Wines of Abkhazia

History of Winemaking

The Abkhazian love affair with wine dates back centuries. Among the archeological discoveries that confirm this ancient wine culture are pitchers containing grape seeds that date back to 3000-2000 B.C. and a bronze statuette found in the 1950s in the Bombora settlement of the Gudauta region (a man holding a huge wine horn; scientists date the statue back to about the second millennium B.C.). A drawing of this statute is found on the label of the popular Apsny wine brand. Clay jars buried underground for wine conservation and aging were used in the West Caucasus as far back as 8,000 years, according to archeologists. This method of storing wine was believed to infuse it with a delicate flavor. The biggest wine container discovered in Abkhazia was almost five feet high and 3.2 feet wide. It could hold 53 gallons of wine. The tradition of burying wine is alive even today: ceramic jars can be found in almost every Abkhazian household. The healing powers of wine are well known to Abkhazians, so don't be surprised if you are invited in for a glass of good refreshing wine during a visit to an Abkhazian home. Read more...

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