Hotel Tbilisi Marriott
Elegant and gorgeous is how we’d describe the lobby of the Hotel Tbilisi Marriott in Georgia. Photo by Gloria J. Chang.
Gorgeous. This 100-year-old building is located in the heart of Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi. Why Georgia for wine travel? (the country south of Russia, not the American state) Because this country, as well as a few others in the Caucasus, is considered to be the birthplace of wine with archeological evidence of the first cultivated grapevines dating back 8,000 years. All flights into the country fly first into Tbilisi (and from my understanding all of them land at the inopportune hour of 4 a.m.) and it’s an interesting city visit in itself. The Hotel Tbilisi Marriott is within short walking distance to a variety of restaurants and wine bars amidst the sometimes jarring juxtaposition of modern buildings against piles of rubble from an invaded, war-torn past. Wines are distinctive and include the original “orange” wines, where white wine grapes are traditionally fermented with their skins in clay vessels buried in the ground called qvevri, producing tannic white wines with an orange-ish colour.