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Recognition of world scientific circles: Georgia - the country of ancient winemaking!

14/11/2017 12:05

On 14th noveber the hotel “Radison Blue Iveria” guested the scientific research presentation about Georgian winemaking culture. After the presentation, scientists have admitted that the first winemakers in the world were Georgians, and that the culture of winemaking started from Georgia. Professor David Lortkipanidze announced the research results and methods during the presentation.

The official scientific journal of the National Academy of Sciences PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America), which is one of the highest-ranking science journals of the world, published the article „Early Neolithic wine of Georgia in the South Caucasus". Along with the Georgian researchers, the authors of the article are scientists from USA, France, Italy, Canada, Denmark and Israel.

The article describes a new multidisciplinary study, according to which Humans were fermenting grapes into wine in Georgia as early as 6000-5800 BC - in other words, yet 8000 years ago.

 Since 2014, with the initiative of Georgian Wine Association and support of Georgian government, National Wine Agency of Georgia guides the international multidisciplinary Research Project for the Study of Georgian Grapes and Wine Culture. The project is joined by the Georgian scientists, as well as by the researchers from Pennsylvania, Montpellier, Milan, Copenhagen and Toronto universities, also the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel) and French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). The scientific director of the project is the corresponding member of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences David Lordkipanidze. The project is coordinated by the National Wine Agency scientist Dr. David Maghradze.

The study of the archaeological sites of the Neolithic period (VI Millennium B.C) on the territory of Georgia started yet in 1960-ies by the expeditions of Georgian National Academy of Sciences, Simon Janashia State Museum of Georgia. It was gradually guided by Alexandre Javakhishvili, Otar Japharidze and Tamaz Kiguradze. Currently, the excavations are led by archaeologist Mindia Jalabadze. In recent years, the Georgian National Museum's archaeological expeditions are supported by the National Wine Agency, The Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation and the University of Toronto.

The biomolecular and archaeological researches of the newly discovered pieces of jars from "Gadachrili Gora" and "Shulaveri Gora" archaeological sites (Marneuli Region, south-east part of Georgia), led by Pennsylvania University Professor Patrick McGovern, revealed the fingerprint of organic acids: tartaric, malic, succinic, and citric acids. This is a marker for wine, made fromVitis vinifera grape variety. The palaeobotanical studies, held by the Georgian National Museum scientists Eliso Kvavadze and Nana Rusishvili, showed that grapes were abundant in the region during the early Neolithic. The researchers from the University of Milan, headed by Osvaldo Failla, restored the climate of the VI millennium B.C and confirmed, that 8000 years ago, in Kvemo Kartli there were appropriate conditions for vine cultivation. In Israeli Weismann Institute, under the guidance of Elisabetta Boaretto, the age of samples was determined by the method of dating C14. This research proved that these samples are dated with 6000-5800 BC and are 600 years older than previously earliest-known wine remains from Zagros Mountains (Iran).

 Thus, the world scientific community recognized that the oldest wine remains were discovered on the territory of Georgia, from where it spread around the world with profound consequences for agriculture, human culture, biology, medicine, and ultimately civilization.