Kakheti, Ancient Wine Region

This looked like one very hot job, especially as each new row of bread slices went deeper into the cauldron than the preceding one.

The courtyard at the Chateau Mere, a 17-room hotel in Georgia’s Kakheti wine country. The tower at left houses guests.

The courtyard at the Chateau Mere, a 17-room hotel in Georgia’s Kakheti wine country. The tower at left houses guests.

The baker was preparing to sell her bread at a small and

Performers demonstrate traditional Georgian dancing in a program for travel agents in Brooklyn, N.Y., in advance of a travel agent familiarization trip for agents.

Performers demonstrate traditional Georgian dancing in a program for travel agents in Brooklyn, N.Y., in advance of a travel agent familiarization trip for agents.

very simple shop where she also sold cheese, and it appeared, some bottled drinks.

Our Kakheti day ended at the Chateau Mere, a new 15-room hotel in a village called Vardisubani. The stone property was designed to imitate a small castle with bonuses like an outdoor Jacuzzi and swimming pool in its courtyard.

The result is a charming and imaginative hotel with stand-alone towers (the owner lives in one) and a huge common room for lounging, dining and hanging out. I was in one of the stand-alone towers, in a room occupying the entire second level, with a small balcony overlooking the property’s courtyard.

Dinner was good, and the Chateau Mere makes its own wine, offering the first traditionally made red that I really liked.

The large common room, for dining and entertainment, in the Chateau Mere, a new hotel in the village of Vardisubani in Georgia’s Kakheti wine country.

The large common room, for dining and entertainment, in the Chateau Mere, a new hotel in the village of Vardisubani in Georgia’s Kakheti wine country.

A young performer demonstrates traditional Georgian dancing in a program for travel agents in Brooklyn, N.Y., in advance of a travel agent familiarization trip for agents.

A young performer demonstrates traditional Georgian dancing in a program for travel agents in Brooklyn, N.Y., in advance of a travel agent familiarization trip for agents.

Also, there were musicians on hand, sometimes playing Russian music while Russian-speaking members of our group sang along.

As for the rooms, mine had terrible lighting — one bare, low-watt bulb for the entire room. Wi-Fi worked only occasionally. I sat in the bathroom to use my laptop.

And, the breakfast menu was positively strange, with things like butter and jam listed and priced separately, while there were not many choices for substantial menu items.

Nevertheless, I would stay at Chateau Mere again anyway, just for the ambience of the public spaces.

This article and its photos are by Nadine Godwin, the author of  Travia: The Ultimate Book of Travel Trivia, which was published by The Intrepid Traveler.

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