Georgia on My Mind
In yesterday’s blog, I discussed meeting the preeminent sea kayaker, Olaf Malver, who now leads trips for Natural Habitat Adventures to Greenland, Antarctica, and the Galapagos Islands. When not paddling, Malver is back in his native Georgia (the country, not the state), producing award-winning wine from his vineyards. Straddling the border between Europe and Asia, the origins of winemaking can be traced back to this region of the world. Today, oenophiles flock to Kakheti province, the top winemaking region to sample the wares. A fine bottle of wine is just one of the reasons to visit Georgia, which has recently landed on Travel & Leisure and Vogue’s “top places to travel” lists. Olaf’s wife runs Wild Georgia, which leads weeklong guided trekking and horseback riding jaunts into the Caucasus, the striking mountain range that stands taller than the Alps. The capital, Tblisi, has quickly become an exciting center for art, food, and music amidst the art nouveau architecture. Stay at the recently opened Rooms Hotels, dine at a French Laundry alum’s bistro, Le Montrachet, and check out the electronic music scene at Bassiani. Big hoteliers like Le Meridian and Radisson Blu are already busy building new properties in the country, so the time to go is summer or fall 2017 before word spreads.