Georgia- what are you waiting for???

By May 22, 2014Winemakers

For every reason you can think of why you wouldn’t want to come to the Republic of Georgia, I can give you 5 why you should.

Qvevri at Khareba Winery

Qvevri at Khareba Winery

More than anything else, there is nothing to fear by coming here. If you’ve been to Croatia or Puglia or Sicily, then you’ll feel at home here. It’s a beautiful country with lush landscapes and warm, welcoming people.

OK, so you don’t speak the language- how many people go to Croatia and don’t speak their language. Many Georgians speak English- and if they don’t do what you’d do in Italy: use your hand language.

The food incorporates all kinds of traditional vegetables, usually grilled: yesterday we had grilled eggplant stuffed with walnut purée; roasted stuffed red peppers; tomato and cucumber salad with walnut dressing; veal, lamb, beef, chicken… what’s not to like about this country?

And the wineries! The ones we’ve visited are world-class with state-of-the-art technology. Today we went to the largest privately owned winery, Khareba, with production of over 6 million bottles annually. The caves were dug into the mountain during the Soviet occupation but when the winery went private, the new owner spared no expense in modernizing the winery. We had a tasting that juxtaposed a white wine made from the rare kisi grape produced in the modern style and the traditional qvevri style; we did the same comparison with the saperavi grape, Georgia’s principle red grape; and the differences were striking. The qvevri mellows the wine; it’s less odoriferous and acidic. In many ways, it’s an acquired taste. But once you know how it’s made, then you appreciate it more. There are no additives whatsoever: the grape must is put into qveveri, some as big as 1000-2000 liters and after 12 days open fermentation the must is pumped out and put into an empty qvevri with about 5% of the must, then hermetically sealed and allowed to age for 12 months. This aging with the skins gives the whites a characteristic deep golden color and the reds, well, they’re called black wines.

The hotels are first class, we are all having a great time and I encourage you to consider flying over and spending some time here. The prices are great, Alitalia , Turkish Air, KLM and others service Tbilisi so what are you waiting for???

n.b.- we add new photos each day to our webpage so keep checking.

 

The Georgian flag

Author Vin Marottoli

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