If you love wine you should know the province of Kakheti in Georgia. It produces a variety of satisfying wines, one variety for each village. Located in the eastern region of the country, this wine destination is steadily growing in infrastructure and tourism facilities primarily because it is one of the most frequently visited destinations in Georgia.
Kakheti is also known for its very friendly and hospitable citizens. Just walk around and for sure you will be invited to sample a glass of wine. At the end of your leisurely stroll through different villages, you will definitely become as friendly and as outgoing after taste-testing a few shots; you will feel tipsy, to say the least.
Kakheti is neither an accident nor an oddity in this part of the world. Georgia is known as the homeland of wine not only because of its history but also for the fact that this country grows 500 species of grapes of the world’s 2,000 grape species. A former Soviet state, Georgia is a country of mysticism, unique traditions, rich history, and amazing landscapes. And no doubt, wine growing has added to the country’s international appeal.
Today, Georgia’s Kakheti wine is becoming more popular globally than ever before. Tours to this region are almost always focused on wine tasting and visiting wineries and vineyards. If you love your wine, you should know your grapes, too. Here are just three of the varieties that grow in this part of the world.
First is the Khikhvi grapes, an ancient breed that is found only in the Kakhetian village of Kardenakhi. You will taste the difference of this vine breed; the only downside is that it doesn’t yield much fruit.
Another aboriginal white-wine breed is the Rkatsiteli grapes. Unlike Khikhvi, Rkatsiteli has abundant yield mostly around mid-September.
And third is the Saperavi breed that is known to produce red wine grapes. This breed is used to make different types of table wines, including dry and semi-sweet Kindzmarauli wine. Saperavi is known to be naturally very sweet.
Other Kakhetian vine breeds are Kakhuri Mtsvane (white wine grapes), Qisi (white wine grapes) and Cabernet-Sauvignon (red wine grapes).
Wine growing in this region is more than just an industry. It is a way of life. Archeological evidences prove that locals have been growing wine since 5,000 BC, which make early Kakhetian wine growers the oldest in the world.
Meanwhile, other than its wine, wineries and vineyards, Kakheti is also known for its intriguing history that goes way back. As you walk (not too tipsy hopefully) along the historic Kakhetian roads, you will be mesmerized at the sight of old churches, medieval castles, and the ancient monastery complex of Davit Gareja. The best time to visit are the months of September and October during grape harvest, which is locally referred to as rtveli. You shouldn’t miss it. Harvest time is made more exciting as locals prepare feasts, music, dances, and celebrations. You can join street parties and wine drinking. For sure, Kakhetian locals know how to make and drink their wine.