Visiting Georgia without learning about its wine culture is like visiting Paris without visiting the Eiffel Tower or visiting Rome without visiting the Coloseum. Georgia is in fact one of the oldest wine producing regions in the world and if you want to learn more about this tradition, a visit to Kakheti region is a must. Following our stay in the Caucasus Mountains, we decided to visit the region.
Where to Stay
The most popular wineries are located in the valley between Telavi and Sighnaghi, so you may wish to find an accommodation in the area if visiting wineries is in your itinerary. We opted to stay in one of the wineries in the region, which have recently opened their doors to tourists and offer mid range to luxury accommodation. Although when compared to other accommodation in the country, these wineries may be expensive, it is still excellent value for money for western standards.
We chose Chateau Mosmieri as it is one of the top wineries in the country, winning several awards, offering a good standard of accommodation and also has a very good restaurant serving traditional Georgian food. I have nothing negative to complain about as our stay in this place was perfect and we had a very good time. They also offer wine tours for visitors and the views over the distant mountains are truly spectacular. The staff working at Mosmieri were very nice and explained to us in English (even though most of the staff spoke no English at all) that they produce wine in two different ways; the process which involves the traditional way of preserving wine in clay vessels called Kvevri as well as the modern way using stainless steel vessels. Another drink which is produced in this winery is the Chacha, which is produced from the wine residue. This drink is very strong and we compared it to the Italian Grappa. Worth mentioning is also the restaurant overlooking the vineyards, which offers genuine Georgian food.
Things to do in Khakheti Region
Stop at Kvetera Fortress Church
Indulge in Georgian Food and Wine
I felt the need of dedicating a special section to Georgian food in my last post of this Georgia series. It is one of those places where food is one of the highlights of the trip and thanks to Michelle & Nikki from Cheeky Passports and their guide on Georgian food, I made sure to tick off all the items in my bucket list of foods to try out while visiting.
Georgian cuisine is very abundant and although me and my husband usually eat quite a large portion, in Georgia most of the time we were not able to eat all the serving. We could easily share a main course between two. Most of the dishes are based on meat (chicken, beef and lamb) which are served either grilled or in soups/stews. Bread/dough is another important part of the meal and the most famous dish is the Khachapuri. There are many variations with different ingredients but the classic one includes cheese and egg and it is simply divine! Some other dishes worth mentioning are the Chvishtari (corn bread), Lobiani (flat bread filled with beans), Skhmeruli (Chicken soup in garlic and milk) and Chashushuli (lamb stew with tomatoes).
Below are some photos of my favourite dishes: