Ancient capitals and organic wines

Confession time: well, we are now in Lyon, France and I have not posted anything about Georgia other than our late arrival. This is in spite of indications in earlier posts that I would catch up. Any way, I SHOULD be able to catch up a little while here as our agenda is much more limited.

One question we were asked in advance – why Georgia? We learned a lot more but in advance it was to sample the unique Georgian wines, especially, and food. I will comment in the last Post about Georgia about how successful we were. In advance, here are some scans from a Georgia tourist bureau blurb.

New Doc 6_2

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It is interesting that Georgia claims to be of the first wine makers in history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgian_wine

“Among vessels, the most ubiquitous and unique to Georgian wine-making culture are probably the Kvevris, very large earthenware vessels with an inside coat of beeswax.”

Tuesday, 23 June, 2015

Well, finally our Georgia tour beings for us. We have a good cooked breakfast at our Hotel, which is the Vinhotel in Tbilisi, and then meet our host, John Wurdeman, owner of Pheasant’s Tears winery, who we missed out on yesterday. We also meet our bus driver, Beso, and his handsome 16 seater Mercedes which will take us around for the rest of the tour. Finally, we meet Mariam, our guide for the major part of the tour. We head to Mtskheta – the ancient capital of Georgian kingdom capital (during the 3rd BC – 5th century AD) – to learn the layered history and formation of the Georgian people. John is very knowledgeable and tells us a lot about the Christian heritage of the region and the history of the various aspects of the Christian church.

All sorts of craft shops before entering

All sorts of craft shops before entering

Note Russian as well as Georgian messages

Note Russian as well as Georgian messages

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The main part of this visit is the old Monastery and its relation with the early days of Christianity e.g. circa third century. John, our guide told us a lot about the early history and especially Saint Nino from the 3rd/4th century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nino

The old Monastery

The old Monastery

Some of our group within the Monastery

Some of our group within the Monastery

Not many photos here of the monastery as, well, this is a wine and food blog.

Looking back toward the village from the Monastery

Looking back toward the village from the Monastery

We then drive to Iago Bitarishvili’s winery where we are to have lunch.

Arriving at Iago's Winery. Note our guide Mariam in the middle of our group

Arriving at Iago’s Winery. Note our guide Mariam in the middle of our group

In the winery. Note: the Kvevris where wine is developed and aged

In the winery. Note: the Kvevris where wine is developed and aged

Inside a Kvevri

Inside a Kvevri

Iago then gave a very interesting and illuminating talk on the use of the Kvevri for producing wine. He had around seven pictures of the various stages, I wish that I had taken photos of them.

We then proceeded inside to a lunch.

A typical spread, we saw many on this trip

A typical spread, we saw many on this trip

Iago's wine, a white, quite good

Iago’s wine, a white, quite good

A wine area map of Georgia

A wine area map of Georgia

On my plate, includes quail that I love

On my plate, includes quail that I love

Just when we thought we had seen all the food, more and more came out, again a recurring theme.

Cheese baked in bread

Cheese baked in bread

Dumplings, lots of these on the trip

Dumplings, lots of these on the trip

Beef caserole

Beef caserole

Mushrooms with cheese

Mushrooms with cheese

Pork skewers from the spit

Pork skewers from the spit

See what I mean about all the food. And this was only just lunch. Any way, we head out to our next place to stay in the area of Vardzia.

Arriving. Our host John is on the far right

Arriving. Our host John is on the far right

Our accommodation

Our accommodation

There was an initial screw-up on the assignment of rooms, not for the last time, but eventually it is sorted out.

Our room - a little more primitive than we are used to

Our room – a little more primitive than we are used to

The Mountain behind us

The Mountain behind us

The internet did not reach our room but worked ok in the lounge or outside. Some of us go to the main outdoor “dining room” for a few drinks which turn out to be beer or .. or .. water. We are also to have dinner here. The following are some of the ubiquitous dishes we had here and almost every other place that we went to on the trip.

Tomatoes and Cucumber

Tomatoes and Cucumber

Georgian Bread and Home Made Cheese

Georgian Bread and Home Made Cheese

Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread)

Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread)

Khachapuri and Dumplings

Khachapuri and Dumplings

The spread which contains the normal corn bread

The spread which contains the normal corn bread

In subsequent Posts I will not show photos of these generally common dishes but just highlight the unique ones.

Trout skewers

Trout skewers

The Trout seemed better to me as it did not seem to have the “dirty” flavour that normal ttrout does, as does the trout served on the est of the trip.

Our wine, not enough of it

Our wine, not enough of it

So, that is that for our first day of the tour of Georgia, about time I hear you say.

About beauperi

Gourmand & Wine Connoisseur.
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2 Responses to Ancient capitals and organic wines

  1. Lois says:

    Nice to know you are still in the land of the living!

  2. dawn says:

    A few calories on those tables!!…. Sending love XX

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