Archaeological excavations prove that wine was made, and of course drunk, in Georgia seven thousand years ago. According to a theory, the word wine derives from the Georgian word “ghvino”. The best grapes for winemaking come from Eastern Georgia - Kakheti province. Unique varieties of grapes occur in Western Georgia as well - the black grape “Khvanchkara” for instance, from Racha region,. It is grown in a very limited area and is distinguished for superb qualities and aroma. In the highlands of Georgia, where cultivation of vinicultures is impossible due to the climate conditions, the traditional drinks are fruit vodka called “Rakhi” and beer. Brewing beer during the religious festivals has a ritual significance for highlanders.
While discussing wine and the role of viniculture in Georgia, it is also important to emphasize the custom of traditional fest that involves different toasts regulated by the head of the table “Tamada” – a toast-master.
Georgian cuisine is referred to be as one of the special highlights of the country explored by the visitors. The most popular and well-known Georgian dishes throughout the country are: “Khinkali” – meat dumplings, “Khachapuri” – traditional pie with cheese or Georgian pizza as it is often called, “Satsivi”– meat of turkey in walnut sauce and “Mtsvadi”. Like wines, dishes of east and west Georgia differe. The dishes of Western Georgia are more refined prepared with more spices and occasionally more piquant. The locals use much walnut in food. Dishes of Eastern Georgia are simpler but no less tasty, meat dominates. In mountains in parallel to other local dishes, the favorite and one of the beloved dishes of all Georgians is “Khinkali”.