Friday, September 30, 2011

USAID Tour of the Republic of Georgia, Sep 17-24, 2011

Here is the itinerary of our trip to Georgia (organized by Jim Krigbaum - It was kindly put together by Clark Smith (Appellation America) and now I'm adding some pictures to it. More detailed stories about the visits will be posted in the next few days.


                 Met by J Levan Davitashvili

Dinner with group at the Mirzaani Brewery

We enjoyed a nice bottle of the Tavkveri Rosé (and a couple of other bottles)


 Drove to Kakheti region (2 hrs) - Some traditional (and delicious) sweets "churchkhela" that are sold on the road

Visit to Twins Winery in the Kakheti region

 Lunch at Twins Winery with Qvevri Symposium group

 Visit 16th Century Gremi citadel and church

Formal International Wine Tasting of qvevri wines at the Khareba Winery

 Feast lead by toastmaster John Wurdeman (Pheasant’s Tears -

Live traditional music and dancing

 Tour of Iqalto Monastery of 6th Century, Iqalto Wine Academy from 11th Century

Wine Cellar in Telavi - Owner Zurab Ramazashvili

 We spent the afternoon tasting Marani wines. A very productive (and pleasant) afternoon...

 Diane Letulle (and her beautiful smile) among the vines

Visit Kakhuri Winery - Winery tour and tasting, meeting

 Rebecca Murphy (and some other flowers)
 We were served a Traditional Georgian Supra hosted by Zura Goletiani of Kakhuri Winery (left)
On the center, the "chef". On the right his son and assistant (does anyone can tell me their names?)


 Visit Alaverdi Monastery and 11th Century wine cellar

Qvevri wine tasting at Alaverdi Monastery

 Tasting of qvevri wines at Alaverdi Monastery

Visit to Mildiani Family Winery in Tsinandali. They were busy receiving grapes!

 Tour and wine tasting at Mildiani Family Winery. 

Walk through Signagi town with John Wundeman (Pheasant’s Tears). Clark Smith is taking notes...

Visit Pheasant’s Tears

Tasting of qvevri wines and traditional Georgian supra at Pheasant’s Tears. Joel Butler MW adds more charm to the picture.


 Tour Tsinandali Palace. An impressive art museum and winecellar containing 16.500 bottles (1841-1929)

Tasting with David Maisuradze, consulting winemaker for Wine Man and Maisuradze Winery

 Lisa Granik MW checking some grapes

Visit Schuchmann Wines Georgia/Vino Terra http://www.schuchmann‐ 

Winery tour with winemaker Giorgi Dakishvili (“Gogi")

 Wine tasting and TGF (Traditional Georgian Feast). Peter Koff MW enjoys a nice glass of the Schuchmann sparkling wine with an hibiscus flower in it.


Drive to Tbilisi

Visit National Museum of Georgia and special exhibition of wine related artifacts, meeting with Dr. Davit Lordkipanidze and scientists (wine historians and archeologists) of the museum

Visit Chateau Mukhrani winery

 Winery tour, wine tasting and meeting with company management: Jacques Fleury (picture), Director; Lado Uzunashvili, winemaker; Irakli Talakhadze, Commercial Director

 Masters of Wine "Master Class" at the Tbilvino Winery in Tbilisi. Patrick Farrell MW leads the way.

Tour of Tbilvino Winery

 Tasting with George Margvelashvili (President Tbilvino)

Visit to Bagrationi Sparkling wine producing company 

Wine tasting with George Ramishvili, General Director and influential Georgian Wine Assn. Board Member and Hilarius Pütz, Chief Wine and Vineyard Specialist

 TGS (traditional Georgian Supra) hosted by Bagrationi company

(no pics - I was sick and spent the day at the hotel)
Visit Sarajishvili historical wine brandy producing company, tour and tasting of cognacs Chief Technologist David Abzianidze

That's it for now...

One of the pillars of TheWineHub is Wine Tourism. Whether you are a wine maker, or a wine drinker, we all enjoy having discoveries...
TheWineHub exists to help you with that. 

Marchesi de FRESCOBALDI....700 YEARS of TUSCAN WINEMAKING by Philip S. Kampe

For THIRTY GENERATIONS the family of MARCHESI de FRESCOBALDI have been making wines of SUPERIOR Quality. The five estates that make up MARCHESI de FRESCOBALDI are located on 2,500 acres of some of the most exceptional growing areas in Tuscany.

The estates stretch from POMINO Doc across BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO and MORELLINO di SCANSANO through MUGELLO to the Province of LIVORNO. The five estates represent the largest holding of vineyards in Tuscany.

FRESCOBALDI Wines represent TRADITION and INNOVATION. The goal of the company is to use the land to produce the Highest Quality Wines in Tuscany. Each estate has it's own personality due to the uniqueness of each 'terroir'.

At a recent tasting with ALESSANDRO LUNARDI and DANA POLONSKY,I found the wines to be SUPERIOR in quality with fair, even reasonable price points. FRESCOBALDI Vineyards produce DOCG, DOC and IGT wines.

Some of my favorites include:
MORMORETO is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon; 25% Merlot; 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. The first vintage was in 1983. The wine is big, opulent and has great depth on the nose and palate. The nose has layers of blueberries, plums, vanilla and ginger creating a complex aroma. On the palate, tannins dominate the rich fruit flavors that explode in your mouth. Drink today or cellar for the next 5-10 years.

Rated as #8 WINE OF THE YEAR in Wine Spectator, the 2006 Vintage is made of 100% SANGIOVESE grapes. The rich aromas of cherry and blackberry captivate the nose while the palate dances in a velvety, fruit-driven, complex flavor. The long finish remains on your palate for several minutes, thus reinforcing this highly regarded wine. Castel Ciocondo di Brunello di Montalcino 2006 is a MUST BUY!

2007 LUCE
This 2007 blend of SANGIOVESE and MERLOT is soft, round and well structured.
LUCE is lively, bright, soft and velvety. It is a PERFECT wine.

Look for the wines of MARCHESI di FRESCOBALDI at your local wine shop or in your favorite restaurant.

One of the pillars of TheWineHub is Wine Tourism. Whether you are a wine maker, or a wine drinker, we all enjoy having discoveries...
TheWineHub exists to help you with that.

How Hungarian Cabernet Franc Changed My Life by Philip S. Kampe

My Dad was known to his friends as ‘Cab Franc.’ You see, his name was really Joseph and all of his social time with visiting frien...