Not far from Gori, there is a historical region famous for its historical buildings, wine and hospitality. Entering the village on the way to Sioni Church, you will see signs of several wine cellars. Up there, a famous fortress of the Orbelis is seen with its interesting history and legend. Before you reach Ateni Sioni church in the end of the village, there is a convent with its old cellar.

The village is close to the north-eastern flanks of the Trialeti mountain range. So your tour will be full of spectacular views of the river Tana Ravine and Trialeti Mountain range at any time of the year.

Starting your trip with visiting historical place of the village-Ateni Sioni, you will be met by a very interesting person-Mr. Paata Bestavashvili there. Mr. Paata knows the history of the church very well from his childhood, as his father worked there for 50 years before him. Showing your great interest, he is not satisfied with just telling almost every details about the church but invites us at his house, where he has fast-food restaurant and even a cellar. A cellar isn’t finished yet, though their Aladasturi wine Best really tastes great. You can find many interesting ancient things in their fast-food restaurant such as a 100 year-old book, a book of impressions, where tourists visiting Ateni expressed their feelings. Also, some pieces of clay found near Orbelianis’ fortress. One of them, as Giorgi explains, is a water-supply pipe.

Entering the yard you will be amazed seeing so many romantic things. Yes, Georgia is associated with wine, poetry and love. No Georgian supra is without wine, singing and poetry. Paata’s son, Giorgi, is a good tamada. He told us many interesting things-some legends, some funny stories connecting with the sights.

We were short of time so we had to refuse to touch the culinary tourism-making churchkhela or Khachapuri. We just enjoyed Tatara (grape juice is add some flour) and Khachapuri made by a host family. We left the Bestavashvilis house-fast food restaurant-museum full of impressions and felt happy finding the best and very hospitable family in the region, where you can feel like your home.

Tika Bujiashvili 

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