Georgia, cradle of viticultureSoon
31 July 2017 - 5 November 2017
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.
« 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.
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
You will probably like these experiences...
Tactile, descriptive and taste tour of the Georgia exhibitionAround 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.
Wine-making in QvevriAround 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.
SulikoAround 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.
Georgia, Cradle of Viticulture, special tour of the exhibitionAround 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.
Inaugural conference of the Georgia exhibitionAround 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.
Guided tour of the Georgia exhibition in French Sign LanguageAround 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.
SupraAround 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.