Expert Picks: 4 Reasons to Fall in Love with Georgia (VIDEO)
Georgia is one of the world’s undiscovered travel gems – a fabulously beautiful country that claims to be the place where the wine grape originated; that invented one of only a few world alphabets; and that has a proud, cultured, and high-spirited people with a long tradition of showering lavish hospitality on guests.
Combine that with astonishing architecture and stunning scenery and you have a modern-day Garden of Eden, overflowing with wine and abundant culinary flair – everything you could wish for in a destination.
We love the spirit of Georgia, and over three decades of experience crafting tours to this compelling country in the South Caucasus have gained an insider’s knowledge of what to do, see, eat, and drink while you’re here.
That’s why we created a special culinary and culture-focused small group tour dedicated exclusively to Georgia called A Taste of Georgia: Wine, Cuisine & Culture.
Designed by MIR Vice President, Annie Lucas (who’s fallen in love with Georgia over her many visits to the region), the tour celebrates the history and living traditions of this ancient country through its chefs, winemakers, artisans, and musicians.
Listen as Annie shares her reasons to travel to the gorgeous Republic of Georgia, all of which you can experience on A Taste of Georgia:
Once the grapes have been harvested and crushed, their liquid (along with the skins) is poured into the qvevri, which are buried up to their necks in the earth. After fermenting for three or four months, the resulting wine is bottled. Flavorful, natural, and complex, Georgian wines are making a name for themselves in the international world of wine. In 2013, UNESCO elected Georgia’s qvevri method of winemaking to its List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The table is covered with plates of delicacies balanced on top of each other – chicken in crushed walnut sauce, khachapuri (a savory cheese pie), puff pastries, juicy little meat dumplings called khinkali, salads and marinated vegetables, just to name a few.
A large feast, or supra, will have a toastmaster, called a tamada, who is charged not only with toasting and inviting others to toast, but with telling stories and jokes and sometimes leading songs.
Beyond fine wines and fabulous food, Georgians are deeply proud of their ancient song and dance traditions, and it’s not uncommon to see someone at the dinner table burst into song or hop up and dance wherever they can find room. Georgian dancing is buoyant and energetic, making it exciting to watch, while the country’s harmonically rich and intriguing polyphonic vocal music can raise the hairs on the back of your neck.
As a country caught at a strategic crossroads between East and West, Georgia holds a deep and complex history, influenced by the various empires that struggled for sovereignty over its hills and valleys. It’s given the country a spectacular array of architecture, from cave monasteries and ancient cathedrals precariously perched from mountainside locales, to Tbilisi’s unusual blend of art nouveau apartments, Soviet-era tower blocks, and contemporary modern structures.
Travel to Georgia with MIR
Chat with Annie about travel to Georgia by phone (1-800-424-7289) or email today. She has an insider’s knowledge of what to do and see here, and would love to help you craft a tour that takes you deep into the heart of gorgeous Georgia.
You can also opt to travel on your dates and at your pace on one of MIR’s private independent trips or on a private journey of Georgia, customized to your desired dates and style.
Chat with one of our destination specialists by email or by phone at 1-800-424-7289 to start planning your 2017 travels now.
Top photo: Annie and her small group tour’s experienced tour manager in Georgia. Photo credit: Douglas Grimes
PUBLISHED: November 4, 2016