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“Rtveli” in Georgia: A Time for Harvest, Joy, and Traditions

Introduction:

In the heart of Georgia, something magical happens every year - it's called “Rtveli” (რთველი). It's a time when the entire nation comes together to celebrate the bountiful harvest and prepare for the art of winemaking. “Rtveli” is more than just a season; it's a cultural extravaganza that showcases the soul of Georgia.




The Season of Abundance:

“Rtveli” typically spans from early September to mid-October, with different regions starting at different times. During this period, vineyards across the country are cleared, and grapes are meticulously picked, each one destined for a unique journey into the world of wine.




Preserving Quality:

The importance of “Rtveli” cannot be overstated. It's a time of great joy and anticipation for Georgians. Winemaking plans hinge on the harvest's quantity and grape quality. For many farmers, their livelihoods depend on the prices and quantities of quality grapes. The lines at grape-selling points can stretch for hours, with dedicated farmers waiting patiently to deliver their precious cargo.




A Season of Preparation:

“Rtveli” requires careful planning. It involves finding a dedicated workforce to handpick the grapes on time, preparing cellars (Marani - მარანი), and ensuring that all equipment is in top condition. Weather forecasts are closely monitored, as rain can disrupt the process. The quality of the wine itself depends on factors like sunlight, so timing is critical.




A Time for Family and Tradition:

But “Rtveli” is not just about hard work; it's also about family and tradition. Families come together to feast, sharing traditional foods and drinks. Everyone gets involved, from the elderly to the youngest members, creating lasting bonds. Many families produce their own wine using traditional methods, like Qvevri and cysterns. The harvest season is capped off with toasts and cheers of "Gaumarjos!"





After the Harvest:

Once the grapes are harvested, winemaking factories swing into action. They crush as many grapes as they can, preparing supplies and wines for the upcoming year. Farmers reinvest their profits to improve vineyard care, ensuring a thriving harvest for the future.


Conclusion:

Harvest (“Rtveli”-რთველი) is a time of celebration, hard work, and tradition that defines Georgia's culture. It's a reminder of the nation's deep connection to the land and its commitment to producing some of the world's finest wines. With an 8000-year winemaking tradition that every Georgian is immensely proud of, harvest is not just a season; it's a living testament to the enduring spirit and heritage of our country. When you visit during “Rtveli”, you're not just witnessing a harvest; you're experiencing the heart and soul of Georgia. Cheers to “Rtveli” - a season of abundance, hard work, joy, and unforgettable memories!








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