It is believed that the nation of Georgia, located just north of Turkey, was the birthplace of winemaking, some 5000-6000 years ago. Today, wine here is made in much the same manner as back then, with long aging underground in terra cotta pots, known as amphorae. The region of Kakheti is the largest in the country as well as being the most important historically. The climate here is moderate; the most common soils are reddish clay ones known as cinnamonic. Leading grape varieties include red such as Saperavi, a late-ripening, deeply colored cultivar that yields long-lived wines, and Cabernet Sauvignon; the leading whites are Rkatsiteli and Kakhuri Mtsvani. The former maintains good levels of acidity even in very hot years, and is used for dry, sweet and sparkling wines, and even for brandy. The latter is the source of lighter, aromatic whites with tropical fruit notes. (Wine/Appellations)