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5th Day in Georgia (Sakartvelo): Birthplace of Wine

Vineyard Library at Kindzmaurauli Marani

After a quick breakfast at Chateau Mere, we were on our way to the first of four Georgian wineries. Kindzmarauli Marani is a winery with a large vineyard “library” of well maintained grapevines. Currently the vineyard has 420 grape varieties that can be found in Georgia. In addition to producing wines, the winery also make chacha also known as grappa.

Khareba was our next stop.  This large winery is also an agritourism site. The winery is known for its long tunnels lined with aging wines as well as a restaurant. Visitors can visit the 5th floor that offers distant views of the vista.

After stopping at one of Ilia Lake’s newest hotels Royal Batoni for lunch on a deck overlooking Ilia Lake, we went on to our third winery of the day.

Badagoni winery produces 4,000,000 bottles of wine. In order to produce this they use their 400 hectares of vineyards and source grapes from other Georgian grape growers. The name Badagoni is for the ancient god of wine and winemaking in ancient Georgia.

Our last stop for the day was Georgian Wines & Spirits, GWS. The company started in 1993, however; the winery was built in 1974 for the Soviet Union. Today the quality of the wines has improved and wines are exported to several countries. A separate brick building is the location of numerous qvevris that are currently unused. Plans are being made to eventually begin using the qvevri again. The building also has several clay artifacts of which five are 2,000 years old.

Tomorrow morning we will be on our way to harvesting grapes at another Georgian winery.

Cheers! Kathy


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