Today we departed for Signagi, known as “The City of Love” for it many marriage chapels and its great beauty. Signagi is in the heart of Georgia’s wine country. Saint Nino was said to have made a cross of grape vines and bound it together with her hair, symbolizing the sun’s rays. And indeed, we had a perfect day to visit Pheasant’s Tears winery. We strolled through the vineyard and toured the buildings housing the quervi buried to their necks in the ground where the natural Georgian wines were fermenting. The winemaker, John, described the unique process producing the wines, and we sat on the terrace overlooking the vines as we tasted the many varietals.
That evening, we were treated to a true Georgian “supra”, a feast to end all feasts, with toasts in abundance. The polyphonic singing group, Zedashe, sat and ate with us and broke into song and dance throughout the meal. Zedashe was formed to preserve and perform traditional Georgian chants and songs. Georgian vocal music has been passed down by ear for hundreds of years, possible since the 5th century BCE.
The founder of Zedashe and our host at the Pheasant’s Tears restaurant was Ketevan Mindorashvili (front, right in photo), who played the panduri (beautiful traditional lute) and sang. Zedashe has toured all over the world and will be touring in the U.S. in 2019.
[Carolyn Moats, Recorder]