Georgia is a country where humans first discovered the art of winemaking. Georgia is the oldest wine producing region in the world. 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. Due to the many millennia of wine in Georgian history, the traditions of its viticulture are entwined and inseparable with the country's national identity.
Among the best-known regions of Georgia where wine is produced are Kakheti (further divided onto micro-regions of Telavi and Kvareli), Kartli, Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, and Abkhazia.
Viticulture in Georgia today
Georgia ranks 2nd (in terms of volume) in grape production in the former Soviet Union behind Moldova, and Georgian wines have always been the most highly prized and sought after in the Soviet space. Presently, the wine is produced by thousands of small farmers (using primarily traditional techniques of wine-making), as well as modern wineries, such as Teliani Valley, Telavis Marani, Tbilvino, Kindzmarauli Marani, Badagoni and Mukhrani.
According to Minister of Agriculture of Georgia grapes harvest in 2009 was 130000 tons and wine production has increased from 13.8 millions wine bottles in 2009 to 15.8 millions wine bottles in 2010 with bottle size 0.75 l (11.85 thousands tons in 2010). In 2009 Georgia exported 10.968 millions bottles of wine in 45 countries. In 2010 Georgia exported wines in: Ukraine - about 7.5 millions bottles, Kazakhstan - about 2.0 millions bottles, Belarus - about 1.2 millions bottles, Poland - about 870 thousands bottles and Latvia - 590 thousands bottles.