Georgia’s easternmost region of Kakheti is a land of hospitable, open hearted and straightforward people who live surrounded by rugged mountains, ancient castles, magnificent churches, and drink wine to praise the almighty for each harvest of their nurtured grape yards.
Kakheti is unquestionably a must-see for any conference delegate attending the 6th International Wine Tourism Conference in Georgia. With its generous landscapes and people, Kakheti offers an unforgettable experience to its first-time visitors and those who are well acquainted with its heart-warming culture.
Harvest time in GeorgiaKnown almost exclusively for its vineyards and wineries, this wide and fertile valley presses up against the white-topped Dagestan Caucasus to the north and the Azerbaijan wetlands to the south. Hot enough in summer to ripen any grape to perfection, the morning fog and the abundant rivers flowing down from the high Caucasus help fill them with bold flavor.
Qveri pots iwinetcHistory of Kakheti winegrowing takes a start from VI millennium BC. Grape leftovers, discovered by the archeologists, date back to the mentioned period and they are the oldest around the globe, which proves once again that Georgia is a homeland of wine. 500 out of world-known 2.000 grape species are Georgian. Everyone can enjoy the world’s oldest wine culture and discover the unique Qvevri tradition of clay pots used to create delicious, unﬁltered, organic wines.
Wine is made in every family in Kakheti. And this is the rule most of the Kakhetian peasants follow. Traditionally, picked grapes are placed in a special building – the wine-cellar. They use the winepress for pressing grapes. The juice is then poured into clay jars called Kvevri that are kept in the ground – where it stays to matured and turn into wine. People use special sacks made of leather – Tiki and Rumba, to transport and keep the wine. Wineglasses are mainly made of clay. Traditionally, there are special horns of a goat or the aurochs also used for drinking wine when making special toasts.
Kvevri is used for keeping wine. It is made of clay that passes through a special treatment. In order to maintain temperature of wine, the jar is put in the ground; it is then hermetically closed with the grape juice inside, until the juice finally turns into wine. The pitchers were also opened for mixing the juice and removing Chacha. Nowadays, wine is rarely made in Kvevris but mostly in wooden barrels. During some archeological excavations, the Kvevri culture was unearthed in ancient layers. There was also a tradition of Kvevris to churches.