After three flights from Tbilisi, Georgia to Rome, Italy and then to New York City, we arrived home. Leaving our hotel at 2:30 am, we arrived home at 9:30 pm. Our visit to Georgia (Sakartvelo) has been very successful due to Georgia’s National Wine Agency and to the many wineries we visited. We tried to observe and take in everything in two weeks time including the culture, history, foods, qvevri winemaking, and traditional winemaking techniques.
The National Wine Agency calls Georgia the “Cradle of Wine.” We saw and heard about numerous artifacts that have dated back 8,000 years. That’s a long, long time! The only way I could contemplate that was when I saw artifacts from before the time of Jesus and realized that some of these artifacts were in existence while he was living. How awesome is that? It was also interesting to note that from our observations, the people of Georgia are not afraid of Christianity. Religion is an important part of their lives. At Supras, a very special Georgian dinner, many toasts are made by the Tamada with the first toast always being to God. We met Georgians who gave verbal thanks to God for what they had.
Georgia’s qvevri wines vary according to the grapes used, the vintage and the winemakers’ protocol. Some winemakers use all of the chacha (pomace) other winemakers use very little or perhaps none. Some winemakers keep the wine in qvevri for six months while others may only keep it in qvevri for several days. This is the same as winemakers who use modern stainless steel tanks and oak barrels – winemakers make their own unique style of wines. This is what makes exploring the world of wine exciting. Whether you physically travel to a country to visit wineries or go to your local wine shop or grocery store to buy your wines, you can learn more about wine, history, food and culture.
If you really want to learn about age old winemaking techniques, be sure to discover the wines of Georgia whether by travel or asking for Georgian wines at the wine shop or restaurant. Many thanks to the National Wine Agency in Georgia (Sakartvelo) for the opportunity to visit, write and learn about Georgian wines.
Cheers, Kathy and Terry