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Origins of Humans & Wine: Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia

October 10, 2021

Join us for an exciting trip back in time to explore early humankind and the ‘cradle of wine’ in the southern Caucasus. Learn about ancient wine-making techniques and sample the bounty of the region’s vineyards. Explore medieval towns and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including prehistoric through early Christian complexes. Enjoy Georgia’s famed hospitality, wherein a ‘visitor is considered a gift from God.’ This is a region of extraordinary contrasts, deep history, and cultural diversity.
* Travel and learn with AIA lecturer and host Ian Tattersall, who is both a paleoanthropologist and an oenophile; plus a professional tour manager and local guides
* Visit impressive UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Baku’s Old Town, Shirvan Shah Palace complex, and 98-foot-tall Maiden Tower, plus the ancient petroglyphs of Gobustan, in Azerbaijan; Georgia’s Mtskheta; and Armenia’s Haghbat monastery, Echmiadzin, and Zvartnots Cathedral
* Learn about and sample wines at five different wineries: Azerbaijan’s ASPI Winery in the Savalan Valley; Georgia’s Tibaani Vineyards, cellar of French vigneron Vincent Jullien, and Chateau Mere winery; and Armenia’s Areni Winery near the ancient Areni-1 cave complex
* Explore a variety of fascinating prehistoric through early Christian sites, including:
* Dmanisi, a medieval town under which were found five 1.8-million-year-old Homo erectus skulls
* The cave complex of Areni-1, where a 6,000-year-old winery was discovered
* Several of Georgia’s oldest churches, including Bolnisi’s Sioni Church, Tbilisi’s 6th-century Anchiskhati Basilica, and Mtshketa’s 11th-century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
* Impressive monasteries, including 6th-century Jvari, with one of the country’s earliest (and one of its finest) churches; and Haghbat, a fortified 10th-century literary, artistic, and education center as well as a monastic compound
* Enjoy a large feast, known as a supra, by experiencing a Georgian Table covered with plates of delicacies balanced on top of each other plus countless toasts

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Emily Clever


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