Georgia, one of the oldest producing wine regions in the world, is rich in tradition. However, it is not every day that you get an opportunity to experience the rich wine and food traditions of a unique wine producing country, like Georgia. During a recent EWBC post-conference trip to Georgia Spaswinefood had the opportunity to experience first hand the wonderful Georgian hospitality centered around wine making and cuisine.
Our first stop in Tbilisi was the Georgian National Museum where we toured the museum. One of the visit for me was seeing a display of historical qvevris. Throughout our visit to Georgia we saw how qvevris are used in today's wine production.
Apparently, there is a difference in opinion as to whether wine production originated in Georgia, Turkey or Armenia. In any event, DNA analyses shows all European grape varieties have their origin in Turkey, Georgia or Armenia. Alice Feiring's article describes Georgian wine making as wine of the ancients. This is certainly true for Georgia's qvevri wine making tradition. Qvevri wine making dates back to 4000BC, with viticulture in Georgia dating back to 6000BC. Qvevris are widely use today in Georgian wine making alongside modern wine making techniques.
We visited the Sarajishvili Winery known for its brandy production. After an introduction explaining the history of the winery we were treated to a barrel sample. This was followed by a Sarajishvili Cognac tasting. The cognac tasting was accompanied by an amazing offering of treats.
There was no end to the fabulous Georgian cuisine that we were introduced to while in Georgia. At Shumi we had lunch, sampled wines and listened to Georgian traditional polyphonic songs.
A visit to Georgia is a must for hard-core wine enthusiasts. The above wine and food highlights are but a brief overview of the awesome hospitality that I experienced in Georgia.