December 2016

First date with Azerbaijan wine

When talking wine, most people think of Western-Europe when referring to Old World, yet few seem to know that further east lies an even older world when it comes to wine growing and making. Forget Greece or Italy, grapes have already been cultivated a few thousand years ago next to the Caucasus Mountains.

Although the first viticultural activities are said to date back to an area which is now northern Iran, Caucasian countries like Georgia and Armenia surely contributed to the birth of serious wine making. Dramatic landscapes, planted with indigenous grapes carrying unpronounceable names like Mtsvane or Rkatsiteli, where winemakers still use ancient vinification techniques (e.g. qvevri, large clay vessels buried in the ground, meant for fermentation and maturation of grapes, even for whites resulting in unusual tannic white wine).

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