For an old little country – filled with UNESCO heritage sites and traditions, surrounded by fourth up to fifteenth century monasteries, fortresses, previously one of the battlefields in World War II – Georgia is a historical and geographical point of interest that has imbibed both European and Asian cultures. This country is famous for their vineyards and wine exports.
Chelti, the winery we visited located in Kakheti region, village of Shilda, Kvareli district, boasted 50 hectares of vineyard.
Their 2008 Chelti red dry wine won in the 2014 International Saperavi-Kakheti category sponsored by Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition.
Joining a Bisaya-speaking couple, best friends from Dubai, and power four from Qatar, we all tasted six different types, including their Gold wine and personal favorite Kindzmarauli 2012 semi sweet red wine, which what my excess baggage is made of.
Wines were tolerable but Chacha was strong, their version of Philippine tuba. It’s vine vodka that is ranging from 40 to 65 percentage of alcohol. Knowing increased potassium levels in the body with increased alcohol consumption can cause serious repercussions, a glass of water has become my staple side for hydration, and preventing sodium-potassium imbalance. Being wasted is good from time to time but not in a foreign country, I guess. One shot was fine but more than 5 shots will definitely make you miss your tour the next day, have a bad case of hangover, and telltale videos as evidence (true story from a fellow traveler).
Aside from day’s highlight (wine tasting), the owner pleasantly explained the wine process in Georgian and translated into English by our guide. They were using two methods: advanced equipments, which in they can control wine quality at any stage of processing; and traditional Qvevri, egg- shaped earthenware vessel, method that is practised since 8000 years ago. The latter was added in UNESCO as Georgia’s Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Address: Vazha Pshavela Str. 62/18
Wine plant ‘Chelti’: Kakheti, Kvareli region Shilda
Phone: (+995 32) 577 444 455