When booking a holiday – some look for nothing but sun and sand, others for galleries and museum or shopping. But for wine lovers, the choice of destination is decided by the grapes on offer.
But this week, the UK faced news that a prosecco shortage could be in store as wine production plummeted to a 50-year low.
Travel experts at Lonely Planet have ranked the Georgian capital Tbilisi the number one destination for wine in their latest publication, The Cities Book.
Not only are there countless wine bars and a vineyard just outside the capital, but also Georgia’s traditional winemaking method is used to craft each bottle –thanks to UNESCO adding it to their list a few years ago.
The fertile environment of the lower Caucasus is what makes the wine extraordinary – it is one of the oldest viticulture regions in the world after all. Unsurprisingly, all Georgian wine is very drinkable whether it’s red, dry or sweet.
When it comes to choosing wine bars, Vino Underground and G.vino both create a cosy atmosphere and serve up organic wines with prices starting at £9. Feeling peckish while wine tasting? Both offer local cuisine and snacks to add into the mix.
But in order to truly understand the history of winemaking, 8000 Vintages is just the place. Blind tasting are organised for a panel of wine experts to decide what wines are sold at the shop. Here, you can sample perfectly paired dishes, with your visit costing around £15. If organic wine is more your thing Wine Room offers natural wines from an array of regions in Georgia. Aside from the bottled wine, tap wines are sold for just over £2 for those on a budget.
After you have tried all the wine bars? Take a day trip outside Tbilisi to visit the scenic Kakheti wine region – an hour and a half’s drive east of Tbilisi. There will be plenty of bespoke Georgian wines to try, including Saperavi and Mukhuzani.
As soon as summer is over wine season begins, so it’s the ideal getaway for autumn. Avoid the hot and humid midsummer season and the very cold winter – particularly in the lowlands.
You should go here if…
You’re looking for a mixture of mountain views and a city vibe. Let’s not forget the vineyards and wine tastings mixed in with cultural heritage and buzzing nightlife.