My adventures in the western part of the Republic of Georgia continued as I visited some of the beautiful towns and villages in the Adjara region. Come with me as I enjoy some incredible Upper Adjarian food in western Georgia!
My friend and guide Tim from Friendly GE and I began our morning in Batumi. I’d be checking out some local sites including waterfalls and stone bridges, and trying some Upper Adjarian cuisine for the first time!
We started our adventure at the Mirveti Arch Bridge, a medieval stone bridge that connected villages using stones and cement in the Middle Ages. It’s one of roughly 20 similar bridges in Upper Adjara! From there, we walked past local homes, farms, and plots of land. The people here produce fruits and vegetables and sell local coffee, tea, chacha, beer, and honey!
We passed a raised, wooden barn-like structure called a nalia, which is where people would dry out their corn and produce. It looked at least 150 years old. Placing it high off the ground keeps it away from animals and humidity.
Along the path were some sour, unripe cherries growing on a tree. We also found some edible thorns on our way up the path to the waterfall. Along it is Mirveti’s Wine Cellar, where you can try wine, brandy, and chacha. Past it is an old wooden tree and some unique boxwood trees!
Finally, we reached the waterfall. It was cooler there and the water was cold and refreshing! It’s a great place to relax and chill out on a hot day! While we were there, some gentlemen from the village took a dip in the pool below the falls!
Then, we came across a woman at a stand selling some Upper Adjarian food. She had 8 types of jam, including fig, pear, green walnut, and quince. She also sells honey. The walnut jam was so soft and tasty, and the loquat was chewier and nuttier! The woman was so kind and gave us two fresh batches of walnut jam!
Then, she made us some Turkish coffee and gave us some homemade wine! The Turkish coffee was hot and thick. A lot of people who visit this area only visit the waterfall and bridge without meeting the locals and buying their products. Definitely support the locals whose livelihoods depend on tourism! We bought some of her rose liqueur, which was so good I had to buy a bottle for GEL 20/$7 USD!
From there, we drove 20 minutes across a bridge to a village called Makhunseti. The scenery is so incredible! We were surrounded by lots of lush, vegetation-covered hills and mountains, which was so different from the landscapes in Kakheti.
After arriving in Makhunseti, we headed to Makhunseti Bridge, one of the largest stone arch bridges in Georgia. It dates back to the time of Queen Tamar, the most powerful ruler during Georgia’s golden age. It’s 20 meters long! You can also go rafting down the river. If you have time, also check out Makhunseti Museum and the nearby Mtirala National Park.
Makhunseti is very touristy, so expect a lot of other tourists there. I prefer locations that are off the beaten path, but it was still fun. From there, we headed to Makhunseti Waterfall. Along the way are vendors selling fruits and souvenirs. The waterfall is over 30 meters high.
Next, I bought some beaded necklaces for my daughters, and then we drove to Adjarian Wine House in the village of Adjaristskali.
There, we’d tour the property and try some traditional Upper Adjarian food! They have a beautiful vineyard and the architecture is very rustic.
They have a courtyard, dining area, a wine cellar, the kvevri room, and more. We headed into the kitchen, where they were making sinori, a dish made of rolled wheat with a mixture of cottage cheese, butter, garlic, and salt poured over them.
They also made a dish called borano, which is local cheese boiled in butter. I sampled the cottage cheese and some of the melted butter with some bread. They were so creamy, fresh, flavorful, and high-quality! I’m not a huge butter lover but this was outstanding!
Next, they made a dish called yakhni, which contains beef, onions, coriander, fenugreek, chili powder, garlic, salt, and other Georgian spices. The look and ingredients of the dish strongly reminded me of an Indian curry! Then, it was time to eat atop their stone tower, the best place to eat on the property.
The borano was made of high-quality string cheese and contained a ton of butter! The sinori was unreal and felt like it was made out of phyllo dough or another pastry dough. It was one of my favorite dishes of the trip!
Next was pkhalobio, which is a mixture of greens and beans, the yakhni, and the Chkhaveri Red Wine (made from a special west Georgian grape). We also had Tsolikouri White Wine, which is made from the most common white wine grape in west Georgia. The Tsolikouri was nice and dry, while the Chkhaveri was semi-sweet like a sherry!
The yakhni reminded me of a yellow Thai curry containing tender beef. It was made with marigold flowers! Eating it with the bread was even better! The food was so different from the dishes I ate in other parts of Georgia! I was sold on Adjarian cuisine!
Finally, the pkhalobio contained some chilies but wasn’t super spicy. I loved the herbs. It reminded me of a loose spinach dip. After eating, we headed down to the winery and saw the stainless steel tanks, where the grapes ferment. They also ferment some in the qvevries. They make 18 wines in total!
Then, we headed down into the cellar for a wine tasting. They age brandy and chacha in barrels there. The next room was the wine tasting room, where there were 1000 bottles of wine on the walls!
We started with a Porto Franco Chkaveri rose, which tasted like a delicious farm wine. It has a very distinct flavor and is very diverse. Next was a barrel-aged Kukuzani dry red, which was oaky, delicious, and unique! The Rkatsiteli dry white was like drinking Georgia! It was dry, fruity, and chilled.
Then, we saw a hollowed-out log where they mashed grapes in ancient times. Next, we checked out the qvevri room, where the crushed grapes, juice, and stems are fermented over 6 months. They remove the wine and put it in the stainless steel tanks.
Then, the stems, seeds, and pulp are distilled to make chacha. You can take wine-making classes there! Then, finally, we headed out to the vineyard, which is 10-11 years old and produces a ton and a half of grapes! What an amazing day exploring upper Adjarian food in the villages of western Georgia!
I hope you liked coming with me to have Upper Adjarian food in western Georgia! If you did, please give this video a thumbs up and leave me a comment below. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and click the notification bell so you don’t miss any of my upcoming travel/food adventures!