Georgia is a small country with a huge appetite for life. This passion is evident in all aspects of the country’s extraordinary culture, from its ancient polyphonic songs and breathtaking national dances to its rich culinary heritage and winemaking tradition that goes back eight millennia.
To become better acquainted with this unique region, we have organized a seven-day trip – “In the Cradle of Wine: A Georgian Culinary Adventure” – that focuses on all the senses, with special emphasis on taste. It is a mouthwatering, belt-popping, intimate dive into the heart of Georgia.
Leading the trip is Culinary Backstreets Tbilisi Bureau Chief, Paul Rimple, and his team of expert guides. Together, they explore Georgia’s holiest sites, visit its most colorful markets, take in unique performances, meet some of the most exciting winemakers in the country and unlock the secrets of Georgia’s most notorious tradition – the supra, or feast.
We asked CB photographer Justyna Mielnikiewicz to join the trip and share her perspective on this wide-ranging experience, which is being offered again in October 2020.
Guests watch a cook take the house specialty, Acharuli khachapuri, out of the oven at Cafe Retro.
Cafe Retro makes the best Acharuli khachapuri, a west Georgian specialty, in Tbilisi.
A dancer at a rehearsal of the Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet, which was founded in 1945 by Iliko Sukhishvili and Nino Ramishvili.
The Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet has brought Georgian national dances to some of the greatest stages around the world.
The National Gallery exhibits some of their permanent collection of primitive painter Niko Pirosmani, Georgia’s most beloved artist.
Abanotubani, the sulfur bath district, is where the ancient city of Tbilisi was founded.
A simple garden-fresh salad of tomato and milky sulguni cheese. As Andrew North wrote, “Until you’ve tasted the tomatoes from this country, you haven’t really tasted tomatoes.”
A toast at Culinarium-Khasheria, which is acclaimed chef Tekuna Gachechiladze’s showcase for her takes on Georgian cuisine.
Tekuna Gachechiladze’s shkmeruli, garlic chicken, is one of her more traditional recipes.
Shida Kartli, which roughly translates to “Inner Georgia,” is the heart of the country.
The Wine Artisans wine cellar bottles some of the finest wines, including natural wines, of Shida Kartli.
Gochi, suckling pigs, at the Deserter’s Bazaar, Tbilisi’s oldest farmer’s market.
A slab of lamb at the Deserter’s Bazaar, Tbilisi’s oldest farmer’s market.
A gentleman sells churchkhela, walnuts dipped in a thick grape juice roux, at the Deserter’s Bazaar.
Miss Luiza is our “spice girl” at the Dezerter’s Bazaar.
The Dry Bridge Flea Market is the place to go for arts and crafts, antiques and junk.
Spaces are still available on our seven-day “In the Cradle of Wine: A Georgia Culinary Adventure” trips in October 2020.