September in Georgia is time for Rtveli, the grape harvest. This sacred tradition is of utmost importance for the Georgian people, who have been producing wine for over 8000 years.
I was fortunate enough to spend a day with a fantastic group of harvesters who, under the scorching sun of the long September days, welcomed me like a family member. We filled the truck with grapes between translated conversations and glasses of chacha, a liquor distilled from winemaking’s leftovers.
As soon as we established a rapport, I was invited to their village that same evening to have a party – an offer I couldn’t refuse. We spent the day in the village buying all the necessary ingredients, making mtsvadi – meat skewers – and dancing to Italian songs.
Eventually, the party started and we drank and ate like kings, forming a bond that is second to none.
Georgian hospitality is special.