When we arrived at the Sarajishvili Winery, well known for its brandy, it was nighttime. The Sarajishvili Winery in Tbilisi, Georgia founded by David Sarajishvili, has been producing wine brandy using French cognac technology since 1884. Sarajishvili wine brandy is produced from white wine that is doubly distilled then aged in oak barrels before bottling. The aging process can take from three years to centuries of time. From its beginning Georgia's Sarajishvili Winery produced high quality brandy that gained popularity in the Russian Empire and internationally. Throughout the winery's history it has managed to survive many perils. Sarajishvili Winery privatized in 1994 now produces 10 products.
Tasting wine brandy Georgian style
Tasting brandy Georgian style is a special treat. In fact, on a normal day, it could easily have been a whole day experience for me. I could imagine setting there sampling the savory goodies first, then slowly working my way through to the sweets. During all this I would capture pictures for the photo journey and make detailed notes. Unfortunately, time did not permit; so for me it was a few quick photos, and a few samples. No Georgian supra this time, except for the senses.
Let me not forget, when we arrived at Sarajishvili Winery we were met by the winemaker at the entrance to the barrel room. Upon entering the barrel room my nose immediately felt the wonderful odors produced by the brandy being aged in oak barrels.
After an introduction explaining the history of brandy making at the winery we were treated to a very special barrel sample. It was divine. From the barrel room tasting we were taken to the tasting room. There in Sarajishvili Winery's tasting room we sampled their brandies. We tasted the Srajishvili XO, a blend of 15 different spirits, and the oldest one being over 30 years old. The tasting was accompanied by an amazing offering of treats. I also managed to survey their brandies display. I can imagine sampling their 20th Century or the rare David Sarajishvili. There is nothing like a well-aged brandy produced in cognac style.
All too soon our visit to Sarajishvili was over and we were on our way. Even though our visit was far too short, tasting brandy Georgian style was an event that I will always remember. The Srajishvili XO paired with chocolate and orange was heavenly. Our trip to Sarajishvili Winery was part of an #EWBC post-conference trip, sponsored by the Georgian Wine Association. I look forward to writing about my Georgian wine experiences at Spaswinefood, or you can visit my Examiner travel column.
© Sharon Parsons
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