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4th Day in Georgia: Birthplace of Wine

Winery in Georgia

Leaving Chateau Mere about 10:30 am, it wasn’t long before we reached Teleda Winery. While this is a young winery, they are producing qvevri wines. The winemaker is considered a “rock star” because of his capabilities in producing wines. The highlight of our visit was to see workers carefully putting a pail with cardboard burning in it into a qvevri. The purpose of the fire was to burn off gas given off during the fermentation process. A worker then descended into the qvevri and began removing the pomace, called chacha in Georgia. After tasting the Teleda wines we drove to Schuchmann, one of the oldest wineries in the Kakhetian region of Georgia. Schuchmann includes a restaurant. After a delicious lunch and a wine tasting we went on to Tsinandali Museum.

The Tsinandali Museum was built in the 1800s. After the tour of the well-maintained historic house, we went to the mansion’s wine cellar where we tasted Kondol wines.
On the way to the wine cellar, we participated in a tradition. Donations are accepted through a small window that opens into a small room. A dish is placed towards the middle of the room. Coin donations are tossed through the small window. If the tossed coin lands into the dish one’s wish is granted.
Soon we were on our way to Shumi Winery. Shumi is a winery with a vineyard library that contains 300 grapevine varieties. Each variety is labeled. The winery also has a long room with a variety of antique clay wine jars etc. One of the oldest qvevris to be found has carefully been restored. The clay pottery dates back to the 4th century BC.

Chateau Mere

Returning to Chateau Mere for the evening we participated in baking bread in a large outdoor clay pot. After molding the bread we flattened the strips of bread against the inside wall of the hot clay oven. In a few minutes it was finished and ready to eat. According to one person this type of bread baking has been happening since the 1st century AD.

I wonder what we will discover next in this friendly country of Georgia.

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