Kakheti

Kakheti Region

Kakheti – the immortal home of beauty! The figurative expression ‘I have traveled the whole world but haven’t found your equal’ is uttered by almost everyone after at least one visit to this astonishing place.

As for those who have never been to Kakheti, they are predestined to experience this feeling. If you have decided a great journey it does not matter whether you have already been to kakheti or whether you are going to see it for the first time.

What is Kakheti? It is difficult to find an appropriate epithet for such a distinct region. The past here is interwoven with the present like a branch of wine around its pole. Your eyes will be graced by Alaverdi church that is uplifted to the skies and the wonderful Lopota Lake, fed by rain and snow. And there is much, much more…

Look to the mountains, where Old AND New Shuamta monasteries are standing silently, then walk along the tourist trail to the Vashlovani reserve; see the haughty, snow-peaked mountains of the Caucasus, with their glaciers melting in Kakheti′snear-endless Alazani Valley.

Ascend the Gombori Mountains and look at the beautiful sunset; travel to Tusheti and climb its grand towers that stand firm like mountains… the sky is so close, stretching your arms seems to be enough to touch the stars. Look at Kakheti and it does not matter which way you look. There is kindness, beauty, abundance and mercy everywhere. There is more than enough to see, and one life is not enough to see it all.

Kakheti is a historical region in eastern Georgia. It is mainly centered around basins of Iori and Alazani rivers. The region was once divided into four parts: Garekakheti (Outer Kakheti) situated in Iori Rivers basin, Kiziki – lower part oflori River, Shignikakheti (Inner Kakheti) – right bank of A lazani River. In ancient times, Kakhetias  such covered amuch smaller territory (higher parts of Iori River, between Tianeti and Ujarma) The center was initially Cheleti and afterafter 4th century – Ujarma.

The region was crossed by some importantroads. Due to its very advantageous geographical and strategic location, Kakheti served as a unifier for bordering political entities. In the early feudal period, Kakheti already covered the territories of Ertso-Tianeti and Tush-Khevsureti..by the end 8th century, Kukheti and part of Hereti were also incorporated and in 15th century, the entire Hereti became part of region. From the 11th century, the city of Telavi became the political center of the region and in 15th century this staus was passed to Gremi.

Today, according to the administrative division of Georgia, Kakheti consists of eight municipalities – Akhmeta, Dedopistskaro, Gurjaani, Kvareli, Lagodekhi, Sagarejo, Sighnaghi and Telavi; this includes the birthplace of Georgian highlanders – Tusheti.

Kakheti is one of the cradles of winemaking. This peculiarity greatly influences traditions and culture of the region, creates its unique, picturesque character and, at the same time, adds special traits to the whole historical and ethnographic picture of Georgia.

Kakheti also has a big potential in terms of wine tourism.. The winemaking history of the region begins in 3rd-2nd centuries BC and up to now is the main and the most important part of its economy.

Besides, Kakheti stands out for its many cultural monuments. Lots of churches, monasteries and fortresses attract the attention  of foreign tourists. The most important cultural sites of Kakheti are: Ninotsminda church, Bodbe church, Khornabuji Fortress, Ujarma church, the walled town of Sighnaghi, Gurjaani church, Alaverdi church, Old and New Shuamta churches, Ikalto church, Gremi complex, Nekresi church etc.

Kakheti Cuisine

Kakheti is famous for its vineyards and noble wine. Traditional dishes of Kakhetian cuisine are: Mtsvadi (barbeque), Khashlama, Chakapuli, Chikhirtma, etc. KakhetianMtsvadi is distinguished by its taste. Meat should be chosen correctly and then roasted on tsalami – dried twigs of wine, which gives unusual taste to this dish. Delicious sweets – Tatara and Churchkhela are made of Badagi – grape juice. Sort of long bread – Shoti, specialty of Kakheti is baked here.

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