Traditional harvest festivities in family circle belong to those distinctive Georgian traditions that still live. Despite the fact that nowadays young people prefer to live and work in the cities, in the fall many of them come to their ancestors’ land and grandparents’ homes to meet the whole family and take part in a ritual, which is almost as old as Georgia itself.
You may wonder, what is special about harvest, while it’s a normal part of agricultural routine. However, considering how deep the roots of viticulture in Georgia are – 8000 years old tradition is a lot! – one can imagine the meaning of production and consumption of wine for all the Georgians. Taking care of vines requires a lot of effort – no wonder that there is a saying that one needs to shed one’s own sweat over the vineyard to get a good harvest. So rtveli, the harvest time in Georgia, is crowning the natural cycle and starts a new one.
Every guest to Georgia can take part in rtveli – any vineyard owner is pleased by offered help and interest in the process of birth of wine. If you want to be involved into the ancient tradition, you should learn some special words for traditional tools related to winemaking.