I love broadening my own wine horizons, and I'm always surprised at how narrowly most non-wine-focused media see the world of wine. So I was quite surprised to see a whole segment today on CNN all about Georgian wine. No not the Southern State. The country.
The country of Georgia hosts one of the oldest winemaking cultures in the world, and is regarded by some as the birthplace of winemaking. Georgian wine, of which I've had a scant couple of bottles in my life, comes in many varieties, but they are most famous for their tradition of long macerated wines fermented and stored in huge terra-cotta amphorae called kvevri that are buried in the ground up to their necks. These practices are currently being borrowed (honored?) by a small number of winemakers outside of Georgia, most notably Josko Gravner, whose orange wines are very dear to my heart.
In this nice little segment, reporter Ivan Watson visits a couple of wineries to taste wines out of the kvevri and it looks like a lot of fun. It's great to see CNN off the beaten travel path, and wonderful to see them highlighting a wine region so rich in tradition and history.
Unfortunately, CNN perhaps not being so wine savvy, hasn't done a great job of fact checking their sources, as the number of vinifera grape varieties (the primary source of most fine wine) in the world that is quoted in the story at 3000 is actually much closer to 10,000. While Georgia should be proud of their 500 (of which 38 are officially sanctioned for grape growing, according to Jancis Robinson's Oxford Companion to Wine), they certainly don't represent one sixth of the known varieties on the planet.
No matter. Georgia is still cool, and so are their wines.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
I'll Drink to That: Danilo Nada of Nada Fiorenzo Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 8/23 Vinography Images: Night Sorting Small is Beautiful: The Champagnes of Savart I'll Drink to That: Karl duHoffmann of Anchor Brewing Warm Up: Jerez de la Frontera I'll Drink to That: Antonio Flores of González Byass California 2015 - Vintage of Fire Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 8/16 A Selection of Georgian Wines
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune