Allow me to introduce myself. I’m your history and wine tour guide for Georgia and a world traveler to over 30 countries. After living in Georgia for the last few years, I grew a strong affinity for natural wines. As a health care practitioner by training, I picked up a certification in nutrition to help care for my patients. Studying antioxidants like Resveratrol, found in grapes and organic wines, was part of the package.
In addition to being a healthcare professional, I also consider myself a junior archeologist and anthropologist, which comes in handy to explain the progression and importance of early Georgian populations.
Born, raised, and university schooled in Southern California, and then Northern California, I worked mostly in the Bay Area.
Napa Valley wine-tasting became a frequent weekend trek.
As my retirement saga unfolded, I found myself in Tbilisi years ago after visiting a friend. Tbilisi lies less than a 90-minute drive from Kakheti, the country’s largest congregation of winemakers and vineyards.
After traveling the world for years—my rough retirement plan-- I eventually settled in Batumi. Falling in love with Batumi is easy with the friendly and welcoming Georgian people, its subtropical climate, the laid-back culture, the fantastic and reasonably priced wine, the unique and delicious cuisine, and the lush countryside. Although I frequently return to California for business, I feel more at home in Batumi.
Spending time in Tbilisi and Batumi, I found myself immediately hooked on Georgian wines. With most of my dinners eaten out, I pumped every waiter, waitress, restaurant manager, or owner for information.
Although most of my 50 or so books reveal themselves as summaries of bestsellers (See summaries1000.com), I have some full-length books under my belt. I can’t seem to feel productive if I am not researching and writing—and learning.
The initial concept of this book about wine and its role in Georgian history originated from Giorgio Surmanidze, the wine-loving Secretary of Agriculture of Adjara. He inspired me to research and write this book, the process of which I have enjoyed immensely. I will forever be grateful to him and his brother, Gela, who kept me continuously supplied with his version of ChaCha.
Here’s to Secretary Surmanidze, Gela, all of my readers and potential readers, and Georgia!
Note: I have no affiliations with any wine-producing companies.
An astounding variety of grapes and wines derived from ancient low-tech and modern high-tech methods leaves visitors smitten in the Republic of Georgia.
Many never heard of Georgia, the country. Nor could they likely find it—even if they had heard of it--on an unmarked map.
According to legend, God knew Georgia very well—he created it as a place for himself. He later gifted it to the Georgians in gratitude for their invitation to their celebrations as the lands of the Earth earned their designations.[i]
As God got busy parceling out land to the peoples of the world, the Georgians were too preoccupied with feasting to receive their share. Finally showing up to meet with God, full of good cheer and wine, God bought their explanation filled with passion and innocence and gave them the land he had reserved for himself—Georgia.
Georgia is small—just a little bit bigger than West Virginia. It ranks at number 119 in size for all countries.[ii] Georgia may be small in landmass, but it makes up for it with its feistiness, friendliness, tenacity, big heart, and a huge contribution to the art of winemaking. Georgian wine arises from a forgiving climate and unique geography and biodiversity that create fertile soils in valleys protected by the Caucasus Mountains. When asked what fertilizer he used for grapevines, an insulted farmer replied that Georgian soil did not require fertilizer and was blood-soaked to boot from his ancestors who defended their country.