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Alaverdoba, Tbilisoba, Koda-oba, fun-oba!!!

So glad you came to visit. Please feel free to leave a comment.
Time for some solid fun!
Chuamta fountain, on the way to Kakheti.

This fall, I am making the rounds to Alaverdoba and Tbilisoba, the first weekend in October. I may even include my own, Koda-oba, as we will be going to check out the happenings in the vineyards in Koda, Tamazi's home town. The grape harvest will happen sometimes in the next week in the family's plot.
-oba is the ending added to any town that is having a festival. Alaverdi, so Alaverdoba, Tbilisi, so Tbilisoba.
Mainly, it is related to the grape harvest, but it can be a cheese festival too, any festival, really..and for Alaverdoba, it is also mainly a great religious festival. Alaverdi is well known as one of the main centers of religion in Georgia. The monks in the Alaverdi Monastery have also been growing grapes for centuries. You can see old qvevris still in front of the monastery commons.

Kakheti is one of the best known wine-growing regions of the Republic of Georgia, and a wonderful place to admire the surrounding mountains, but it not the only wine region in Georgia. In fact, you will find vineyards and wineries all over Georgia, with dozens of different types of wines. Not all are processed in clay qvevris either. Many wineries use barrels and process their grapes as Italians and French companies do.

So, are you ready for a little wine?
vineyard in Koda, SW of Tbilisi

Ready for the picking!

The grapes are held by strands of corn silk
 In Koda, rkatsiteli grapes make for an amazing golden glass of wine.

going from grapes to wine in the cellar. Tbilisi 2009.
According to the owner, this is called
Chala..Looks like Saperavi to me..

The golden honey color of the wine
 is famous in Georgia
home brew of tchatcha..

Flashback, Tbilisoba 2009. A taste of what is to come this year.

Food is everywhere. Msvadi, or bbq, send smoke throughout the Charden district. Bread is baking in the tonay, and churchkhrela is getting prepared. A paradise for the senses..

A mixture of grape juice,
 sugar and flour, pelamushi is a great dessert

Preparation of tonis puri, or
bread in a tonay

Heating the tonay for baking

Beautiful display of Georgian fall products

In the Abanotubani district,
dancing groups gather. Here, a group from Azerbidjan.
Let the music begin!

Great displays of culture, dancing groups, singing groups, and joy all around! What fun!

Flashback Alaverdi 2013:
How will this peaceful retreat become a great wine festival, I don't know. I just know that it holds a special place in my heart..

Alaverdi Monastery, Kakheti region, Georgia
Alaverdi, with its silence, its bees and its mountains. Quiet solitude for this ancient and holy place..Now, let's add a little wine and see what it becomes..

Well, Alaverdi was so calm, that we began to wonder if the Tourist Office had deceived us..It seems like it was going to happen, that day, or this day, and so we showed up and it was empty..but gorgeous, as usual.
Beautiful Caucasus Mountains
It turns out that the dates for Alaverdoba differ greatly, since they refer to a series of masses in the church. Leave it to me to think that it was going to be a very cool festival with cars lined up and maybe Mickey showing up..This is when you remember that not everything that is planned to happen in Georgia will automatically happen at the given date..Tomorrow is ok too...So, just as Alaverdi was still, admittedly beautiful, it was empty, and Tbilisoba, which was set to happen on October 5th, is now set to the 25th! Taking time or not being in a hurry is a science, and I was never a great science student..

...on to Tbilisoba 2014 !

Thanks to my little friend, Luka, we will not go without pics of Tbilisoba. As Tamazi and I took the plane home to France, Tbilisoba was being prepared. It turned out to be HUGE! But the basics were here..You judge for yourself!
Dancing, singing, laughing
and joy all around!

rvinos kalaki, or "wine city"
The Georgian answer to the Beer Garden..
 The basics were there: wine, pelamushi, or tatara (the difference, I was told, is one is made with flour and the other with corn flour.) For a great recipe, follow this link to pelamushi.

pelamushi galore...

A creamy-crunchy Georgian snack!
Churchrela can be then dipped in it, or...tatara can be eaten just as is, as Luka shows us, with a sprinkle of ....nuts, of course!! What a fun treat!
Socks were here to sell, no doubt much, much,
much more expensive than in the metro entrances..

Churchrela, and tsabli, or chestnuts,
also strung out! A new one on me...

Mystery liquid..Honey?
Very possible...Wine? Also very possible..

Here is a live Queen Tamar, or Tamar Mepe, "King Tamar",
because she was such an important figure.
Behind her, you see Metekhi. 

A hot approach to the

No, they are not boots!
Here, is wine all the time! Pretty cool!
 And here, bottle holders. Quite cool, don't you think?
It went on into the night, as you see from this view way up on the fortress of Narikala! Luka, you are the greatest! 
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