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Traveling the Roads of Kakheti, Georgia (Sakartvelo)

We have been in Kakheti for a few days visiting wineries. For Americans, the scene is different than what you are use to. The first thing Kathy noticed was the lack of barns along the country landscape. Cattle, as well as other animals, range freely. There are few fences and we only saw one fence near a road we traveled. That poses a challenge for drivers. Fortunately we have a driver who is use to navigating along cattle that have ambled onto the road. Only once did he have to stop the car and use the horn to offer encouragement for a cow to move. We have seen many cows next to the road grazing. They are often prodded by a herder, but not always. The roads are also shared by donkeys, horses and chickens. Drivers must be ever vigilant. Another scene in Kakheti common in September is grapes transported to the wineries. Truckloads of Rkatsiteli and Saperavi are on the roads coming and going in both directions throughout the day. It reminds me of the trucks on the roads in Sonoma County during harvest. There are also tractors pulling carts overflowing with grapes. We also observed horse-drawn carts loaded with grapes. Last evening when we left Georgia Wines and Spirits, GWS, there were over 40 vehicles lined up for weighing and dumping their grapes into a hopper at the winery. The growers have a long wait even though winery staff are now working 24 hours a day. We observed the growers grouping together and walking to the different vehicles to taste the grapes. This is a great idea. A grower knows his grapes, it is also good to know other grower’s grapes. Ever present are views of the Caucasus Mountains. There has been a haze in the distance. We were told that August is a good time to view the mountains if you want a clear view. Even through a haze, one can observe the majesty of the range. For wine travelers, the Kakheti region of Georgia is a must see wine region. Get to know the wines and the 8,000 years of winemaking and grape growing that people have used.  You will also discover wine grape varieties that the rest of the world doesn’t grow.


In case you didn’t believe!

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