to produce wines that have an inky purple colour with intense aromatics and dense, supple texture.
Despite a recent revival in these methods, yields are low and currently account for less than 10 per cent of Georgia’s total wine production which adds to their cachet.
The Qvevri themselves are made today by less than a handful of surviving master craftsmen; Such is their importance to the history of winemaking that the United Nations placed them on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2014.
It takes on average three months to make one 2000 litre Qvevri (firing alone takes seven to eight days). A giant coil pot, its coils are added slowly and gradually to maintain the correct tension and strength needed to hold the shape and weight of the clay.
After firing, while still warm, it is coated on the inside with beeswax to clog the pores without sealing them completely, to allow some air to pass through during fermentation. Pure beeswax also has waterproofing and sterilizing properties that make the Qvevri more hygienic and easy to clean. A limestone paint or concrete outer coating is added to protect it during transportation.
Given Georgia’s reputation as the ‘Cradle of Wine’, it is impossible to ignore associations with creation, nurturing and birth. Like a giant egg, the vessel is sunken into the earth to prevent it from cracking or breaking from build-up of pressure during fermentation. There it will protect its embryonic wine for an average six-to-nine month gestation, safe from external threats such as potential earthquake and fluctuating temperatures.
Qvevri are used differently according to which part of Georgia you are in, often determined by the climate of the region. As the regions get hotter, the more skins and stems tend to be fermented with the grapes – if stems are left in the wine in the cooler regions it can produce wines that are far too ‘green’ and harsh.
Alcoholic fermentation begins naturally after a few days and continues for two to four weeks at which point the cap falls. The fermenting grapes are ‘punched down’ twice a day during fermentation. Once the cap falls, the red wines are generally removed from the lees, or ‘mother’ while the whites are left with her.
A stone lid is placed over the top of the Qvevri and malolactic fermentation begins spontaneously soon afterwards.
They are then left to mature for an average of six months during which time the unwanted lees, seeds and stalks fall into the nipple where they have limited contact with the wine.
After this time, the Qvevri is opened, to reveal the delicious, bright liquid. It is then put on its feet (either by pump, gravity or more low-tech ladles), and transferred into freshly cleaned Qvevri, barrels or other storage vessels until it is ready for bottling. At the end of the cycle, the empty Qvevri is scrubbed thoroughly from the inside with a brush made from St John’s Wort to ensure it is sterile before it is filled again.
There are varied and often opposing views on the use of additives, including cultured yeasts, enzymes and sulphates. Some growers eschew them entirely while others seem to adopt a more discretionary approach. Either is the prerogative of the winemaker and subject to ever-changing new developments, consumer demands and legislation. In the meantime, it seems that the essential art of Qvevri winemaking is likely to remain as it has for the past 8000 years.
Source: The-buyer.net

Forbes Features “Unique” Georgian Wines

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 90

Forbes published an article this week by contributor Lana Bortolot titled ”Why Georgian wines are Among the Most Unique on the Planet”.

Bortolot is a wine, food, and travel reporter who holds the Advanced Wine & Spirits Education Trust certificate and has covered wine regions in more than 16 countries.

In the article, Bortolot explores Georgian wine culture, the role of wine in modern Georgian society, and the technical side of Georgian wine. The piece is peppered with quotes from Georgian wine lovers:

“Even where we think a culture like France or Italy is so wine-centric, Georgians just take it to a whole different level—much deeper than what we’re exposed,” – Taylor Parsons

“There’s something very particular about how Georgians love wine,” he said. “It’s a little eccentric but then you start looking into it and once you do, you’re truly amazed—it’s such an integral part of the culture and everyday life.” – Noel Brockett

“One of the most important things about Georgian wines is that it’s a window into a culture that most of us as Westerners simply don’t have,” – Simon J. Woolf

Bortolot goes on to focus on orange or amber wines, a style growing in popularity worldwide that has long been part of Georgia’s tradition. She also recounts a legend, which said that, in ancient times, “soldiers wove a piece of grapevine into the chain mail protecting their chests, so when they died in battle, a vine sprouted not just from their bodies, but their hearts.”

The article introduces readers to several Georgian wine makers – locals and expats, high end factories and garage operations – celebrating the varied, inclusive culture of Georgian wine.

The article ends with a wine sampler. Bortolot recommends Kisi, Mtsvane, Rkatsiteli, Saperavi, and Tsinandali for beginners.

 

 

By Samantha Guthrie, Source: Georgiatoday.ge

Top 10 Winter Experiences Of Georgia

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 166

We, Georgians, are the most welcoming people in the world! And we know how confusing it can be for you to plan your winter vacation in our country that has always been famous for its sea, sun, wine and mountains. That’s why we picked these ten experiences for you, so that you would make the most out of your holidays.

1. Learning to ski (if you still couldn’t)

There are really good ski instructors and ski camps for adults and kids at our ski resorts. The biggest amount of them is in Gudauri and Bakuriani.

2. Trying heli-ski (if you tried everything possible before)

If you are experienced enough, and your seek for adrenaline, heli-ski is something you would really enjoy! Untouched snow, fabulous altitude and crazy landscapes are waiting for you in Gudauri, Kazbegi and Mestia.

3. Visiting sulfur baths in Tbilisi

Everyone has heard about them, but not everybody knows that it’s not your average touristic thing. We go there too, when we are tired and want to recover. Strong massage with immense amounts of soap and hot sulfuric water do their thing pretty well!

4. Raving in Bassiani

The most famous Georgian club is not a place where you can easily walk it, which makes it more appealing to the fans of high class electronic music. Only top DJs, only right people!

5. Treating yourself with healing waters

Book spa treatment in one of the hotels in Borjomi, Sairme or Likani, or simply jump into the natural steaming water in the Mineral Waters Park in the center of Borjomi. The pools are located in its very end.

6. Having a wine tour

Even if the harvest season (Rtveli) is over, the wineries are always happy to welcome the guests. Encounter with 8000-years-old tradition of winemaking and sample the most interesting Georgian wines, so rich on tannins, so flavourful, so unique!

7. Visiting mysterious caves

Not far from Kutaisi, there are two caves that are accessible for the travelers – Sataplia and Prometheus are the names. Both of them are very impressive! The first one preserves the fossilized footprints of the dinosaurs, the second one is a bit bigger and offers a boat trip along the underground river in the end. Be aware of the fact that both are closed on Mondays!

8. Tracing different civilizations and cultures

Georgia was always in the middle of regional events, that’s why many cultures have influenced us. Visit the cave town Uplistsikhe to see how humans made the whole town out of rock several thousands years ago. A visit to the archaeological sites Dmanisi and Samshvilde will showcase the life of ancient people, and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, David Gareji cave monastery, Nekresi Monastery hidden in the forest on the mount will show you the different aspects of early Christianity in Georgia.

9. Enjoy subtropical nature

Going to the West gives you a refreshing experience of seeing green plants in winter. For example, Batumi Botanical Garden is simply fantastic!

10. Shop Georgian!

Clothes made by the Georgian designers as well as food and spices made in Georgia are always on the shopping list of a person who wants to bring home something special. We are sure that you will find the best and most interesting accessories, clothes and jewelry for you and your friends and family!

 

Source: Georgia.travel

Georgia – ideal climate conditions for Icewine

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 90

Georgia is widely considered as a cradle of wine. It is the country where the earliest evidence of grape wine-making was found. 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.

Icewine is believed to originate from Germany in the 1700s when freezing weather preceded the harvest and still, winemakers pressed the frozen grapes fermenting the juice to a sweet wine. The winemakers were impressed with the result and they decided to continue with the technique. The type of wine gradually evolved into a classical winter wine and spread throughout the world.

Georgia is one of those countries producing and exporting Icewine. The idea of producing Icewine in Georgia was initiated by one of the German consultants working at Marani, the only producer company of the wine in Georgia. Observing climate conditions in Georgia, the consultant was certain that the production would succeed.

Georgia is characterized by warm summers and cold winters that are ideal conditions for Icewine. Grapes are ripened in summer and frozen in winter. In order to make Icewine, Georgian winemakers do not harvest grapes until freezing weather sets in. Then, grapes are left to freeze naturally on the vine. After the water contained in grapes are frozen, the crops are harvested and pressed. What is produced from the frozen grapes is a small amount of sweet juice without any water.

As the amount of juice squeezed out of the frozen grapes is not impressive and a special pressing technology is required, the production of the wine is not massive and the price is quite high. Besides, it is focused on a limited number of consumers who love sweet wine.

 

Source: Georgianjournal.ge

Evidence of ancient wine found in Georgia a vintage quaffed some 6,000 years BC

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 153

Archaeologists are hard at work sifting through the dirt at a dig in Imiri, south-eastern Georgia.

The scientists believe that the site contains artefacts that could once and for all prove that Georgia is the oldest wine producing country in the world.

Eight thousand years ago, during the neolithic era, farming and agriculture were flourishing in the three villages that now make up the Shulaveri – Shumitepe Cultural ruins in Marneuli Valley.

And one of the products being grown and harvested proved to be grapes to make wine.

Stephen Batiuk is from the University of Toronto: “What is significant about this site is that it produced some of the earliest examples of domesticated grapes, which we believe were involved in the earliest production of wine. We know that a wine vessel was discovered in Shulaveri, which also provides evidence of early wine production. But here (Imiri site) wine could be produced even earlier taking wine production in Georgia all the way back to 6,000 BC.”

David Lordkipanidze, is director of Georgia’s National Museum:
“The aim of this project is to look at the history of agriculture. It’s not just only the question of the earliest wine and we have found here traces of very old wine making, but as well to look at the domestication of the weeds, of the different agricultural products, which shows that Caucasus and Georgia were part of this big geographical territory, the so called Fertile Crescent, where the earliest agriculture was appearing and first civilisations were spreading.”

The Fertile Crescent is a swathe of land stretching from upper Egypt to Mesopotamia, modern day Iraq, Kuwait and northeast Syria.

 

Source: Euronews.com

Tourists speak about Georgian wine at the Georgian Wine Festival 2018

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 158

Georgian Wine Festival 2018 has been going on for several hours already on the Shardeni Street in Tbilisi. Locals and tourists attend the event and are tasting products represented there.

What tourists say about Georgia

Tourists say that Georgian wine is distinguished with its diverse taste and is one of the best gifts they will take to their countries.
“I guess it is a wine holiday. I like Georgian wine very much and due to diverse taste of it, anyone can find their favourite wine. My favourite wine is Kindzmarauli. I have tried Kisi for the first time here and enjoyed it very much. All of my friends in Russia wait that I will take there a bottle of wine on the way back. I think wine is the best Georgian gift” – says one of the Russian tourists Irina Slavyeva.

“I turned up here accidentally and I am excited. I have tried Kindzmarauli, Saperavi and Mukuzani. My favourite one is Kindzmarauli for now. Today we fly back to Moscow and we have already defined weight of our luggage, but I will by several bottles though. In Moscow they enjoy Georgian wine very much. All of my friends asked me to take some wine for them” – says another Russian tourist Iulia Bistretskaya.
One of the guests Violeta Sharvashidze says that this kind of festival is very important in terms of tourism.

“I knew Wine Festival would be hold here so I arrived with my friends and all of us are very satisfied. I have tried different types of wine, but enjoyed Mtsvane Manavi by Batono Company very much. Generally, wines represented at the festival are very tasty. Ensembles sing perfectly well. We are staying here for the whole day and let’s see what else will be performed. Such festivals are very pleasant to the locals” – says Violeta Sharvashidze.
Actors from the Motion Theatre hold costume performance at the moment.

Georgian Wine Festival 2018 was opened by minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia Levan Davitashvili. Festival will finish at 7 pm today.
Partners of the event are Motion Theatre, The Folklore State Centre of Georgia and ART Shok Company.
Media supporters of the event are TV PalitraNews, Palitra Radio, ambebi.ge, events.ambebi.ge, ipn.ge, kvirispalitra, georgianjournal.ge, allnews.ge, reitingi.ge.
Source: Georgianjournal.ge

10 Reasons why you should visit Georgia

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 147
Cradle of Wine – It has been archaeologically proven that the roots of Georgian viticulture are between 9000 and 7000 BC.

A unique Alphabet – There are just 14 independent alphabets in the world and Georgian is one of them.

UNESCO heritage sites – Our current UNESCO heritage sites include the ancient capital city of Mtskheta, the massive cathedral complexes of Bagrati and Gelati, and the mountain region of Svaneti.

Europe’s highest settlement in Georgia – Ushguli is recognized as the highest settlement in Europe, set the altitudes between 2086 and 2200 meters above sea level.

First European civilization – Recent excavations of Dmanisi have revealed and extraordinary record of the earliest homonid dispersal beyond Africa (1,75 million years ago)

Flora and Fauna – Georgia is one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world, with climatic zones ranging from  subtropical to high alpine to semi- desert. Bears, lynxes and even leopards can be found in Georgia’s dense forests of Caucasian fir-the tallest trees in Europe.

Endless tourism possibilities – From adventure tourism to discovering the art of wine making, Georgia has something to delight every visitor.

Summer sea and winter ski resorts – In Georgia, you can swim in the sea as late as November. After that, why not head to the mountains, where there is guaranteed snow until late April, making Georgia a top destination for skiers and snowboarders.

Mountains and trekking – Access to peaks like Mount Shkhara (5201 Meters) and mount Ushba (4710 meters) and opportunities to stay with Svan families in villages make trekking in this region an outdoor and cultural adventure.

Rapid development – The New York Times ranked Georgia 6-th among 52 best countries for the tourism destination. Tbilisi has become one of the safest capitals in the Western World comparable to Lisbon or Vienna.