Kakheti – wine region of Georgia
November 4, 2020
Kakheti - wine region of Georgia
The Kakheti region is the birthplace of winemaking. According to archaeologists, the grapes here began to grow more than eight thousand years ago. And today, there are more grape varieties growing in Kakheti than in France or Italy. Such a variety of Kakheti should be grateful for the amazing combination of natural features of the climate and soil. It is in Kakheti that twenty-five percent of the total number of vineyards in the country is concentrated and it is here that most of the wines familiar to the whole world are produced. A kind of border dividing the Kakheti region into the Kakheti Harem and Shida Kakheti is the Gombor ridge, which turns into a plateau.
Shida Kakheti in the northern part is framed by mountainous hills and includes the famous Alazani Valley, Tusheti and the Main watershed of the Greater Caucasus. Moderate rainfall and an average temperature of no more than ten degrees with a plus sign for seven months only contributes to the cultivation of vineyards. However, in other parts of Shida Kakheti, there is a need to use artificial irrigation due to the large amount of evaporation after precipitation. Many villages engaged in the cultivation of grapes have given names to the best Georgian wines known to the world-Mukuzani, Kvareli, Tsinandali, Akhmeta, Kardanakhi, Gurjaani. These names are not accidental and coincide with the names of cities and small villages of Shida (Inner) Kakheti. In inner Kakheti, the art of winemaking and growing grapes is a traditional and centuries-old activity of local residents. Passing on their knowledge and skills to the next generations, the Kakheti People have always been engaged in the production of wine. On the right-bank part of the Inner Kakheti, the cultivation of grapes is more developed. And the most common varieties are considered to be Rkatsiteli, Saperavi, Mtsvane, and a large area of the right bank is occupied by a vine of the Cabernet variety. On the left bank of the inner Kakheti is the town of wine - makers-Kvareli, where the popular wine Kindzmarauli is produced. In addition, a large number of historical monuments and attractions are located on the left bank. Among the ruins of the archaic capital of Kakheti, Gremi, stands out an ancient church with a preserved acropolis and wall paintings. And the estate of the writer and public figure of Georgia, who was born in Kvareli, has been turned into a museum.
Tusheti is a high-mountain basin, cut by gorges. Tusheti is a mountainous region of Georgia that has preserved its identity. For eight months of the year, it is cut off from the world, and one of the most difficult and dangerous roads in Georgia leads to it. Rugged mountaineers, interesting traditions, pristine nature, famous for its stink of guda cheese and angry wolfhounds.
The road, which can only be used from the beginning of July to the end of September, was built in Tusheti only in 1978. Until then, it was only possible to get there on horseback or on foot. From November to May, the route is cut off.
External or Gare Kakheti
The outer or Gare Kakheti has a completely different appearance. Here the slopes of the Gombor range are adjacent to the Ior plateau, the surface of which is diverse. In its south-eastern part, the Shirak steppe is located, which has a fertile soil, on which wheat is mainly grown. A little south of the Great Shirak Steppe, an oil field has been discovered. The vineyards grow to the west of Shiraki and are located on the lands of the Tariban basin. The climate here is predominantly arid, it rains in winter, and snow falls rarely and does not last long. Hailstorms, droughts, and insufficient water hinder the full development of agriculture in Gar Kakheti. But over time, during the construction of the Upper Alazani irrigation system, the water will reach the dry steppes and make the soil fertile, which will give an impetus to the development of the wine industry in this region. Now there are junipers, pistachio trees, and frame trees growing here. The area of Outer Kakheti is relatively sparsely populated, and the busiest part of it is the villages along the Gombor ridge. a significant part of the fertile land is sown with winter wheat, corn and sun flower.
Thus, the vast majority of the population, namely seventy percent of Kakheti, is engaged in agriculture. They are hardworking people who take special pride in their vine, as well as the wine they produce, with which they treat guests with great cordiality.