Financial Times: “Georgian wines: older and wiser”

  • An illustration of a man sampling wine from a qvevri - traditional clay jar used to produce wine. Photo by Financial Times.

Review by Genevieve Helliwell

Review by Journalist of, 13 Aug 2015, Tbilisi,Georgia

"In Georgia, winemaking methods that were developed 8,000 years ago have not been abandoned but remain best practice,” writes Andrew Jefford for the Financial Times online.

Wine makers around the globe believe much of today’s wine is over processed that led to "a loss of the innate differences with which wine was one synonymous”. The movement to reintroduce the world to natural wines appears to have started in Italy, but look further east to Georgia and you can find the true origin of natural and orange wine, he says.

"Georgia is a land of multiple wine astonishments”, writes Jefford in his piece published in the life&arts section of the website.

Georgia is the only country in the world where winemaking methods that were developed up to 8,000 years ago have not only never been abandoned but remain in many ways best practice. Georgia’s winemakers are the guardians of wine’s oldest traditions, and they’re happy that this is now both recognised and respected.”

‘Natural’ wine (made without additives) and ‘orange’ wine (white wine made like a red by lengthy soaking of skins with juice) are become increasingly popular in the western world, while wind drinkers in the east already know and appreciate the taste of such wines.

"There are two compelling reasons to seek out Georgian wine. The first is its repertoire of indigenous grape varieties: 525 survive, out of a total thought to have once numbered 1,400 or more. The second is, precisely, those old ways – the chance to taste wines that have been fermented in the buried, wax-lined clay jars the Georgians call qvevri.”

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