In and around Kvareli almost everything revolves around the theme of wine. The town is located in the Kindzmarauli Microzone (Kindzmarauli is also the name of a semi-sweet red wine made from the Saperavi grape). In the Kvareli municipality, large industrial enterprises such as Kindzmarauli Cooperation or Khareba produce huge amounts of wine. There are also many small wineries where innovative winegrowers produce excellent wines, often according to the old Georgian Kvevri method.
A touch of Switzerland in Kakheti
Between Kvareli and the village of Sanavardo, a special winery with a touch of Switzerland is currently under construction. Fabio, a Swiss immigrant and founder of MyCaucasus Travel, is building a new wine and tourism project there together with Georgian partners. The winery is called Inavarde Wines.
Visit the winery in Kvareli, which is under construction, with guests and friends in spring 2020.
Under the name Marani Vardeli, the founders are going to build a winery with a small boutique hotel and restaurant in the middle of the vineyards. Already today, vines are being cultivated on the 4.5 hectares of land: Saperavi, Kisi, Rkatsiteli and Khikhvi.
Guests can help with the grape harvest or take a tour of the vineyard to see how the project is developing.
Saperavi vines (photo) grow on 2 of a total of 4.5 hectares. In addition, the founders grow the varieties Kisi, Rkatsiteli and Khikhvi.
Culinary masterclasses in Akhalsopeli
In a nearby village called Akhalsopeli, our friends Tika and Maka have created a beautiful place. The two sisters have renovated their parents' house and turned the garden into a little paradise. If our guests are interested in food and wine, we visit Tika and Maka almost every trip. The detour to Akhalsopeli is usually one of the highlights of our trips.
Our guest from Austria prepares Khinkali himself for the first time.
Together with Tika and Maka, our guests learn how to prepare traditional dishes like Khinkali (dumplings) or Khachapuri (cheese bread). Our guests help out and prepare their lunch or dinner themselves. Wine and Chacha (pomace brandy) from their own production are also never in short supply there.
The exuberant atmosphere in the garden of the country house in Akhalsopeli, Kvareli region.
A few minutes' drive west of Kvareli you can visit the Nekresi Monastery. This Georgian Orthodox monastery was built between the 4th and 9th centuries. It stands on one of the foothills of the Greater Caucasus.
After the monastery was dissolved during the Russian Empire in 1811, it has only been in operation again since 2000.
The oldest building in the monastery complex is a small basilica from the 4th century. It is one of the oldest churches in Georgia which are still standing. Nekresi also contains a large basilica, a chapel from the 7th century and another church inherited in the 8th century. The bishop's palace was added in the 9th century.
Private tour to Kvareli
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How to get to Kvareli
For the journey from Tbilisi, you have to calculate around 2.5 hours. The Azerbaijani border is about 50 minutes away.
Every day there are numerous minibusses (marshrutkas) that run between Tbilisi and Kvareli.
From the airport in Tbilisi, it takes about 2 hours to Kvareli. You can drive via Gurjaani or via the Gombori Mountain Pass.
There are no train connections to Kvareli.