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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...

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Diane Letulle said...

Luiz, that was a wonderful photo essay of our trip. And thank you for the compliment; you are a great photographer and you always get a smile out of me. It was a pleasure traveling with you on this amazing journey.

Luiz Alberto said...

Thanks for the kind words Diane. Much appreciated!!
It's great that I'll soon have another opportunity to capture a few more smiles from you... :)
I look forward to seeing you in Franciacorta for the EWBC!

Mikhail Polienko said...

Hello from Ontario, Canada.
Too bad we were not there with you.
Thank you for the great introduction. Could not find a picture of George Margelashvili...
We are going to meet him and other great Georgians there in our small "Canadian only" tour Nov. 1-7. (Over the years we grew to become the largest importer of Georgian wines in Canada).
Tony Aspler, Canadian wine writer who traveled with you, hopefully is going to present at the Toronto Food & Wine Expo his findings from your trip. There will be a booth with several Georgian wineries (including Tbilvino) so who cannot make it to Georgia is welcome to visit us in Toronto!!!

Chateau Telavi said...

Hello, from Georgia.
What an interesting photo-trip in the wine world of our country.
And how about to discover a new wine company - "Chateau Telavi" (The best new Georgian brand of 2011)?
My comment was caused also from finding out about Canadian "United Stars" Corporation Group, receiving a contact of Mr. Grouzman from Samtrest at Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia.
Hope to organize and receive a group of you to present our reality of wines the next time, you’ll be in Georgia.
Why not?:)
Georgian Wine Company – “Chateau Telavi”

Chateau Telavi said...

"Chateau Telavi" contact information

Tbilisi, Georgia

Amagleba st. N21

Tel: (+995 32) 2184848