IWINETC 2014 Farewell at Signaghi and Pheasant’s Tears Winery

The 6th International Wine Tourism Conference is not only about the 2 day programme of education, business and networking but also about discovering the grape escape destinations of the host region or country.

Our final official event was a trip up the a corkscrew road to Signaghi, a charming village surrounded by 17 towers as part of a fortress, each tower coming from one of the surrounding towns.

From the Turkish, the name means “place to hide”, but it is also known as the city of love, and as we entered we drove past the 24-hour “wedding place”. The streets are narrow, the view spectacular, and we were greeted by the locals as we made our way to dinner at Pheasant’s Tears – one part winery, one part art gallery, one part antique and handmade carpet shop.

After tasting ten wines thanks to our gracious host, a feast of sustainable and foraged dishes followed, along with the traditional tamada…plenty of toasts to Georgia, to love, and to friendship.

Entertained by young dancers performing traditional Georgian steps with immense pride and energy, alongside polyphonic singing, goodbyes were said as we all started planning the journey home. But surely we’ve all left a part of our souls in Georgia.

Allison Markin