Places to visit

Georgia. Alazani Valley and Gudauri. May 25, 2019


From the picturesque Sighnaghi, our way passed through the Alazani Valley to Gudauri. Maybe we were led by the mythical griffin that brought grape seed to Georgia? We have enjoyed wine, vineyards, wine museum, tastings, more wine, and more wine! And even in Telavi, after the Mimino tree, we tasted wine and chacha again. Spectacular views of the Georgian military road and the Aragvi gorge accompanied us on the way to Gudauri. It was an incredible adventure!

Author & Co-authors
Evgeny Praisman (author)
Здравствуйте! Меня зовут Женя, я путешественник и гид. Здесь я публикую свои путешествия и путеводители по городам и странам. Вы можете воспользоваться ими, как готовыми путеводителями, так и ресурсом для создания собственных маршрутов. Некоторые находятся в свободном доступе, некоторые открываются по промо коду. Чтобы получить промо код напишите мне сообщение на телефон +972 537907561 или на и я с радостью вам помогу! Иначе, зачем я всё это делаю?
260.08 km
11h 41 m
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Breakfast with chacha, pancakes, cottage cheese and apricot jam, on the sunlit balcony.

Morning views of Sighnaghi. Such a magic town.

Outside the city stands a lonely tower. It is a part of the five-kilometer wall of Sighnaghi. From here, an unobstructed view of the Alazani Valley opens.

It was a little hot. Whether from the weather, or from what we drank, but our guide Nukri is a compassionate person, realized that we needed to stop and drink something cold. He bought everyone ice cream, a real "Plombir" ice cream. It was a taste of childhood.

Shumi is an ancient Georgian word that means wine without water, or without dilution.

Near each row of vines, a rose bush is planted. If there is any disease or pests, then roses are the first to suffer, and so you can know that there is a threat to the grapes and it can be prevented.

Beautiful Tamara was Our guide.

There was a construction of a cellar for a zigo - this is the strength wine. Here stands a sculpture of a vine, which is the oldest in Georgia. Its age is not known, but they say that it is 2,000 years old.

In 1997, the company was founded and began planting vineyards in different places. Today it has 300 hectares of grapes in various areas of Georgia. In total, there are 900 species, and more than 400 of them are grown locally. Symbol of Shumi is a griffin. According to the ancient tradition, the griffin brought grape seed and created vineyards in Georgia.

Learn the ancient technology of making wine. It is a linden stem. He was filled with grapes and squeezed out the juice and the cake in Kvevi - an earthenware jar buried in the ground.

The griffin is a mythical animal with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. The ancients believed that he protected the gold of India and protected the world from the one-eyed people of the north. Since he brought grapevine to Georgia, he became the patron saint of winemakers. He needs to whisper a wish in his ear and throw a coin into the fountain.

The name "Vaziono" comes from the word "Vazi", which in Georgian means a vine and wine-making museum.

This clay wine pot is 4000 years old. In front of us is a copy of the Trioletti Cup; it depicts processions of people wearing masks, who hold a cult ceremony and are likely to offer sacrifice to the god of fertility in the pre-Christian era.

The Kvevi. Although it was buried and rarely such a vessel was used other than those buried in the ground, patterns resembling a rope were made on its walls. This fact suggests that the Kvevi culture and traditions are rooted in the ancient world of Central Asia, and these traditions were jealously preserved.

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After the wine is kept for several months in Kvevi, it is poured into oak barrels. In quevi, fermentation takes place along with the cake. The wine is rich and not as transparent as European wines, where only the juice ferments. Oak French barrels began to be imported recently in order to improve the quality of wine and participate in world competitions. The biggest barrel is called Salome for the wine of the same name, named the owner’s daughter Shumi. This wine is from saperavi.

For tasting serves finely chopped churchkhela. It is delicious with cheese and grapes.

Telavi is the capital of the Kakhetian kingdom. On horseback sits Heraclius the second. He is a descendant of David Bagrationi - the builder who created modern Georgia. After the invasion of the Mongols and then Tamerlane, the Kakheti-Karliya and Imereti kingdoms united and laid the foundation of modern Georgia.

Heraclius, the second Bagration, created the union of the Kartlian and Kakhetian kingdom. At that time they were under Iran rule. Although Georgian independence was partly preserved. Heraclius was a great warrior and won many winners. Be that as it may, Heraclius began to seek an alliance with Christians, and he saw a possible ally in Russia.

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Who owned Kakheti and Katrli, he held the Caucasus. It was a good proposal, and Heraclius concluded the St. George treatise with Catherine II. Under this agreement, the kings of the Bagration dynasty always had to remain on the Georgian throne. But the Russians did not fulfill this contract. The Persian Shah came and defeated the Georgians, Russia did not help. At the same time, the capital Tbilisi was seized by the Persians. All of the Georgians were expelled and destroyed. Armenians inhabited the city. A few years later, in 1801, Russia comes to Tbilisi and occupies a city without war and forces all Georgian princes to take an oath of allegiance to the emperor. In 1811, Russia was trying to conquer the Georgian Orthodox Church. In 1918, Georgia once again declared independence. In 1922, Georgia back fell under the Russian Empire. The next round of Russian expansion into the Caucasus is 2008. Tskhinval and Abkhazia. This plane tree is 900 years old. A scene from the film Mimino, in which a traffic cop stops the hero near this tree, was shouted here.

Gankin is pleased with photos.

Here Nukri taught us how to eat khinkali. Our driver Malkhaz made a beautiful toast: the Dragon was holding a chest with precious stones. And the eagle wanted to steal it. The dragon guarded this chest but fell asleep, and the eagle took it and raised it to heaven. The dragon woke up and threw a stone at the eagle, and the chest opened up, and these stones fell to the ground, and four of these gems at our table. Our women.

Marvelous beauty road

It is located at an altitude of 1130 meters above sea level. Nearby is the village of Gobory. Its population is mainly Azeris. These are echoes of Persian rule and the politics of the movement of peoples.

This small town was the capital of Kakheti until 1014 when the capital was moved to Telavi

This reservoir was created in Soviet times on the Aragvi River together with the construction of hydropower plants.

At this point in the Aragvi rivers flow from Mount Barbalo. Its height is over 3000 meters. It also provides the source of the Alazani River.

Two tributaries, the western and eastern, form the Aragvi. Westerly flows on white clay soils and its color are white, and eastern on black and its color is black. Sometimes the water in the river does not mix.

View of the Aragvi Gorge. Georgian military road

The Georgian military road is the main transport artery of the Caucasus. This place is called the Gudauri abyss. It is overcome by six tiers carved into the lava rock. This serpentine was built in 1864 by the Russian Ministry of Communications.

The first road was built in 1803 after the conclusion of a treaty between Russia and Georgia, and since then the name Georgian Military Road appeared in the Russian tradition. The gorge itself and the Cross Pass were known in antiquity and are mentioned by Strabo. It was called Darial gorge.

The end of May. Rain. 6 degrees Celsius. Harsh mountain climate. Height above sea level is 2200 meters.

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