Archeological discovery of Kvevri, wine vessels made of gold, silver, bronze, clay wine vessels dating back to III-II millennium B.C. can serve as an evident proof that Georgia is one of the ancient centers of origin of cultivated vine (Vitis Vinifera).
The age of materials and perfection of species found in Georgia
proves that grape growing and wine making in Georgia dates back to
about 7000 B.C. and earlier. Archeological remains of grape pips
evidence that grape has been cultivated in Georgia for ages. There
are currently about 4000 species of grapes worldwide; 450 native to
Georgia though 62 are standard range of wine varieties; including
29 for wine and 9 table grapes. 65-70% of Georgian vineyards are
concentrated in Kakheti.
The best quality wine producing industrial vineyards are cultivated
at the basin of Alazani an Iori rivers, at 400-700 m above sea
level. The climate in Kakheti is moderately warm, average annual
active temperature range is about 3500-42000, average annual
precipitation range 400-800 mm, duration of daylight - 2000-2200 h;
Dedoplistskaro municipality is located at the extreme south-east of
Georgia, between Alazani an Iori rivers; this is one of the
important parts of Kakheti, called “Kiziki”.
Earliest name of region according to historical sources was
“Kambechovani” (Strabo mentioned as “Kambisene”) and was mentioned
as part of the “Kingdom of Hereti”. The capital of Kambechovani was
Khornabuji, along with Ujarma and Cheremi it was one of the most
developed cities at eastern Georgia since III. In the V century, in
the reign of Vakhtang Gorgasali, when Georgian church was awarded
Autocephaly, Khornabuji Eparchy was one of the earliest twelve
The name “Kiziki” is mentioned firstly mentioned in 15th century,
after dividing Georgia in separate kingdoms-domains. Kizikian
peasants were exempted from serfdom liabilities and obeyed directly
to the king through appointed governor – Mouravi; this peculiarity
greatly contributed to development of strong character, love of
freedom and loyalty to king and motherland.
The term “Zedashe” has different meanings, but mostly associates to
wine and Kvevri. In the dictionary of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani it is
defined as “offertory wine” etimologically originating from meaning
of “offertory”. By the Old Testament, Abraham took a tenth of all
he had captured in battle and gave it to Melchizedek and after that
the offertory to God was established. When the Illuminator St. Nino
came to Georgia she was holding grape vine cross bounded with her
hair; since then vine becomes symbol of new religion and wine was
integral of offertory to church. As all lands and vineyards
belonged to seigniors, they paid all taxes to king; but in Kiziki
these taxes were obligations of free peasants.
Wine devoted to God was made by families of same surname in one
special Kvevri, the wine was donated to church. As families has
grown in number some of them created separate Zedashe. In our days
every family and its branch thorough Kiziki have their own Zedashe,
but only some of them make wine in Zedashe for donation to Church.
At Zedashe and Kvevri people prayed to the saint and church to
which the offertory wine was prepared. In 20th century initial
purpose of Zedashe was forgotten but people still consider it as