Georgia, located in the middle of Europe and Asia, offers a distinct cultural experience, unique from the neighboring countries. 8,000 years old wine-making tradition continues to be the cultural attribute and treasure of Georgia. Knowing and appreciating the oldest civilizations cherish our identities and remind us of where we are coming from. Here are some facts about old Georgian culture carried by a small nation with a big heart. Georgian language is one of the ten oldest languages, it has three alphabets which are included by UNESCO in the world cultural heritage. The third person in Georgian does not have a gender, Georgians are using “that” instead of he or she, implying gender equality ingrained in the Georgian language. Sakartvelo is what Georgians call the country which means the land of Kartvelians. 

The Oldest Human skulls discovered in Europe were found in the Republic of Georgia. The 1.8 million years old remains of couple named Zezva and Mzia, suggest that humans migrated from Africa to Europe way before it was assumed. The Dmanisi site is in southern Georgia, where tourists have an opportunity to experience the history of the Bronze age, cherishing the European identity. The term Caucasian comes from the Caucasus mountains located in Georgia implying that Georgians are the real Caucasians. Georgian cuisine is abundant with delicious food including: Khachapuri (cheese bread), Khinkali (dumplings), Mtsvadi (meat skewers) Qababi (kebabs)… Those mysterious flavors can’t be completed without delicious Georgian wine. Georgian Supra, a traditional feast, offered to the guests is one of the biggest parts of the culture. 

Georgian hospitality encompasses supra, food, wine and toasts offered during a feast. Drinking without toasting is not acceptable, every supra has a toastmaster to smoothly run the gathering. Toastmaster (Tamada) is an honorable responsibility granted to only experienced people. The world’s first wine was discovered in the South Caucasus making Georgia the cradle of wine. The Georgian Qvevri -ceramic vessel used to age wine for thousands of years is considered one of the oldest winemaking techniques. Georgians are still using Qvevri, sustaining traditions ascribed to the oldest wine region. Winemaking was always ingrained with history, religion, mythology, and traditions. An old tale narrates how soldiers wove a piece of grapevine into the chain mail protecting their chests, so when they died in the war, a vine emerged not just from their bodies, but their hearts. This story might be short, but it provides deep and fascinating details about Georgian relationship with Wine.