TBILISI, December 5 (RIA Novosti) – Georgia’s traditional method of wine production, using underground clay jars for fermentation, has been placed on a UN list of protected non-material cultural heritage.
A UNESCO committee awarded the Georgian jars, known as kvevri, protected status on Wednesday during a meeting held this week in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, to review new applications for the list.
Georgian wine is traditionally sealed in the kvevri – amphora-like clay vessels that are buried underground up to the neck – for up to six months to mature, giving the liquid a distinctive earthy flavor.
The fermentation tradition dates back about 8,000 years.
Georgia’s Culture Ministry said the inclusion would help promote the popularity of its wine on the international market.
Georgian wine returned to the Russian market earlier this year, after being banned in 2006 for allegedly poor quality standards, just as the countries were experiencing a period of heightened political tensions.
Mongolian calligraphy, Italian violin craftsmanship and Chinese shadow puppetry are among the other protected traditions on the UNESCO list.