French mu­seum raises a glass to ‘cra­dle of wine-mak­ing’ Ge­or­gia

Global Times US Edition - - LIFE -

France’s Cite de Vin mu­seum will toast Ge­or­gia’s 9,000-year his­tory as the global birth­place of wine-mak­ing in a new ex­hi­bi­tion from Mon­day.

The wine his­tory mu­seum in the south­west­ern city of Bordeaux – dubbed “adult Dis­ney­land” when it opened in 2016 – will show­case 125 ob­jects from the Black Sea na­tion dat­ing back as far as the Ne­olithic era.

“We’re try­ing to show how much the phe­nom­e­non of wine has been an in­sep­a­ra­ble part of daily Ge­or­gian life and cul­ture since the very be­gin­ning,” ex­hibit com­mis­sioner Nino Lord­kipanidze told AFP.

More than 39,000 peo­ple flocked to the mu­seum in the French wine cap­i­tal this year to see its first ma­jor ex­hi­bi­tion, Bistrot!, gath­er­ing works of art por­tray­ing cafes and bars over the ages.

The Ge­or­gia show will see pot­tery frag­ments dat­ing back to the 6th cen­tury BC – con­tain­ing traces of tar­taric acid, proof of the pres­ence of wine – go on dis­play for the first time.

It will also fea­ture a par­tially-re­con­structed “marani,” or Ge­or­gian wine cel­lar, and the large egg-shaped clay pots known as “kvevri” that are still used by Ge­or­gian wine-mak­ers to­day.

The mu­seum is also putting on a se­ries of talks, con­certs, film screen­ings and, of course, wine tast­ings.

Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal finds have shown that viti­cul­ture in Ge­or­gia dates as far back as 7000 BC, well be­fore west­ern Euro­peans were even think­ing about hav­ing a tip­ple.

Grapevine ten­drils have even been found buried next to hu­man re­mains.

“The vine ac­com­pa­nied the buried per­son in their jour­ney to the here­after,” Lord­kipanidze said.

Early Ge­or­gians mulched grapes in their en­tirety and left the mix to fer­ment in kvevri, stored in un­der­ground pits to keep the liq­uid cool.

The pots and the process are still used nowa­days for reds and whites, and as the taste for nat­u­rally-made wines spreads glob­ally, wine­mak­ers as far afield as Aus­tralia and Italy are mim­ick­ing the old tech­nol­ogy.

The kvevri clay-pot method of fer­ment­ing wine won a place in 2013 on UN­ESCO’s list of the “in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage of hu­man­ity.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.