For a leisurely overnight trip from Tbilisi, my friend Meg planned a lovely trip to the nearby village of Sighnaghi, in the wine-producing region of Kakheti. Archaeological evidence shows that Georgians have been producing wine since 8000 BC! Georgians are extremely passionate about their wine – individual families will even grown vines in their own backyard. It was wonderful driving past the Georgian vineyards in Kakheti and wandering through the narrow streets of Signaghi. A very nice excursion from the urban hustle of Tbilisi – a Georgian Napa Valley.
Loving the blooming roses and curly cue details….
Approaching Signaghi – a village perched on a hill.
Rooftops of Sighaghi, amongst the clouds…
The streets of Sighnaghi
Buildings in the town square..
More charming doorways…
Colorful scarves for sale in the village market.
Small town charm – cobbled streets and balconies..
After exploring for a bit, we went to Pheasant’s Tears, which specializes in organic Georgian wines and foods. It was time for proper Georgian wine-tasting, and of course, toasts!
Quotation at the entrance of Pheasant’s Tears
Wine cellar tour – Georgian wines are produced in the traditional qveri style – fermented and aged in clay vessels lined with beeswax and buried in the earth.
The remains from the wine-making are then distilled using the distiller below to make chacha – a strong Georgian “brandy”.
A traditional Georgian wine-making vessel
Tasting! With Georgian cheese and bread, naturally. Toasting to friends, family, and Georgia.
We followed our wine tasting with a feast of Georgian foods at a place around the corner, called Nicholas. To start, a traditional Georgian peasant salad – sweet tomatoes, cool crisp cucumbers and fresh parsley. So simple and delicious!
Sizzling mushrooms stuffed with Sulguni cheese – yum!
Khachapuri, on a stick!