Monday, October 23, 2017

the environs

On the second day of touring Georgia we left the city of Tbilisi to drive to a hilltop church/monastery and then had lunch at a local winery.  At the winery we learned the technique for making kinkhali (dumplings) and also got our first exposure to wine making in qvevri.  Then after lunch, it is on to another winery- where we see modern wine making techniques.  Later in the day we went to another church/monastery in a small town and finally ended our day with a meal at a road house by the river where we had a spicy bean soup and kebabs....  For those who want to keep count that is TWO churches today (to add to the TWO churches yesterday in Old Town Tbilisi) and TWO wineries today (to add to the tasting we did in the city at Vino Underground)  They were starting us out slowly- building tolerance for more extended drinking (eventually we were being served on the bus) and eating (by the end of the trip the meals last so long they basically ran together LOL)

They did say this was considered a rigorous trip LOL - we just didn't understand what they meant LOL...

so off we go-

by the way the church visited in the late afternoon is the one seen below on the right bank of the river (enclosed by a large area of walled land)

this is one of my favorite shots of the trip- 

our next stop is the grapevine "library" where vines from all over the area come to be nurtured for future use in the event of a vine apocalypse --- and now they have vines from all over Europe (Burgundian vines and vines from Bordeaux and new world etc...)

a sign of the wine production by region in Georgia-

Then is was on to Iago Winery where we saw traditional wine making for the first time and got to learn about making dumplings.  In the traditional method of wine-making, the process involves pressing the grapes and then pouring the juice, grape skins, stalks and pips into the Qvevri, which is sealed and buried in the ground so that the wine can ferment for five to six months before being drunk. Most farmers and city dwellers use this method of making wine.

Then it was on to another winery.  This time a modern one called Chateau Mukhrani where we did MORE tasting (not a spit bucket to be found in the whole country apparently!)

and finally we got to see ANOTHER church - this one in the small town that we saw from above this morning while at the first church... this one is apparently a pilgrimage site so the streets approaching the church are lined with souvenir stands (and wine shops) a la Mont Saint Michel...

now it was dark and we headed to the road house Salobie for dinner - they had an excellent kebab and the usual feast of many other dishes --- they specialized in bean soup which was in a small individual clay pots and covered with a hard corn bread that you were to break and drop into the soup to soften... the side dish to this was a pepperoncini (or as we know them in Chicago - LOL- sport peppers LOL)

the kebabs came wrapped in a moo shu style pancake (thin and very slightly sweet)

dessert was often fruit -

so another day of eating and drinking crossed off the calendar LOL- stay tuned for more fun and games.... 

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