Wow…this was quite a day and at the moment it is quite a blur. Just how many churches and wineries can you do in one day? Well if you leave out lunch and start both the church visit and winery in the first stop…that really helps with the total coverage. But I must not slight the visits as they were all quite interesting and each a little unique.
We headed east from Tbilisi into the wine region..oh did I mention that the rainy weather was still with us? The wine region is also known as the Kakheti region and we wanted to try some of the best. Our first stop was the Alaverdi Monastery and here we had to dress in a skirt and use a scarf for the visit. The monastery has a simple church but the monks wine is one of the best in the region. It is a small winery producing only about 3000 bottles. They took one of their wines to an international wine show and returned with a gold medal. It’s a bit odd have a wine tasting conducted by a Georgian Orthodox monk…and I in my lovely scarf and wrap around skirt…hopefully there are no photos to make it to the internet…not a pretty sight, but hey, after a few tastes of wine, who cares!
Our next stop was at the Gremi castle with it’s lovely little church and museum. But the most interesting stop of the day was at the Khareba winery housed in a huge tunnel dug into the side of the mountain. If you didn’t know any better you could have been in Sonoma….maybe a little chilly…but definitely first class. More good wines to enjoy and it was tough to keep track of all the different kinds of grapes and ways of making the wines. In each place we tasted between 3 and 4 wines. Usually it was two whites and two reds. Each was unique in its own right.
We are fast approaching dinnertime…so we double back to our hotel which is a wine chateau…Château Mere. There’s a party going on….an anniversary party and they were having so much fun that we couldn’t help but join in with the celebration. They were kind enough to share their lovely cake and then outside for fireworks! All in all it was a great day.
The art of ancient wine making in Georgia is quite interesting and I will share that with you in a later post.