Georgia, cradle of viticulturePreviously

Temporary Exhibition "Guest Wine Region"

31 July 2017 - 5 November 2017

Schedule

Accessible during La Cité du Vin opening hours
* Free Season ticket holders / Single ticket €4.00

Accessibility

General public
Included in the Permanent tour + Belvedere ticket *
20.00

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The exhibition

Set on the banks of the Black Sea and nestled at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains where Europe and Asia meet, Georgia has an age-old culture of winemaking dating back to the 6th millennium BC.

 

From 31 July to 5 November 2017, La Cité du Vin is presenting its very first ‘Guest Wine Region’ temporary exhibition and invites you to visit Georgia and discover an ancient culture that forms the roots of modern winegrowing and winemaking

Produced by the Georgian State and the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi, this exhibition will showcase 125 archaeological and ethnographical exhibits, works of art as well as period photographs from the Georgian National Museum collections. All of them illustrate the key role which wine and vine play in Georgian culture, firmly rooted in the past yet resolutely forward-looking.

Numerous events attached to the exhibition will punctuate life at La Cité du Vin throughout the exhibition period: a concert, a film, a festive event, conferences, as well as Georgian wine-tasting and grape variety discovery workshops.

To find out more, click on the +

 

 

« Georgia, cradle of viticulture »

The first ‘Guest Wine Region’ exhibition at La Cité du Vin focuses on Georgia, the small republic located next to the Black Sea, tucked away at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains, between Europe and Asia. This exhibition illustrates Georgia’s undying love for and links to wine and the vine across the millennia, via 125 works of art, archaeological and ethnographic objects and heritage photographs all taken from the collections of the Georgian National Museum.

The exhibition is co-organised and financed by the Georgian Ministry of Agriculture, through Mr Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Agriculture, and Ms Ecaterine Siradze-Delaunay, the Georgian Ambassador to France. The project is supported by the National Wine Agency, the Georgian Wine Association, and the National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia («Sakpatenti»).

This exhibition focuses on four key themes

The exhibition design was devised by Lina Lopez, a Franco-Colombian artist, freelance curator and museographer. Lina Lopez has more than 20 years of experience in organising, producing and designing art exhibitions, and in museum layout.

THE ROOTS OF GEORGIAN WINE CULTURE

Numerous archaeological findings attest to a proven and recognised human presence in the country’s south-eastern region since the Palaeolithic era. It’s in this region, on a Neolithic site belonging to the so-called Shulaveri-Shomutepe culture, where discoveries have allowed to prove Georgia’s origins in wine-making. The following era, the Neolithic period, is characterised in Georgia by significant agricultural, economic and vinicultural development. Through the archaeological discoveries of the Bronze Age, you can find out how agriculture and metallurgy, the two main branches of the economy in this era, contributed considerably to the development of Georgian wine growing.

Wine and royalties

The territory we now know as Georgia has been home to two significant kingdoms during the ancient times: the Kingdom of Colchis and the Kingdom of Iberia. The discovery of many ornamental, decorative and everyday objects in bronze and gold from these two periods testifies to the wealth and opulence of the times. The great variety and original shapes of the vessels used for wine and for the local elite’s funeral rites and rich tombs testify to the importance of portraying vines and wine during these periods.

The importance of wine in religious beliefs

During the pre-christian period, wine and vines are extensively depicted alongside zoomorphic and anthropomorphic divinities on objects of rites and worship, as well as on objects from everyday life. During the christian period, Saint Nino left Cappadocia (Turkey) in the 4th century to evangelise Georgia with the Grapevine Cross made with vine branches. This cross has become the symbol of the Georgian apostolic church. The sacred union between the vine and the tree of life is displayed on archaeological objects used for worship, as well as in the architecture of Georgia’s traditional marani cellar, and on the frescoes and exterior.

Wine in everyday life

Grapevines have always been part of the daily lives of Georgians. The marani, Georgian wine cellar found in single family houses, has kept its sacred and religious importance throughout the centuries. The Georgian tradition of producing wine in terracotta jars called qvevri is totally unique. UNESCO has included this ancient and traditional method of Georgian winemaking in its Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) list. What’s more, this exhibition will give you the opportunity to learn more about Georgian history and everyday life from the mid-19th century until the early 20th century through the exceptional collection of photographs by Dimitri Ermakov, a key ethnographic, archaeological and cultural source on Caucasian history.

* Single ticket €4.00

Specific conditions of temperature, humidity and lighting are required to conserve the works on exhibit. The temperature of the exhibition room is therefore strictly controlled and may feel cool. Visitors are advised to dress suitably.

Photos Credits

  • Ritual statuette, Tamada, Bronze, H.: 7.5 cm, Vani, 7th - 6th centuries BC © Georgian National Museum
  • Hemispherical cup on a tall foot with flat base, Monochrome glaze, H.: 10 cm, Tbilisi, 12th-13th centuries © Georgian National Museum
  • Vine shoots wrapped in silver leaves, Wood and silver, L.: 6.5 cm, Bedeni, Second half of the 3rd millennium BC © Georgian National Museum
  • Ram head pendant, Bronze, L: 15.4 cm, Brili, End of the 2nd millennium BC © Georgian National Museum
  • Jug, Clay, D.: 21 cm / H.: 30 cm, Gomareti, 4th century BC © Georgian National Museum
  • Drinking vessel with stylized handle in a zoomorphic pattern. Clay, H.: 10.8 cm / D.: 6 cm, Vani, 8th to 7th centuries BC © Georgian National Museum
  • Bust - face of a faun, Bronze, H.: 12.4 / L.: 10.5 cm, Vani, Second half of the 2nd century BC © Georgian National Museum
  • Rython, Clay, H: 13.5 cm / L: 20 cm, Sagarejo, 4th - 3rd centuries BC © Georgian National Museum
  • Marani pitcher, Clay, H.: 19 cm / D.: 9 cm, 20th century © Georgian National Museum
  • Fragments of crockery with traces of tartaric acid, Clay, H.: 5 cm, Shulaveris Gora, 6th millennium BC © Georgian National Museum

Exhibition Curator And Academic Committee

The exhibition was designed by:

David Lordkipanidze, Managing Director at the Georgian National Museum, who also leads the ‘Research and Popularization of Georgian Grape and Wine Culture’ project, which was initiated in 2014 by the National Wine Agency.

The exhibition is backed by an academic committee comprising:

  • Salomé GURULI, art historian, associate exhibition curator
  • Mindia JALABADZE, archaeologist
  • Eliso KVAVADZE, palynologist
  • Erekle KORIDZE, archaeologist
  • Nino LORDKIPANIDZE, archaeologist, associate exhibition curator
  • Zurab MAKHARADZE, archaeologist
  • Merab MIKELADZE, ethnologist, associate exhibition curator
  • Eldar NADIRADZE, ethnologist
  • Nana RUSISHVILI, archaeo-botanist

The exhibition is also supported by various internationally recognised scientific experts:

  • Patrick MCGOVERN, University of Pennsylvanie, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • Thomas P. GILBERT et Nathan WALES, University of Copenhagen
  • Stephen BATIUK, University of Toronto, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
  • Roberto BACILIERI, INRA-CIRAD, Sup Agro UMR AGAP Montpellier
  • Laurent BOUBY, Institute of Evolutionary Sciences of the University of Montpellier
  • Osvaldo FAILLA, University of Milano
  • Tina KEZELI, Georgian Wine Association
  • David MAGHRADZE, National Wine Agency

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  • Guided tour: Tactile, descriptive and taste tour of the Georgia exhibition

    Around the "Georgia, cradle of viticulture" exhibition

    Saturday 23 September at 11am
    Guided tour & tasting / Full rate €10.00 - Season ticket holders €8.00

    Explore the exhibition in the company of a presenter who narrates the uninterrupted history of Georgian winemaking and describes the exhibits, including some you can touch. The visit will be followed by a Georgian wine-tasting to music.

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  • Guided tour: Tasting tour of the Georgia exhibition (French speaking)

    Around the "Georgia, cradle of viticulture" exhibition

    Daily at 4pm, Fridays at 4pm and 6pm during summer and autumn school holidays
    Tasting tour / Season ticket holders €4.80 - Full rate (entrance ticket to the exhibition not included) €6.00

    Come and discover Georgia during a guided tour of the “Georgia, Cradle of Viticulture” exhibition. The tour will be led by a cultural mediator and will reveal the unique ties between Georgia and wine. The visit will end with a wine tasting, revealing all the modernity of Georgian viticulture.

  • Event: Wine-making in Qvevri

    Around the "Georgia, cradle of viticulture" exhibition

    Sunday 17 September at 3pm
    Film screening & debate - tasting / Season ticket holders €4.80
    - Full rate 6,00€

    Inscribed in 2013 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, A qvevri is a clay recipient shaped like an egg, and is used to vinify, age and store wine. On the program of this event: short films and commented tasting of Georgian wines vinified and aged in earthenware jars.

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  • Workshop : Georgia, between tradition and modernity (French speaking)

    Around the "Georgia, cradle of viticulture" exhibition

    From 31 July to 5 November, every Saturday at 5pm
    Curiosity workshop / Season ticket holders €16.00 - Full rate (entrance ticket to the exhibition included) €20.00

    Come and discover the cradle of wine, between time-old tradition and modernity, during a tasting workshop. From ancestral techniques with amphoras to modern technology, three wines will recount the history of a country that has been living to the rhythm of its wine for 8,000 years.

  • Event: Suliko

    Around the "Georgia, cradle of viticulture" exhibition

    Saturday 16 September at 7pm
    Polyphonic concert & tasting / Full rate €20.00 - Season ticket holders €16.00

    Inscribed in 2008 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the Suliko concert is a vocal and instrumental ensemble composed of soloists from the Tbilisi Opera. The evening’s programme will immerse you in works from the traditional repertoire and by contemporary Georgian composers.

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  • Guided tour: Georgia, Cradle of Viticulture, special tour of the exhibition

    Around the "Georgia, cradle of viticulture" exhibition

    Thursday 14 September at 11am
    Guided tour & tasting / Season ticket holders €4.80 - Full rate €6.00

    As part of the Bordeaux Landscapes 2017 cycle: more information to come. With: Nino LORDKIPANIDZE : director of the Archaeological Project Management Department, Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi.

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  • Event: Inaugural conference of the Georgia exhibition

    Around the "Georgia, cradle of viticulture" exhibition

    Wednesday 13 September at 6.30pm
    Conference / Free

    As part of the Bordeaux Landscapes 2017 cycle : more information to come. With: David Lordkipanidze, Managing Director at the Georgian National Museum.

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  • Workshop : Investigations in Georgia (French speaking)

    Around the "Georgia, cradle of viticulture" exhibition

    Daily at 11pm, during summer and autumn school holidays
    Kids workshop (children aged 6 to 12) / Workshop + exhibition ticket (entrance ticket to the exhibition included) €9.00

    Investigations in Georgia” will allow children to discover the relatively unheard-of heritage of Georgia. After discovering the different specialisations of archaeology, children will step into the shoes of one of these specialists to solve an archaeological puzzle about Georgia in teams.

  • Guided tour: guided tour of the Georgia exhibition in French Sign Language

    Around the "Georgia, cradle of viticulture" exhibition

    Saturday 9 September at 11am
    Guided tour & tasting / Season ticket holders €8.00 - Full rate €10.00

    Guided tour of the temporary exhibition followed by a tasting of Georgian wine.

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  • Event: Supra

    Around the "Georgia, cradle of viticulture" exhibition

    Saturday 23 September at 8pm
    Georgian banquet / Full rate €39.00 - Season ticket holders €31.20

    Georgian banquets are like no others in the world. They are not simply the abundance of dishes and beverages one finds at every banquet, but also a set of very ancient rites that bond a society around wine.

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