Kilometer 5400: gaumarjos means cheers
I won’t attempt to teach anyone history. I just want to note that Georgia, next to its neighbour, Armenia, is one of the oldest around-European civilizations.
The orthodox churches had been built here before Russia even heard about Christianity, the unique Georgian letters had been written before anyone thought to invent the Cyrillic script and the origins of wine date 6 thousand years back. No political games will ever manage to kill Georgian pride and national identity and I do sincerely hope that what I mentioned before – that the Georgian culture is escaping me a bit – is a result of holiday season, coincidence and not good enough observation skills.
Right, so what’s with that wine?
Actually, the only thing that Georgian wines have in common with our European ones is fermented grapes. Every other part of the production process looks completely different. The local wineries proudly announce that they never use any artificial ingredients. Yeast? Forget it! The wines mature underground in special amphoras called the kvevri and, as a result, offer a brand new taste bud experience. The only problem may occur when a not very skilled wine producer treats you, as it’s awfully easy to get a sauerkraut aftertaste. Nevertheless, even a slightly pickled wine will taste delicious by the fire and at the accompaniment of sheep bells.