By Amina Nazarli
An odorous festival putting on display a wide range of wines started in Ganja, Azerbaijan's second largest city on December 19.
The fourth international wine festival brought together many leading companies engaged in the wine making. Guests of the city and local people also had an opportunity to enjoy the taste of the featured wines.
Aiming to promote Azerbaijani wine on the world markets and encourage cooperation among wine makers, the besotted festival saw products of a number of industrial enterprises engaged in wine production in the country.
The jury consisted of tasters from local and different foreign countries tasted about 30 varieties of wine and awarded the best.
Grape is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. Human being invented wine in the early years of the civilization. Since then, grape has been used in religious ceremonies and wine festivals. It has also played a great role in making healing wine or soothing and disinfecting methods as a medicine.
The culture of wine production in Azerbaijan has at least a seven thousand-year history.
Wine is produced in several regions of Azerbaijan. Vineyards are found at the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains and in the Kur-Araz lowlands. In the 21st century, Ganja, Nagorno-Karabakh, Shirvan and Nakhchivan have emerged as centers of wine production in Azerbaijan.
Wine produced in France is considered one of the best in the world. However, many wine lovers will agree that Azerbaijani wine is no way inferior to French one -- if not even superior in taste.
Currently, there are nearly 10 wineries and vineyards that produce wine in the country, which are exported to Russia, Ukraine, Baltic States, Poland, Belarus, the UAE and China.
More and more countries are taking interest in the national brandy.