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Food and wine odyssey

Country of Georgia is compared to the cradle of wine culture. Existing opinion attributes the origin of the word wine in many languages: to the Georgian Ghvino. A number of the following excavation finds testify to the oldest customs of winemaking in Georgia, following items was found: vine, grape seeds, wine utensils such as pitchers, bowls and winemaking tools up to 8000 years old. The similar proofs in the mythology are the goddess Aguna, patroness of wine (XI - X BC), Badagon, (VII - VI BC), oldest astrological calendar and many other legends or historical facts. Praised by Strabo, Herodotus, Plutarch, and other public figures and famed personalities, Georgian wines that are attributed to the general brand of Saperavi, successfully treat various gastro-intestinal problems, sexual dysfunctions, effects of radiation exposure and other diseases. Almost three centuries ago, a French traveller Chardin wrote with enthusiasm and appreciation: “There is no other country in the world where people drink as much wine of superior quality as they do in Georgia.


Day 1
Arrival at Tbilisi airport, transfer and accommodation at Hotel Marriott Tbilisi, in the evening introduction to theprogram by Kvevri (a huge amphora-shaped clay vessel, used to store wine in the ground).

Day 2
Tbilisi city tour: excursion in Georgia National Museum and open-air ethnography museum, visit Sarajishvili brandy factory and wine shop at Shardeni street. City of Mtskheta: historic and architectural complex of Jvari, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Samtavro Convent, continue to Chateau Mukhran winery and tasting of factory wines. Georgian feast in the Restaurant Tamada with tasting of home-made wines accompanied with Tamada competition, national songs, dances, street-organ music and a variety of entertainments.

Day 3
Drive to Kakheti, visit fortified city of Signagi and Bodbe nunnery. Excursion and lunch at the “Peasant’s Tear” wine cellar where wine is made in clay vessels called “Kvevri” according the old Georgian traditions. Continue visiting Kvareli Lake, old wine cellar in Tunnel, monastery complex of Nekresi and Gremi castle, arrival in Telavi and Kakhetian Suphra party at the local family: preparing national sweet Churchkhela, backing of Lavashi bread, tasting of home made wines in Marani and of course famous local grill - Shashlik. Night in Telavi.

Day 4
Day of wine in Kakheti, a walk in Telavi food market, Badagoni modern wine factory, Shuamta monastery complex, Ikalto Academy, Alaverdi cathedral and ancient marani, park and museum in Tsinandali, wine cellar with assortment of wines. taking a part in harvesting feast: including visit to vineyards, pressure of wine in Kvevri clay vessels. Traditional Harvest Dinner at the local family cellar including tasting of wines of course. Return to Tbilisi.

Day 5
Western Georgia: trip to Kutaisi: on the way visit antique town of Uplistsikhe cut in the solid rock. Cultural excursion in Kutaisi: historical and architectural complex of Gelati, Bagrati Temple, Motsameta monastery (7th c.), wine tasting at Khareba trift and Imeretian style feast in the evening. Overnight at Tskaltubo resort near Kutaisi.

Day 6
Drive to Racha region (north Georgia), visit Nikortsminda Church, Khvanchkara village and tasting the famous Khvanchkara wine with Rachuli dinner. Overnight at Intourist Hotel Batumi.

Day 7
Adjara region, City of Batumi: cultural excursion to Museum of History and Archeology, Gonio Fortress, old Town and Botanical garden. Adjarian festive table in Khulo mountains near the Tkilnari river with Adjaruli Khachapuri and trout fish, return to Tbilisi.

Day 8
Leisure morning at the beach and drive to Tbilisi. Common practice is visiting the fair under the Dry Bridge where the traditional wine bowls and vessels are sold; a stroll in the multinational Abanotubani (sulphur baths district), visits to wine cellars and assorting one’s own collection of local wines. Evening at Restaurant Tamada, exotic dinner and tourist show: making of churchkhela, Chacha distillation, baking of Georgian bread according old traditions, tasting of Samovar-tea with Saperavi wine, etc.

Day 9
Morning hangover remedy according Georgian traditions: shots of healing Chacha, Borjomi, Khashi and other proven treatments. Departure and transfer to Tbilisi airport.


 
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