Michael Karam’s latest article for Harpers Wine and Spirit is a deep dive into the UK wine market’s perception and reception of…
This small country, of high mountains and huge hearts, has an unbroken wine making heritage of 8,000 years. ‘Mother Georgia’ – the symbolic statue of the nation that overlooks the capital city – is pictured holding a wine cup and a sword. Georgia is a country of wine, of poetry, of fierce spirit, of plucky scrum halves, and of sublime food. Wine is in the blood. But Georgia’s strategic location – on the silk route, bounded by powerful and sometimes covetous neighbours – has interrupted her undoubted potential for making world-class wine.
With hundreds of native varieties – including the thrilling red wine grape Saperavi – and a flourishing wine culture, Georgian wine was famous even in the 18th century. Soviet rule pasteurized the exuberant, individualistic native wine culture. The wine focus moved – with a few honorable exceptions – to quantity and homogeneity.
Since 1991 – and Georgia’s full independence – the country’s wine scene has mirrored the progress and confidence of this creative, poetic, dynamic and exuberant nation. Georgian wine exports to the UK – and other key markets – are booming.
Explore this site for information and resources on Georgian wine: where to buy it, how to enjoy it, and Georgian wine news and events in the UK.
“They could out-eat us, out-drink us, out-dance us. They had the fierce gaiety of the Italians, and the physical energy of the Burgundians. Everything they did was done with flair…nothing can break their individuality of their spirit.” John Steinbeck, on Georgia and Georgians, in ‘A Russian Journal’, 1948.