April 11, 2024

Preserving Georgia’s Viticultural Heritage: A Dive into Local Endemic Grape Varieties

Preserving Georgia’s Viticultural Heritage: A Dive into Local Endemic Grape Varieties

In the heart of Samtskhe-Javakheti, Georgia, where rugged landscapes meet fertile valleys, vineyards are undergoing a transformation. Farmers Zurab Tsiklauri and Kakhaber Teliashvili recently hosted a groundbreaking event, attracting over 60 farmers from the region.

Their vineyards served as the venue for a unique field training session, meticulously designed to provide both theoretical knowledge and practical skills in vineyard maintenance. Led by the knowledgeable Mr. Levan Ujmajuridze, the training was a collaborative effort between the Scientific-Research Center of Agriculture and the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (RECC), with support from the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia and UNEP.

Participants delved into soil preparation techniques, optimizing grape cultivation by enhancing soil fertility for the delicate vine roots. “Despite my experience as a farmer and winemaker, I am eager to follow field training dedicated to soil fertility and vine agrotechnology. Visualization and showcasing are the best ways to learn, especially for farmers,” said Zurab Tsiklauri from Rustavi, Aspindza Municipality.

Imeda Chaduneli from Tsnisi, Akhaltsikhe Municipality, added, “Providing farmers, especially in remote areas, with practical skills and knowledge is crucial. Many have some knowledge and grow vines, but they lack proper agrotechnology.”

The live demonstration on vine pruning truly captured the essence of proper vineyard maintenance. Mr. Ujmajuridze shared insights into pruning young vines, passing down generational wisdom with each snip of the shears.

As farmers engaged in lively discussions, it became evident that the future of Meskhetian viticulture lies in honoring the past. Through initiatives like these, farmers are not only cultivating grapes but nurturing a legacy deeply rooted in the soil of Aspindza and Akhaltsikhe, where the spirit of Georgia’s vineyards continues to thrive.