Fill up your glass: Georgia celebrates National Wine Day today

While this year’s festival has passed, make a note for your diary for next year’s May event. Photo by Nino Alavidze/, 04 Oct 2015 - 13:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

For those with a passion for good wine, Georgia is the best place to be today as the country celebrates National Wine Day.

Today Georgian wine is being hounoured at special celebrations around the country where litres of wine will be consumed nationwide.

Georgia's National Wine Day will encompass events in eight cities, including capital Tbilisi and Georgia’s eastern winemaking region Kakheti.

If you want to know how far Georgian grapes and wine-making connection extends read the wine blog  How a qvevri came to be at my home in Columbia, Maryland, written for by Terry Sullivan, author of the book Georgia, Sakartvelo: the Birthplace of Wine.

Earlier today Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili opened the Centre for Georgian Wine, which included a dedicated museum for Georgian traditional winemaking tools and items.

Tents were set and pavilions were placed at different locations in Tbilisi and other cities, where guests could sample Georgian wines and national food.

In the captial the festivities commenced at Rose Revolution Square, near Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel, at 11am.

The highlight of the capital city’s festival will be a celebratory march featuring more than 500 volunteers through the Square and nearby area.

This is the second year Georgia’s traditional drink has its own celebration day after PM Garibashvili proposed the idea in February 2014 at the presentation of the Wine Culture Research Project at Georgia’s National Museum.

Georgia is believed to be the birthplace of wine. The fertile valleys of the South Caucasus, which Georgia straddles, are believed by many archaeologists to be the source of the world's first cultivated grapevines and Neolithic wine production over 8,000 years ago.

The traditional Georgian style of winemaking using qvevri clay jars was listed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage lists.

Qvevris on display at Tbilisi Open Air Museum of Ethnography. Photo by N.Alavidze/Agenda,ge.

The celebrations will last until late evening in Tbilisi. 

Meanwhile later today PM Garibashvili will visit one of the villages of Kakheti, Georgia’s most popular wine-making region, and participate in grape-picking activities.