If you've dealt with Georgia a little, then you've maybe already heard of some traditional Georgian celebrations such as Rtveli (grape harvesting) or Tatara (the time when Chrchkhela are produced). These traditional celebrations are typical for Georgia's southeastern region of Kakheti. But there's a third one you've probably not heard of yet: Zaodoba.
The best time to get involved in Zaodoba celebration is in late autumn, mostly November. Then before Zaodoba can happen, the grape harvest (Rtveli) has to be completed and the grape juice has to be pressed out of the grapes to produce wine out of it.
After this process, the residues of the grapes remain. These are not thrown away but used to produce another typical specialty of Georgia: Chacha, a spirit which is more or less comparable with Grappa or Marc. When the people in the countryside produce their Chacha, this is more than a process, it is a celebration which the families share with their neighbors and friends.
The people put the grape residues into special dishes where they are boiled. This stone 'equipment' is called Zaodi, which is the Russian word for fabric. In every village at least somebody has such a Zaodi which the people share with the other villagers. The people come together where the Zaodi is and start to produce their Chacha. The first and the second liquid which is produced is kind of a Vodka, which is normally drunk hot.
But it's much more than just producing Chacha. The event which is called Zaodoba is a celebration. People bring along food and play music together. A characteristic Kakhetian tradition is a barbecue and roasted potatoes. The air smells of tasty food and alcohol. You don't even have to taste Chacha, the alcohol-filled air is enough to make you somehow drunk.
A typical Zaodoba celebration starts in the middle of the day. As it isn't a touristy event, you need to know some people from the villages, otherwise, you will probably not be able to join the feast. If you're interested in joining a true Kakhetian Zaodoba, you should visit Georgia in late autumn and contact us a few weeks earlier.