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Georgian PM highlights country’s 8,000-year winemaking culture at ITB Berlin opening
07 March, 2023

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Monday highlighted the long-running tradition of winemaking on the territory of Georgia in his address at the formal launch of ITB Berlin, a major international tourism fair showcasing Georgia as the Host Country in the German capital.

Garibashvili told the audience of the event the international scientific community had recognised the findings of the earliest traces of winemaking, discovered in Georgian territory over the recent years and dating back 8,000 years.

Georgia has over 500 oldest local varieties of grapes, which cover almost all regions of Georgia. Historically, in a wine country almost every family had their own small wine cellars", Garibashvili said.

He told those featuring in the launch the viticulture had then spread from its origins on the territory of the modern country to other parts of the world, making a mark on the “development of agriculture, culture, biology, medicine and, in general, civilisations”.

Praise to the vine – a polyphonic song titled as You Are the Vineyard - became a kind of national anthem. This is the prayer of a Georgian man, for whom his estate, the vine and the Christianizing cross of Georgians bound with vines stand at the same height. The history of Christianity does not know a similar and - at the same time - more poetic form of conversion to Christianity", Garibashvili added.

The Georgian PM also highlighted the 2013 inscription of the traditional kvevri wine storage method from Georgia on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

He also noted his Government’s efforts of signing trade deals with the European Union, including measures that he said helped promote Georgian wine abroad.

“I am proud to have had the honour to sign the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreement [with the EU] in July 2016, which has increased the awareness of, and demand on, Georgian wine on international markets”, the Government head told the audience at the event.

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