SCOLA Travel Journal: Week Eighteen

Scrolling through newspapers on Foreign Text I have to pause and do a double take when I see Georgia listed as a country. Georgia? A country? But that can’t be right…Georgia is a state in the southern United States! I must research this further so I head on over to Country Overview Videos under the Language Training Materials. Here I learn that Georgia is also the name of a country in Europe. I also learn about Georgia’s climate, education system, government, and much, much more! However, as we have learned in the past through SCOLA On the Street Videos, what better way to learn about a country than to experience it?

I don’t have to waste any time searching for my passport or packing my bags, as soon as I log on to On the Street Videos I am on my way to Georgia! The first thing that catches my eye as I arrive in Tbilisi is a flower bazaar. There are so many different kinds of flowers, with florists working hard to make bouquets for their customers. It would be a shame to return from my trip without a souvenir, so I buy a dozen roses and continue on my way.

My next stop in Georgia is a history museum. Since I was completely unaware of this country until today, I’d like to know about the country’s past. I meet with Mrs. Tamar Abunadze and Mrs. Ekha Maizuradze, both employees of the history museum. While talking to the women I learn about the Khazbegi region, a mythological story about Sameba, and about the life of Georgian Queen Tamar.

As I head home from this adventure with On the Street Videos, I am feeling very enlightened! Waking up today I never thought I would be exploring a country that was completely new to me! I can’t wait to continue my adventures with SCOLA On the Street Videos next week!

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Traditional Georgian Wine Making Methods

In Georgia, our Country of the Month, one of the traditional wine making methods involves the use of a Qvevri. A Qvevri is a large, clay Amphora like vessel that typically holds anywhere from 400-2,000 liters. The Qvevri is usually buried in the ground up to its neck.

To begin the wine making process, usually grapes are feet-pressed. This is the gegentlest way to obtain a juicy pulp because the seeds remain intact and does not give the wine a strong, bitter taste. Once the grapes have been feet-pressed, the pulp, skins, stalks and pips (often referred to as “the mother” in Kakheti) are placed into a Qvevri for fermentation. The fermentation is done naturally with no cultured yeasts or nutrients added. Next, the Qvevri is sealed with a wooden lid and earth or clay, and the wine is left to mature for up to six months. After six months, the Qvevri is opened to reveal a bright, delicious liquid.

Want to learn more about food and drink in our Country of the Month? Check out Savoir-Vivre, coming soon to SCOLA.org!