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Georgia - Cradle of WineGeorgian National Museum

Pieces of broken pottery have been unearthed from Georgia which hints toward the earliest known proof about origins of the present wine-making industry.

Researchers discovered eight shards from two sites which are located around 30 miles towards the south of Tbilisi.

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These shards are found to be 8,000 years old, which makes them 600 to 1,000 years older than the previously discovered wine jar found in nearby Iran.

This is not the oldest sign of wine-making as there is proof about a drink being produced around 9,000 years back in China; a beverage that mixed grape wine with rice beer and other ingredients.

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"But the Chinese drink used a wild grape that has apparently never been domesticated, while the Georgian wine used a Eurasian grape species that did undergo domestication and led to the vast majority of wine consumed today," said researcher Patrick McGovern from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia, as quoted by Associated Press.

"It's not clear whether the ancient Georgian vintners were using a domesticated form, but it's possible because they apparently made lots of wine," he added.

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He is part of an international team which came up with the new report. This study was funded by National Wine Agency of Georgia, where making wine is considered to be a part of the national identity.

The new study showed that the shards had absorbed the main chemical fingerprint of wine, tartaric acid along with some other substances which are linked with the drink.

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The shards are believed to be a part of the jars which were used for storing and fermenting the wine.

"It is very interesting that during this 8,000 years there was no interruption of wine-making tradition," said Shalva Khetsuriani, head of the Sommelier Association of Georgia.

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"The finding is "very significant" because it gives new evidence that the origins of wine making should be sought in the region," as per Gregory Areshian, an archaeology professor at the American University of Armenia who did not participate in the work.

Areshian had revealed about the finding of a 6,000-year-old winery in Armenia.