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The people of the South Caucasus discovered that grape juice turned to wine when left buried over the winter. Soon after this discovery, Georgians were growing grapes and burying them in clay vessels through the winter.
These clay vessels, also known as kvevris, get packed, topped with a wooden lid, and covered with Earth. Some of which remained entombed for 50 years. For the better part of a Millennia, these vessels have been the focus of pottery making. The most well-known of course is the design of the old-fashioned kvevris.
Renowned Georgian Wineries
Ready to serve at ground temperature, not only were these used for grape fermentation but for alcohol storage. There are many different shapes, sizes, and designs for the famous kvevris. Ancient artifacts discovered in Georgian wine regions point to the excellent craftsmanship during these times. Silver, gold, and bronze artifacts discovered over time were also decorated in vines and grapes attesting to the country’s love for viniculture.
Winemaking and drinking today are still a large part of Georgian culture. Additionally, Georgian wines are quite the treat for tourists. If you are planning on visiting the country of Georgia, be sure to check out the following Georgian wineries.
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The soil here is as rich as the history, making for some of the best Georgian wines in the country.
Georgian Wine Regions
In total there are six main Georgian wine regions. Many Georgian wines bear the name of their source. The main region is Kakheti, and they produce approximately 70% of the country’s wine output. Due to the fertile soil types along the coast, this is where the remaining regions lie. These Georgian wine regions consist of Kakheti, Kartli, Meskheti, Imereti, Racha-Lechkumi, and finally, the Black Sea coast. Each of these regions features a variety of Georgian wineries worth checking out.
Karalashvili Wine Cellar
The name Karalashvili originated in Kakheti and received prince status from King George VIII in the 14th century. This family has been heavily involved in wine production ever since the year 1396. Tamaz and Inesa Karalashvili are so experienced they are well-known not only in Georgia but in Russia as well. Being that their family comes from the principal wine region in Georgia means they know what they are doing. As a result, this is one of the top Georgian wineries in all the country.
All the wine produced here exists with great amounts of knowledge and old-school traditions. Their high-end wines are on display in countries all over the world. When you pay a visit to the Karalashvili Wine Cellar you learn about the history of the area and wine production. You also get the opportunity to tour the grounds and see where their grapes are grown. Some tours also give you the chance to view old-school traditions that mentioned earlier. This includes the large clay pots that ferment wine to this day at Karalashvili. All in all, the owners of this winery present guests with an unforgettable experience.
Located in the most well-known of the Georgian wine regions, Kakheti, Tsinandali Estate is a real Georgian experience. This is one of the more historic Georgian wineries as its revival is due to royalty. The royal Chavchavadze family turned this estate in the cultural center it is today. This family encouraged the production of European Georgian wines and European classical music. In fact, the first ever grand piano to enter Georgia is still on display here. Today, the winery belongs to Mrs. Maya Kokochashvili who carries on her family traditions.
The grounds of Tsinandali Estate feature many noteworthy attributes. Should you choose to visit Tsinandali, it is a great one-day road trip stop because there is so much to see. Stop in today and check out the memorial house, a landscape garden, the historical winery, the infamous wine cellar, a hotel, and finally; a café. The soil here is as rich as the history, making for some of the best Georgian wines in the country. On your tour, you will also gain an insight into this history surrounding the family and its European influence in the area. In fact, the landscape garden was the country’s first European type recreation area.
Discover Georgian Wineries
When you think of wine and wineries to visit on a one-day road trip, Georgia should be one of the first countries to pop in your head. The historical significance of drinking and viniculture here is quite overwhelming. Of course, the history and stories you will learn during your visit are anything but overwhelming in a bad way. Even if you are not a fan of wine, this Georgian winery boasts a ton of information for the history lovers out there. The history in the Georgian wine regions runs as deep as rivers, presenting new info to anyone interested.